I'm Upset!

sandysoil_2008(6 MA)August 8, 2014

Yesterday, my garden was hammered by a severe hail storm. All of my hostas are damaged with holes and sliced leaves. The ones at the back of the border under the trees aren't too bad. The ones in the front of the border are trashed. My beautiful Dancing Queen is in tatters. Even Rhino Hide has holes through the leaves. The On Stage which I was finally able to get this year is hurting! The only good news is that the Halcyons came through with not too much damage. Question - should I just keep the leaves as they are? And hope for a better year next year.


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irawon(5a Ottawa)

Sandysoil,I'm so sorry for you. I would be upset too.

I think you should keep as much of the leaves attached as you can. At least that's what I've read from the hosta experts here on GW.

I'm sure Coll and Hostafreak/Phil will be along shortly to sympathize with you. I'll let them explain why.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 6:54PM
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bchosta 8b west coast canada

Sorry to hear your news Sandysoil. We've all been there!

Although they may appear ugly right now, if it was me, I'd leave them as they are, in the hope that they will bounce back next year. Cutting the leaves off will most likely stunt root development, and therefore result in setting them back next spring.


P.S. The usual remedy for such loss... to lift your spirits, treat yourself to some new hostas!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 7:00PM
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Keep the leaves, Sheila. They will still provide photosynthesis and grow the root system for next year and produce some new leaves this year.

I had several hosta that the deer completely ate every leaf off of. The stems stayed green and the hosta survived with just the stems functioning and they bounced back in the Spring.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 7:41PM
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Yep, been there. We had a hail storm and microburst in late June a few years back that trashed everything and I was devastated. Leave everything....even leaves hanging on by a thread are good for the plant as long as they are still green...you will be rewarded next year and the truth is that remove the tattered leaves isn't going to make you feel better now anyway. If you can't stand to look at things as they are, go out and buy some new, un damaged hostas to look at for the next two months, or some annuals which should be by cheap right now. I'm sorry it happened, but trust me, things will be fine next year.

We dodged hail yesterday too....my husband works about ten miles away and he got it at work. He ran out and tried to cover his new truck with moving blankets! I saw on the Boston news it was widespread in our area.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 7:55PM
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sherrygirl zone5

Yep, i agree with leave them as is. I have had severely hail damaged hostas and left them be. My experience is they will be beautiful next season.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:46PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Sorry to hear about the hail damage Sheila. I can truly sympathize as I too suffered hail damage to many of my hosta last week. It kind of knocked the wind out of me and I haven't enjoyed the garden as much since. I experienced hail once before and remembered the damage it could do. I was able to rescue a few small pots to shelter and ran out to move my largest potted hosta that I so love, my Great Expectations. It does have several markings now, but I can still see the beauty. Some of my smaller hostas were undamaged, but I miss the near perfection of my larger ones. I am thankful for the pictures that I did take prior to the hail.

So Sheila, I hope you find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. We can be thankful that we did actually get to enjoy our garden for half the season. Things could always be worse.

This post was edited by newhostalady on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 8:36

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:29AM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Here is Minuteman now.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:30AM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

A leaf from a very sad looking elephant ears plant.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:33AM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

So we'll find a way to come to terms with this. Hope you're feeling better soon.

This post was edited by newhostalady on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 8:44

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:42AM
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Sorry to hear that, Sheila. And yes, I'd also keep the leaves on. At least they're still making food for the plant/roots, so obviously I'm thinking about next season. The hail hit my garden pretty hard this season, too, and unless the leaves were absolutely demolished, I left 'em on mine.

I and others know how ya feel, although I'm sure that doesn't make YOU feel any better. I had a sick feeling in my stomach as I helplessly watched the hail beat on my plants. Not a nice thing.

Don B.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 1:50AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what johnny said.. even a damaged leaf does its job ... and they are supposed to be storing energy for next year... not totally reflushing


    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 7:18AM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

Although we don't get severe hail storms here,I have had hail damage in the past. The only good thing for me is,my garden is in the woods,and most hostas are not hit. And yes keep the leaves,even though they look really bad,they are still providing food to make roots for next years hostas. Phil

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 7:43AM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Thanks for the good advice and sympathy, everyone. I'll leave them as they are.

Newhostalady, you're right - it did take the wind out of my sails. Sorry that you and Don_in_Colorado got hit this year also.

I don't visit my hostas as much as I did before the hail. Just don't want to see the damage. I do have some new hostas that were on the deck and protected so I will enjoy them.

Thanks again - it's great to know folks that can feel your pain.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:50AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b


I think you should make a trip over to Cochato to see what strikes your fancy. That'll lift your spirits.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:12AM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Steve, since they're very close to me I was thinking about going by to see if they had any damage. Their hostas are under shade cloth so they should be OK. Of course, if I hear a hosta calling my name then it probably should come home with me.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:04PM
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Sheila, ...ahh, I know this is a bit sad!
As some of you remember, early in the season I also had hail damage. Before removing the damaged leaves I waited the second flush.
I have not touched the plants that have not made new leaves.
So follow the advice to those more experienced than I am, and you can't go wrong :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Tabula rasa

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 1:43PM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

In one of the Hosta Journals a test was run after such a hail storm with taking all leaves off, taking off only the worst leaves, or do nothing. The plants which had all leaves removed came back smaller the next year. There was not much difference with none taken off or only the very worst.
I once cut a hosta all back in July, it did not even bother coming back the following year.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 1:55PM
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Yikes. Hail is a fickle thing, you never know where it will strike. The tears in the leaves pictured in this thread remind me of the damage done by the falling spikes on sweet gum tree balls, or perhaps pecans. If you live with pecan trees, they rip leaves too. I haven't been cursed with hail so far, but I live with both those tree species shading my hosta garden.

I leave the torn leaves. Only when there is an unhealthy or dying leaf do I remove anything. I follow this advice same as for hail damage.

Here is Avocado which was a double victim of cold damage on its early emerging eyes, then the falling sweet gum balls, but it is a strong plant. It put out I think 7 stout scapes and bloomed for a long time this year.

with a stick hanging out of a torn leaf, taken same day, 4/30/14

and in bloom July 29 2014

This post was edited by moccasinlanding on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 0:02

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:35PM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Luuk, so sorry for your damaged hostas. They looked terrible but you and I can look forward to a better year next year.

I just got back from Cochato's. They had quite a bit of damage from hail especially in the display gardens. The ones that weren't under trees fared the worst. Goodness Gracious was calling my name so she went home with me.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:27PM
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old_dirt zone 5b

I can sure sympathize with you Sheila. I just got home from vacation and got hit with the hail too. Every plant I have is severely damaged. I can hardly bring myself to go out there, it is very depressing.
My main concern with being gone was the watering but my DW took care of all the potted ones so at least all should come back next year.
I guess I'll do some dividing and relocating as the entire garden looks like heck anyway.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:28PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i got a bit more zen about it all.. after one year... i think it was a year or two before the national in my agrden ...

they sprouted.. got frosted to the ground... resprouted ....

got frosted again ... resprouted ...

then got hailed to the ground.. resprouted..

and then ... wait for it ... got hailed on again ...

i was sure they would not recover for the national ... they did.. life goes on ...

folks.. its august.. hosta season is nearly over .. they are only going to get uglier.. and uglier.. and uglier.. until they die to the ground ...

be POd at ma nature... but dont worry about them ...


    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:33PM
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