HOSTA HOSTA SOCIETY MEMEBRSHIP IS AVAILABLE THROUGH: NEW ENGLAND HOSTA SOCIETY http://www.nehosta.org/ AMERICAN HOSTA SOCIETY http://www.americanhostasociety.org/ Nematodes Foliar nematodes are microscopic-sized worms that can infest hosta leaves. Nematodes overwinter in the ground and move to the leaf where they feed between the veins. The symptom is a brown streak that appears between the veins in late July or August. Foliar nematodes are a new problem, and to date, current research has not found a way to eradicate them. Deer, Rabbits, Voles,and SquirrelsDeer can eat all your hosta plants in one evening, leaving just the stalks standing. Ten-foot tall fencing and trained guard dogs are the only reliable method to keep them out of the garden. Gardeners also use deer repellent, a bitter-tasting chemical that is sprayed on the leaves. These products need to be re-applied after several rainfalls. Motion detector garden sprinklers have also been used with some success. Rabbits occasionally eat young shoots in the spring, and sometimes bite off flower scapes. Squirrels will eat hosta leaves during a drought, and sometimes dig up plants. Voles chew on the roots of hostas, and a heavy infestation of voles may kill plants. Wire cages made of hardware cloth encircling the hosta roots may deter them. DiseasesVirus’ are of concern and are an emerging and important issue in growing hostas. Symptoms include an irregular mottling of the foliage, yellow ring spots, or small yellow dots or flecks on the leaves. If a virus is present, the plant(s) should be discarded and tools used in the hosta planting should be disinfected. If there is a specific need for diagnosing viruses in a hosta plant or planting, contact your state university’s plant and/or pest diagnostic lab to discuss the testing procedures and fees that are involved. Other problems may show up as chemical damage, cold or frost damage, sunburn, and “melting out” of the leaf. These problems are not infectious. “HostaVirusX”Disease http://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/2007/feb/071502.htmBy Zhihan XuPlant PathologistIowa State UniversityHosta breeders and hobbyists are always looking for unique leaf colors and patterns, in hopes of discovering new, attractive and profitable varieties. In a cruel twist of fate, you may discover a new look on your hostas that is caused by a virus disease rather than a natural variation. The culprit is a fairly new but fast-spreading disease called hosta virus X (HVX). Since the symptoms of the virus sometimes look so similar to the normal variegation in leaf color of certain healthy hostas, the diseased hostas can be inadvertently sold and spread through the marketplace. For example, before much was known about viruses in hostas, some infected plants were named as new varieties. It turned out that the varieties ‘Breakdance,’ ‘Eternal Father’ and ‘Leopard Frog’ looked different from their parents only because they were sick with a permanent virus infection. Once these disease carriers were introduced, the virus was transmitted to healthy hostas. Needless to say, these varieties were withdrawn from the market. The most common symptoms of hosta virus X are mottling and irregular green or blue color on leaves. The mottling appears to “bleed out” from the main leaf veins into surrounding tissue. After long-term infection, leaves can be stunted, twisted or puckered. It is true that some hosta varieties have mottling patterns similar to those created by hosta virus X. However, healthy plants usually don’t have mottling patterns that follow the leaf veins – the telltale signs of the virus. Instead, the mottling patterns of healthy plants are spread out evenly over the leaf surface. Healthy plants also lack sunken and wrinkled leaves. Hosta virus X has infected thousands of plants and has been spread around the world. In 1996, it was the most common virus in a survey of Midwestern states. The Iowa State University Plant Disease Clinic started receiving more and more hostas infected with hosta virus X in the last few years. Although most of the virus-positive hosta samples were from commercial nurseries, hosta virus X may become more common in home gardens.The original source of host virus X is unknown, but large numbers of infected plants were apparently shipped inadvertently by wholesale growers in The Netherlands. Infected plants soon began to appear in several nurseries and big-box stores in the United States. Hosta virus X can be spread by transferring sap from the infected plants to healthy plants. Disease can be easily spread when dividing crowns or trimming old leaves and flowers. If any hosta plants in a shipment show HVX symptoms, the whole batch should be considered infected and then discarded, because the disease is so easily transmitted.The best way to avoid HVX is to keep infected plants out of your garden. Carefully inspect hostas for any evidence of virus symptoms before you buy them. Of course, it helps to buy plants from reputable sources. Virus infected plants cannot be cured, so they should be dug up and destroyed. Merely cutting off the sick-looking leaves won’t save the rest of the plant, since the virus invades all plant parts. Several hosta varieties have been reported to be resistant or immune to HVX. These include ‘Blue Angel,’ ‘Color Glory,’ ‘Frances Williams,’ ‘Bressingham Blue,’ ‘Frosted Jade’ and ‘Love Pat.’ Susceptible varieties include ‘El Capitan,’ ‘Francee,’ ‘Halcyon’ and ‘Cherry berry.’ Hosta is the only known host plant for HVX, so other types of plants in your home garden are free of the disease. On the other hand, several other viruses with wider host ranges can infect hosta. More info also available at: http://www.americanhostasociety.org/HostaVirusX.html
Good Garden Design is derived from many areas.It should be a combination of color, texture and forms.When looking at a garden, sometimes the colors are too numerous and too strong to see the real bones of the garden.Too get beyond this problem…take a digital picture of the garden view you would like to consider.Convert the color pic into a black and white picture (easily done on your computer) and carefully observe the structure of your garden.
(1) Check to see if your garden is busy with or just looks cluttered… (2) Is your eye drawn to one particular item…does this item overwhelm all others? (3) Does your eye flow from item to item creating movement between areas? (4) Is there a combination of tall and spiky plants to short and clumped plants? (5) Is there interesting plant foliage? (6) Are there contrasting light and dark colors? (7) Do you have feathery foliage contrasting with bold and striking leaves?