HVX, what would you do?

bkay2000(8a TX)August 1, 2014

I bought a Royal Standard in late summer 2012. It came up with HVX in 2013. I informed the retail nursery (Jackson's) and learned that the wholesale nursery was Green Lake, a local wholesale nursery that sells many kinds of plants. I had previously emailed or talked to them about their HVX program and they didn't have one or know what HVX was. So, I told them what it was. After mine tested positive, I sent them links, information and Idiothe's rant about European starts.

I told my neighborhood nursery (Brumley's) about the HVX thing when I heard they were buying from Green Lake (2013). I even provided a test strip for them to test some hosta they had.

Fast Forward. I found a Royal Standard infected with HVX from Green Lake at Brumley's yesterday. I told them and they removed the hosta. I emailed the owner last evening.

I am considering turning Green Lake in to the Agriculture Department. I have no evidence, though. I have the photos I took of my infected plant and the photos of the test strip. I didn't take a photo of the one yesterday.

So, what would you do? Would you just ignore it and don't go there anymore? Would you spend you time trying to do something about it? I know they also sell to Northhaven Gardens. I quit shopping there already because of their lack of interest in HVX. I've also quit shopping at Jackson's. Pretty soon, I'll have no where to buy plants.


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Definitely stop buying from them. Notify the Agriculture Dept. and your local extension service and ask both if there are additional steps/actions they suggest you take to get the word out. If you have a local or regional newspaper with a garden feature, contact them to inform them of the HVX issue and the threat it poses to area gardeners. Provide them with a link to the Hosta Library page that contains information about HVX.

Beyond that, word of mouth is about all you can do.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:22AM
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bernd ny zone5

bkay, I am sorry that you had this experience with HVX. A hosta can have HVX and you can not see it when you buy it. Your garden store may not see it either, because it will show only the following year or years after when they no longer have it.
The wholesale nursery might have seen several hostas with HVX when growing them, discarded them. How would they know they still have HVX in their plants when there are no symptoms any longer? Probably the correct treatment would have been to throw out the whole lot, but that would be very expensive.

I.e., one hosta (Gold Standard probably) in my garden showed symptoms of HVX and tested positive this year. It was at this spot in my garden probably for 4 years. So I wonder how it got HVX. I had 3 hostas which did not have HVX but some virus, also placed those in the garbage. That seems to be a way of gardening life nowadays. It is difficult to trace where things came from. In my case, I probably was not careful with cleaning tools after use on an infected hosta which showed no symptoms.....
Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:40PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

I am wondering what actually happens when one notifies the Dept. of Agriculture and what procedure they follow with this kind of complaint. That's what I am wondering. I would try to find this out before I went ahead to make the complaint.

Other than that, I don't know what I would do in your position. It's a tough call. Hopefully others will chime in and give you more ideas and thoughts.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 7:23PM
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bragu_DSM 5

contact the dept of ag

notify your master gardeners hosta expert and let them help you fight the fight. it may get turned over to extension, but they should follow up.

ignorance of hvx is no excuse.

you could also call dept of ag and ask them what to do. don't let it drop, unless you don't have the time to fight the good fight.

you could also 'mention' the BBB

keep fighting the good fight.

bully for you!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 7:43PM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

I've contacted our local DOA on several occasions regarding HVX. I contacted them via email with pictures of the suspected infected hostas attached. Two calls were on small farm stands. Neither of those stands have sold hostas for the past two years.

I also contacted the DOA regarding HVX on Sum & Substance at one of the largest nurseries in the county. I haven't been back to that nursery to see if they still have infected hostas.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 7:45PM
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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

I buy hosta only from Hallsons for exactly this reason. If Chris doesn't have it, I don't either. And I stay worry free.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 8:02AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Lucky, I'm in Texas. I have a small window to acquire plants in the spring. Minnesota/Michigan thaws out about May 1, by June 1, it's too hot to get a shipment here. They burn up in the mail truck. The inside of a mail van (They use Dodge vans here.) can get up to 130 or 140 degrees. If it's still alive, it's severely stunted for a year or so (no nemtodes, though). I have tried the fall route, but they don't stay dormant when they get here. They re-sprout.

How MoccasinLanding does it, I don't know. She seems to get them all year and they must survive for her to have 500. She's as hot as we are.

