Wednesday, May 25th, 2016...4:18 pm

Hosta Problems

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TheGardenLady received this question from Pete (You can see images of his hostas above):

I have many green hosta plants that for the last couple years have wilted leaves or are otherwise distorted.The plants are quite old but were always healthy till now. Any ideas?

Though hostas are known to have few pest and disease problems, sadly they do develop some diseases and do get some pests. Some of these
problems may not kill the plant but makes them look unattractive. I have a feeling that your problem is not a killer.

You do not say where you live, but in many areas of the US, this spring has had a lot of rain. Some diseases need the excess moisture
to cause problems. This excess moisture on the plants is either through excessive rain or excessive overhead watering.

Because your plants have always been healthy in the past, my suspicion is that your plants have developed a fungi. I believe it is a fungi because you say the problem is only on the leaves. I hope you have examined the roots of your hostas and found that they are not rotted. But without actually seeing the plant, I will not make a diagnosis. Here is an excellent website that shows photos of hosta diseases and gives descriptions of the problems.

But before you make the decision about what your hosta problem is, I suggest cutting off a big section of the diseased leaf (and root if that has a problem) and putting the diseased plant parts in a ziplock bag and taking it to your local agricultural extension office or Master Gardener Office. They will identify the problem accurately and tell you how to treat your problem- plus they will tell you if you should spray a fungicide and how to use any chemicals if they recommend them.

If you have a fungus you can cut away any damaged leaves. Put these cut leaves in your garbage- do NOT compost any leaves with a fungus.

And you will have to disinfect any gardening tools used in your hosta beds. You do not want to spread any diseases by using tools that touched your unhealthy plants. Those scissors you cut your leaves with should also be disinfected. Two of the common household products you can use to disinfect tools are bleach or Lysol. Here are instructions on how to disinfect your tools.

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