What could be wrong with my hostas?

Brandys_garden(6)July 2, 2014

I have a question about 2 hostas in particular... Grand Tiara and Minuteman. Mostly Grand Tiara, though. About half of her leaves in the last week or so have turned yellow and when you go to snip them, you don't even have to try and the leaf completely comes off or comes out, however you want to say it. What is the problem? I thought maybe too much water or not enough, but that doesn't seem to be it. The scapes are still blooming and I see seeds coming through.

Minuteman has had two leaves turn yellow already. I just cut them off. They didn't practically fall off like Grand Tiara's did but still, isn't it a bit early?

My vinca flowers are not doing good either. I had one of the plants die completely over the weekend. It's really concerning me.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

southern blight??? ... see any orange nodules on the soil near the crown????

it has other names..

and i will let the southerners explain

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 6:23PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

If you don't see those little orange balls at the base of the petioles, gently slide them out of their pots and see what is going on under the surface. Bugs? Root Rot? Too wet? Too dry? You want to see nice strong white roots and have firm crowns.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:40PM
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Brandy, take a closeup of the bad stuff you are seeing. Let us take a look at it.

What Ken called "nodules" and Babka called "orange balls" and what I describe as looking like some Osmocote slow release fertilizer balls, is the unmistakable signs of southern blight. It has other names too, but that's the name I know it by. It can kill your plant in one day with the petioles falling over flat and it can be pulled off the crown.

It is possible to save the plant before it gets that far. I saved Totally Twisted last year by dousing the pot with 1 part household ammonia mixed with 10 parts water.I also moved the pot to an open area where it got good air flow. If there is a breeze coming beneath your porch area, that might be a good spot to put your problem hosta after you treat them. I don't know if the ammonia treatment saved it or if it was simply cleaning those things off and moving the plant. Anyway, I would try the ammonia too.

Might as well check how the pot is draining too. Dump it out of the pot and look at the roots. They will tell you if you have a happy plant or not.

Tis the season, Brandy. Harshness of summer is upon us.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:54PM
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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

Well now, that was terrifying! I never heard of Southern Blight before reading this thread (and at first figured I didn't have to worry since I live in the North), so I googled it. Scary stuff. I thought HVX was bad; this sounds far worse.

Here is a link that might be useful: Southern Blight in the North!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 8:22AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

to be clear... it doesnt kill in one day ...

the process works over time...

the plant collapses on one given day ...

didnt you make your media ...??? it could be a media failure.. as noted above ...

if i recall properly.. it becomes a problem when nights stay hot ...

we need some pix ... when you can get to them ...


    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:11AM
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Well, I looked for the orange fungus ball type stuff... Nada. The crowns and stems look white and firm. No bad smells. Not overwatered. Not underwatered. I stopped watering it between rains. But it was slumped over so I watered it yesterday and it perked back up. It looks fine. I took a healthy leaf and root and put it in some water, hoping it roots out just in case.

The hosta guy is stumped, too. He said to look for blackish stuff on the crown or soil. Nothing. He then thought it might be bugs but I don't see any?

No, the stuff is mixed at CofO Ken. Minuteman seems fine. Just a little yellowing. I'll get pics up when I can.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 4:55PM
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bernd ny zone5

I have a large blue one like that. It started again 2 weeks ago as it gets hot. That plant was happy until I covered it with mulch 2 winters ago for the winter. All the preceding years it survived and grew with all eyes exposed over winter. Last year I removed all mulch close to the stems, drenched plant and soil with fungicide and Bayer Disease Control several times, somehow stopped it. But now it starts again, actually eyes are rotting.
Tomorrow it will be cool, I will dig out the whole plant, throw away all soil, clean off all bad things, clean tools. Then I will drench it in 10% bleach for 15 minutes and rinse, then plant it again in same place with new soil. We can always try...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 5:08PM
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That is what the hosta guy said I should do is bleach it for a few minutes. Couldn't hurt. Even if we have no clue what it is.... I am going to this evening. I'll post pics if I can tomorrow. But it is only about half of what it was. It happened quickly, over a week long span, it lost half of it's leaves.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 5:34PM
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Got a newsletter today from Made In The Shade hostas. I'm going to quote, because I don't want to mess it up.

This year we also have the perfect setup for Southern Blight - lots of rain that is followed immediately by hot temperatures. If you see hosta petioles that flop over at the base, it is likely the result of a fungus called Southern Blight. The fungus eats away the tissue at the base of the petiole so the petiole pulls away easily from the clump. You may also notice beige colored "mustard seeds" at the base of the clump and a white thread like mycelium. Quick action can save the clump. Apply a fungicide product that contains tebuconazole as a soil drench. The product is contained in a number of Bayer fungicide products that are commonly available at box stores, hardware stores and garden centers.
[end quote]

Thought this might be helpful. Don't think I have southern blight just yet, but it is bound to come sooner or later.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 7:19PM
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OK well here is a pic of Grand Tiara today.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 7:47PM
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Here's a pic of some of the leaves it had lost

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 7:48PM
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I thought this was tree pollen, but I noticed it is only on Grand Tiara which is weird if it's only tree pollen... Is this Southern Blight? It is not on the crowns or stems or roots or soil though.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 7:51PM
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Here's a closeup of the bottom of the stems. I don't know if you can see anything alarming though...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 7:52PM
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