It's also nice to see what you are getting. However, I agree with you, Hallson's sells quality plants.

Besides, it's hard to keep a hosta addiction fed when you can only purchase plants in May.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 9:51AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Bkay- Don't despair... I have received plants from Naylor creek as early as the first week in March.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 2:39PM
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BKay, I really feel for you. I know you do not go off "half cocked", and you consider long before taking action. I have NO local nurseries selling hosta, except for sometimes Lowes. The ones I got from there I immediately tested for HVX. Perhaps they feel if they give a year warranty to return plants dead or alive is good enough. However, I've never had to report to the AL DOA about anything. I had a virus on some hosta in 2013 mail order, but dates escape me now. It was not HVX. I think you and I and other container hosta fans are better off than most "grounders", because our plants have a built in isolation from the roots of other hosta which limits spread of the disease, when/if we find it present.

As for ordering, I have a bit of Irish luck with delivery. Most arrive nicely when shipped via USPS because I have a great postman--he is due to retire in December though. He brings my plants early because he recognizes plant containers. His relief has no such consideration. I have on occasion asked for overnight air delivery when it is an option, which is extra but when I make an EMERGENCY ORDER after it gets hot, that is what it requires. My last such order was on June 20, shipped on June 23d, delivered June 24th. I have a few nurseries that I always call in the order, especially to talk to the folks. Whether it be hosta or other plants, they generally are great people who will accommodate my requests. When I ordered the columbines and clematis from the nursery in Zeeland MI delivered last week, I got the best packaged most lively plants in all the years I've mail ordered stuff. They were in pots too. No damage, neither broken nor heat exhaustion. Those folks were PROFESSIONAL NURSERY people! Not a huge nursery I don't think, but definitely well run for the benefit of the customers. Nice mail order operation through the Internet.

Getting Master Gardeners involved sounds like a good option. However, are the ones in your area like the ones in Mobile, who say "You cannot grow hosta here?"

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 6:08PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Actually, no the aren't. They volunteer for the extension service and answer phones. Any time I call them, they look it up on the internet (which I've already done before I call them). I've not found them very useful. They (the extension service) were the ones that told me the ag dept. had no jurisdiction over diseased nursery plants. I later found that was not true (getting something actually done is another issue).

It's an election year, and commissioner of Agriculture is a real stepping here stone to higher office. (Rick Perry was previously an Ag commissioner) The persons running for office will get an email from me on this issue. It's called "protecting the public" from diseased plants stuffs.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 7:07PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I got a response from TDA:

"You can file the complaint at TDAâÂÂs North Texas Regional Office in Dallas by calling 214-631-0265. One of our inspectors will be assigned to inspect the facility for infested plants and their origin to take a necessary action. Texas has a zero tolerance for plants on sale infested with pests."


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:58AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

At first I thought, Hooray! Then I got to thinking, and unless an obviously diseased hosta is sitting right there on the day the inspector is poking around, nothing will happen. I doubt the inspector is going to test a bunch of normal looking ones before leaving. The frustration level gets high...

You are going above and beyond to help protect hostas in your area, and I commend you for all your efforts, Bkay. I hope something will come from your persistance.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 6:06PM
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bragu_DSM 5

remember, MGs are trained to point you where you can get information to address your issue. If you find a MG with experience with your issue, that is a plus. MGs are not supposed to nec. offer advice, but they may share their experiences. Or some such speech I was given at graduation but probably fell asleep during, and hallucinated the rest â¦


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:39PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Well, I understand that, Dave. It's just disappointing that you can't actually get information from the county agent. He's really good (Years ago, he had a radio show. I have one of his books.) However, he's mostly an administrator now. You don't actually get an Extension service employee when you call the office. You get a MG.

One of the things I'd like to know is if there is a relationship between Pecan anthracnose and the anthracnose I have on a couple of hosta. I'd like to know whether the pecan aphids are the reason I'm eaten up with ants. I'd like to know if there is anything I can do about it. I've asked, but they always are going to call me back, but they don't.

I understand they are volunteers. They just aren't much help to me. They could be a lot of help to others, I suppose.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:51PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

You pose an interesting question, Bk. I hope you garner some good answers.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 3:01PM
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