erm, what are these?

dgregory_so.cntrl.IL_zone6aSeptember 20, 2012

Hitch hikers came with my Prairie Sky hosta. I'm curious as to what they are/were.

They were little, round balls, black in color, hard and stuck to are some photos.

I picked them off, removed the dirt from the roots, then carefully washed the leaves and roots before planting.

Prairie Sky (on right) looks nice, had great roots. Guess we'll see how it looks in the spring.

Thanks in advance for any info on these critters.


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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Artillery fungus. Ask Gesilla.


Here is a link that might be useful: Artillery Fungus FAQ

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 6:11PM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

Agree with Steve, I was scrubbing some off of a pot yesterday. Keep these away from your house or next year they'll be putting black spots on your siding.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 6:28PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I would isolate that hosta until I could find out more about the fungus. It sounds like something I would not like to get started at my house. I would consider sending the hosta back. (Actually, I would send the whole shipment back.) The grower needs to know about it, at the very least. I think it was an irresponsible grower who sent you an infected plant. The infection is obvious, and should especially be so to a professional.

(Just my opinion)


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 7:32PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

How did you dispose of the soil you removed from the hosta?


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 7:44PM
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The good news is that I put the soil in the trash and the garbage truck ran this morning. The bad news is that after rinsing the roots I poured off the water into the yard. I didn't want to send the dirt into the septic system. Guess now I'm screwed, crap...the DH will be pleased...

Will the fungus reoccur on the plant if I got it washed off well?


    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:23AM
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Wanted to get the shipment planted before leaving for a family "thing" today. I just had a few minutes to read your posts this morning, was pressed for time with a million things to do before heading out. Dang it, I was so excited about these hosta to my collection.

I will be away from the computer until Sunday afternoon and unable to respond to any follow-up posts. Upon returning, hopefully there will be some good news about my predicament.

Anyhoo, have a good weekend everyone.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Here is some info I found from the Clemson Cooperative Extension:

"There are no fungicides labeled for control of the artillery fungus in mulch, but there are cultural things that may reduce the incidence of this problem. If bark mulch will continue to be used, select mulch that contains at least 85% bark. The wood component of mulch contains cellulose that is the primary food source for these wood-rotting fungi. Bark contains lignin which is more slowly degraded by this or other wood-rotting fungi. Research indicates that the use of large nugget pine bark mulch may reduce the incidence of artillery fungus development. Additionally, adding a fresh layer of mulch on top of the existing mulch each year may reduce the sporulation of the artillery fungus. One must not apply so much mulch that the total layer exceeds 3 to 5 inches depth, as air movement into the soil is reduced. Covering existing mulch with a layer of pine needles may prevent sporulation of the artillery fungus. The addition of mushroom compost at 40% by volume with bark mulch will also suppress development of the artillery fungus.

Alternatively, one may remove the wood and bark mulch and replace it with synthetic mulch, such as shredded rubber mulch and artificial pine needles. These should last much longer and not provide a medium for growth of fungi. Groundcovers may be used in lieu of thick mulch in beds, and dense groundcover growth will help prevent the sporulation by the artillery fungus."

Maybe there is some hope of lowering the probability of re-occurance...stupid fungus...

Now I'm late, so I gotta go,

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:59AM
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