Information Overload!!

SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)August 21, 2014

I have to admit I am a Hosta newbie and one that needed to rip out all my hosta's due to HVX.

My problem is that I am finding conflicting information on how long to wait to plant in "that spot".

I dug out all my hosta's 6" wider than the drip line and 8" deeper than I found roots and discarded everything. For 25 hosta's (most very, very small planted this year) I needed 3 yards of topsoil. My eyes are bleeding from 3 days of research.

While I will not plant on top of the old spot how much am I at risk at planting close? I don't want to plant something like Empress Wu or Sum and Substance and have it infected in a year by the roots...

I can't find any information that is somewhat conclusive on how root transmission works...Links or experience would help me considerably.

Thanks again.


and for ken....

I love... your experience......

On this..... you are the best.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

While I'm a hosta devotee, I'm not obsessed with them. However I love & value those I selected to grace my various garden beds. I'm fortunate to have purchased my plants from a reputable local hosta seller and (so far, fingers crossed) haven't been plagued as you have.

The link below will bring you to the Missouri Botanical Garden and their information about HVX. Hope this is helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hosta virus

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Absolutely gardenweed and I appreciate the link...I am having issues finding substantial information on how long the virus can stay in the soil. I removed most everything and put it in the dump but want to plant hosta's....if the risk is minimal....ohhhh hosta's!! FWIW I painted a circle around the drip line, removed the hosta then 8-10" beyond the drip line. Also went 16" deep..

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

The current AHS recommendation is to not plant a Hosta in the same hole that contained a plant with HVX. The last research was able to detect virus after 2 years. We don't yet know how long it will last in the soil beyond that, but we know it is still active after two years. The next level of research may give us a better idea of how long, but right now no one knows for sure. If they tell you they do, they are lying.

Are you sure that all your plants had virus? Did you test any of them before you dug them up?

One of the latest research findings is that plants with Sieboldiana genes (Frances Williams, Elegans) were not able to be deliberately infected by the research team. The thought was that the more Sieboldiana genes the better for planting in an area where virus once occured.

Get yourself some test strips from Agdia. That will allow you to plant and then test to see which plants remain virus free.


Here is a link that might be useful: HVX test strips

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the confusion lies in this- does the virus remain active in the soil or does it remain active in remnants of roots remaining in the soil? I dug up an infected halcyon, and a lot of soil. and left it in a garbage bag on the side of my house...a year later opened the bag and saw that those roots had not decomposed ...interesting.

As far as what's " known"... HVX is transmitted though direct to sap. Personally, I would feel fine with planting another hosta in the same spot - IF I removed as much soil/ root bits as possible, lined the hole with landscape fabric or agroliner fabric or even multiple layers of newspaper, and filled with fresh soil. . If you have lots of garden space, by all means, plant something other than a hosta there...but I've seen nothing to indicate the virus is spread through the air, or in rainwater, this seems a reasonable approach - to me.

Also, if I ever have another case of HVX...I've only had two in 8 years...I would probably first treat the infected plant with Round Up, before digging it up. Then remove soil and line hole as described above .

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hate to let you down ... but i dont know the soil answer ... it appears steve is current on the topic .... as well as others ...

you can always move non-hosta into those spots ... and plant hosta elsewhere ...

and.. you dont have to throw your shovel away every time... have 2 shovels... paint the handle of one orange or something ... and use that shovel in bad soil ... the other in good soil.. and never confuse them ... [if you were making chicken salad .. you would use two spoons.. one to keep the mayo clean.. and one to mix the salad ... same principal]


    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bernd ny zone5

Literature talks about soil remaining in the spot of the infected hosta and planting in that infected soil again. I remove soil and with that the infected soil is gone, then I place a liner in that hole and add fresh top soil. I have a Krossa Regal growing in such a spot now for 3 + years, no infection. Others here were doing it 5 years longer and plants stayed healthy. It seems to work for me. I treat hostas with other established viruses the same way.

I agree with Steve, test a plant first before you label it with HVX and go through that exercise and then have a bad back. Make sure it is a bad virus, some hostas look terrible after a bad winter, but might have no virus.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bernd ny zone5

Sorry, duplicate.

