Different virus

Discuss Hosta Virus X and share pictures and information on this ever increasing threat to hosta growing.

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Different virus

Postby Guest » May 31, 2005 5:59 pm

Two years ago, I had planted a new hosta bed for my mother. One plant, Halcyon, had a few spots with brown centers on some of it's leaves, but it didn't look like Hosta Virus X. In fact, it looked like damage from fertilizer. I let it go, unfortunately. My mom would hoe out weeds, always starting from one end of the bed to the other. Well, this year, every single hosta from the Halcyon to the far end of the bed had those same spots except for Potomac Pride. I dug out 14 hostas to keep the other 10 hostas from becoming infected. By this time, Halcyon and the two hostas right next to it were just loaded with these ugly spots.

Now, I don't think it is Hosta Virus X because the spots looked the same on each hosta, whether they were blue, yellow, or variegated. The spots themselves didn't resemble classic HVX, anyway. Considering that the spots spread so rapidly to all hostas on one side of the Halcyon tells me that there's got to be a pathogen involved. I know there are other viruses that affect hostas, but I don't know which one this could be. I wish I had pictures, but I didn't have my camera with me.

I know that some tomato viruses can survive in garden soil for up to three years. So what scares me is that I don't know when I can replant. The hoe my mother uses didn't infect the remaining healthy plants when she used it 3 weeks later, so I wonder if 3 weeks is a safe span of time. Any thoughts on what I'm dealing with and how long I should wait before planting more hostas?

A conservative plan would be to wait a month or so, then plant a test hosta right where Halcyon used to be. In the mean time, I'll plant some annuals so that mom doesn't have a big patch of bare dirt in front of her house. By next spring, if the virus is still there, I should see the same spots on the test hosta. I'm really bummed about this and my mom was totally devastated. I would rather replace all of her hostas this year.
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Postby Blackkat » May 31, 2005 6:02 pm

Oops, I forgot to log in. I'm Blackkat, not Guest! :lol:
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Postby Chris_W » May 31, 2005 6:35 pm

Hi Shelly,

Actually, what you have (had) there is fungal leaf spot. It tends to only occur during a cool, moist spring or in cool, damp, crowded locations. Treatment with a fungicide will help, and it is not really necessary to remove the plants.

So I wouldn't worry too much about replanting but if the drainage is poor or if the soil is too compact you could add some fresh compost to the area.

Good luck!

Chris

P.S. - I've set the permissions to this new forum so that only registered users can post (no more guests :blush: )
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