Hosta Plants at Canadian Walmart
Sadly, I now have my first virus infected hosta (Sum & Substance). It was purchased in 2011 at a local garden center that just opens for the spring season. It took two years for the virus to show. That year was the first year I fell "in love" with hostas and didn't know any better.
So now I am making better hosta choices, but I wanted to know your opinion on Walmart plants and the risk of virus. I know that the big box stores don't have a good reputation, but here is what the hosta label says: "Guaranteed. With basic care and maintenance . . . this Windmill garden product will produce a vigorous healthy plant. Product of Canada. Grown by Pan American Nursery Products, Surrey BC/Millgrove, Ont."
So I looked up Pan American Nursery, got their telephone number and called them. Here is their response to my concerns:
All of our plants are Clean Plants certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. They check all of our product that comes into the nursery, and everything that leaves as well. We are only one of two nurseries in Ontario that are in the Clean Plants program, which ensures that all plants are healthy and disease-free.
Our plants come from the U.S.A., Canada, and Holland. Due to company policy, we cannot give out the names of our suppliers. You can be assured that any product you buy from us is free of diseases, pests, etc. After all, our company motto is "Only the best"!
I wrote back and asked about the label. It reads "grown in Canada." Could a hosta come from Holland and then be grown in Canada. Could the hosta then qualify as being grown in Canada?
Answer: We are under CFIA regulations here at Pan-Am. Before anything comes into the nursery it is inspected by USDA and CFIA, as well as keeping track of all incoming and outgoing traffic here at the nursery. We make sure that we take all necessary precautions to prevent disease/ virus contamination. We have never had a contamination issue or outbreak here at the nursery.
With the hostas, if it says grown in Canada-- it's grown in Canada, not another country.
Our suppliers are just as careful as we are, they have the same regulations we do and take all precautions to avoid contamination as well. We would not use them if they were sending us infected product. It really comes down to CFIA, as they are our governing body, so to speak.
Once again, I'm not at liberty to say who our suppliers are but I know that the hostas are grown in Canada and are a product of Canada.
So my questions to the hosta forum members:
Do you think this supplier's hosta are safe from virus?
Is there a specific question I should ask them?