Noid with virus

Jon 6a SE MAOctober 3, 2012

I have had this plant for about 20 years and don't prune it and basically it is just there.

I would say this looks like a virus to me. I don't suspect HVX because of the plant's history and because HVX has a history dating back only to 1995. It is in a location isolated from any other hostas. I think I will now see how difficult it will be to kill with glyphosate. ???


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bernd ny zone5

It looks to me that some upper leaves have tips and outer ranges bleached by sun and/or cold night temperatures. Bernd

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:48PM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

Jon, when I first saw this shot my initial reaction was one of early stage of necrosis, possibly because of an underlying crown/root issue or the onset of senescence. I wouldn't be so quick to bring out the Roundup, not this late in the season. I'd wait until next summer before making any further judgements.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Jon 6a SE MA


The plant is on the North side against the house and many hostas are getting brown edges from cooler temps. The hosta gets watering from the drainage of a window air conditioner on it in hot weather. I would rule out sun bleaching based on this.


Thank you. That is probably good advice. I think I will try and take a leaf sample and look for nematodes, in case it is a transmittable virus. It doesn't really match up with pictures of the Tomato or Tabacco viruses so you could very well be correct. There is no chance of it spreading if nematodes aren't involved and there is no evidence of typical nematode damage either.

It has been wet here and coupled with the constant drip, drip it gets when the air conditioner is running could make crown rot a possibilty. I would not be devestated if I lost it as I have several identical hostas and while decent enough, it is just a big shiny green hosta.

Thanks for the input Bernd and Peiter, Jon

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Jon 6a SE MA

I thought I would poke around and try to see if Pieter's suggestion of possible crown rot might be correct. I tried to move some of the mulch away to see if I could determine if the crown where soft to the touch.

I tried to gently poke my little finger in a little and hit something hard. OK, maybe a rock. As I poked around the entire stem of the big plant (measures 4 1/2 feet across) I could not poke my finger through anywhere. Rock solid all around.

It was very puzzling, but I finally realized what this was. The hosta had grown through the landscape fabric that was there for many, many years that was cut out only to pant the hosta. It had evidently grown right through the fabric over the years and was now encased in it.

When it goes dormant I will take a knife and see if I can perform some surgery to free the crown from the fabric which is evidently strangulating the plant and causing the above problem.

Maybe Ken is right and hostas can grow in driveways.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:25AM
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bernd ny zone5

With a growing plant in summer or early fall, when you have crown rot, you can pull leaves off easily. Leaves will simply lie flat on the ground and are easily to pull off mushy spots of the crown. Bernd

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 7:37AM
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Jon 6a SE MA

Good advice Bernd. I wouldn't have gone poking around if I knew that...but then I would not have found what I am certain is the problem. The force of plants generated by the constant pressure of growth over years is amazing. Of course this is most noticeable with trees cracking boulders.

I imagine that the small but constant pressure of the hosta petioles over many years forced the plastic mesh of the landscape fabric into a solid mass. It is like a chunk of solid plastic around the stems.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:17PM
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bernd ny zone5

You will have a task to separate your hosta from the plastic, probably can start when leaves have dried up and you can pull the leaves off then easily. Good luck! Bernd

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Jon 6a SE MA

If the plastic does not pull away readily from the crown once the petioles have shriveled up then I will dig around the edge and try seperating the plastic. Failing this I will take a razor blade, don my surgical mask, scrub up and operate to remove the foreign matter.

You can count on pictures and a graphic description.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:07PM
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