This post was edited by berndnyz5 on Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 16:31

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Thanks all.


I don't know all were infected but from experts on this site and another it was pretty much guaranteed one was from visual inspection. A couple others showed 'ink bleed'. Since I was unaware of this virus I know that I had pruned scapes, removed dead/slug damaged leaves etc without proper cleaning of my tools. So I decided to err on the side of caution. Especially since I wanted to purchase a good sized hosta order.

Thanks for the link and info on hosta genes. I will look at my current order and see if I can find appropriate ones to plant.


That root part not decomposing is interesting. I, too, wonder.

Ken I hated that shovel and was a good excuse to toss it :)

The confusion for me lies in the fact that it transfers sap to sap even if there were root remnants would the roots of the new plant not need to be damaged some how to allow transfer? As well I am asking because if you don't want to plant in the same hole for two years wouldn't that mean you also wouldn't want to plant another close enough that its roots could come in contact with that hole for two years. Depending on the cultivar and size that is planted could be a pretty big area.

FWIW, I spray painted a circle around the hosta at the drip line. Then ripped out the hosta and dug the hole a good 6" deeper than any root I could see (screened the dirt) and a good 6-8" wider than my painted circle. All this dirt went into garbage bags and to the dump. I only had a few hosta's that were somewhat established so It wasn't that big of a task.

ATM the holes remain open until I make an informed decision. My hosta order will not arrive for another week and I am considering potting them for the winter. Maybe even leaving them in the pots for a year in the ground where I am considering planting them.

Does anyone have a link to a site that keeps current on HVX? I noticed a lot of info I found was dated or undated.

Thanks for taking the time to respond as I know you have done so a lot. I did read hundreds of threads on it :-)


    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I was to suggest to pot them up, and sink pots into ground (just as you said in post above). That way you can also move them around in case you don't like the arrangements. I would think that well draining mix in pot would be a must in this case.

But that's just my opinion...I know very little about hostas & all plants I have now, are still in pots. Because I am still long way from creating any garden beds. And even if I have few, I really don't know enough to give advice...

This post was edited by rina_ on Sat, Aug 23, 14 at 10:38

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have many hostas that are potted and buried in the ground. I do this so that I can move them easily until I'm sure where I want to permanently plant them, and also for vole protection. Yes, you want to use well draining potting mix. All my sunken pots endure the winters well.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

I would heartily duplicate exactly what Colleen said in her first post, minus the last paragraph. I would also suggest to you to give Chris at Hallson Gardens a call/email about this. He is a great resource when it comes to HVX, extraordinarily knowledgeable and will be able to answer all questions that you may have. He was a great help to me on an HVX hosta that came from a totally different source, of course. Don't have to worry about that at Hallson. Couldn't have been happier that he volunteered his knowledge, though, with nothing in return for it, other than my heartfelt gratitude.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Well you all confirmed what I was thinking and pots it is. I do have lots of Promix BX so will use that.

Appreciate the contact at Hallson. Looks like another good hosta source!


    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:56PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Is this normal for Guacamole?
This is a closeup photo of my Guacamole last year....
newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
First Victim
Had put a few precautionary pellets about a while ago...
frugaljon z8 UK
Spring Pips Showing-time span from first plant to last?
Especially for those of you with a large amount of...
YEA PIPS!!!!!!
Oh, wait a minute, those are tulips. : {
Jon 6a SE MA
They are 'eyes' not pips
It is racist to use the word 'pips' I am told … dave...
bragu_DSM 5
Sponsored Products
Graffiti Glass Vessel Bathroom Sink | Luxury Vessel Sinks
Rivendell New Antique Silver Three-Light Crystal Swarovski Elements Pendant Ligh
BLux | Regina Table Lamp
$739.20 | YLighting
Gray Fitted Sheet
Grandin Road
Barska Laptop-size Keypad Safe
$199.00 | FRONTGATE
Micro Box 7/2 Wall Sconce by OTY Lighting
$184.82 | Lumens
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™