Possible Hosta X Virus

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

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Possible Hosta X Virus

Postby griswoldmi » Jun 16, 2014 11:48 pm

I was at a nursery the other day that had some of the more rare hostas. I wanted to know of one that was sold out for the year, strip tease, so I did some research. While doing this research, I came across information about the Hosta X Virus and some pictures. I immediately recognized some of he symptoms from one of the hostas in my yard. Ever since then, I have been going crazy with worry about how many of my other hostas this disease could have possibly infected. There are 2 that I'm pretty certain have it, and another 1 that I am very skeptical about, and another couple that I am very optimistic about.

My big issue is that I am not good with identifying the types of hostas. Many of them have come from my mom's garden, some from other relatives, about 15 from local growers, and about 5 from big box stores. I am really bad about making sure my ID markers stay in the ground because I live in the country and we get a lot of wind. A goal for the summer is to identify all of my plants and make a map of the yard. This is a big task with almost 80 hostas, 80 daylillies, 25 grasses (was more but I lost some this winter), and about 10 bushes. I really need help figuring out if I should test for the virus, or look for another problem? The lady at Earl May told me it was a slug problem and really didn't seem like she even knew about the virus. I thought that Earl May was the expert with lawn and garden issues? I've even checked with the ISU extension office and they didn't have much on their website, just that I can send a sample in to be tested. I really want something done sooner and if I test all my hostas at $10 each, it will cost about $800. What? I may as well dig them all up. Even the tests from Agdia are under $5 each.
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Possible Hosta X Virus

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Re: Possible Hosta X Virus

Postby Chris_W » Jun 20, 2014 11:31 pm

Hello and welcome to the forums.

If you can take pictures and post them here (use the "Upload to TinyPic" if you aren't able to resize the images first) and then we can usually diagnose problems from the pictures. That's your easiest "test" to start with. Usually it is pretty clear to me if you are dealing with a virus or something else. And yes, testing can get pretty expensive for the home gardener, so hopefully we can help.

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Re: Possible Hosta X Virus

Postby griswoldmi » Jun 23, 2014 9:56 pm

So, I tested the two plants I was most concerned about today. Both came up positive, so more testing tomorrow. I was a little concerned about one of the tests. The positive result is really light pink and took the whole 30 minutes to turn pink. However, Ad
Gdia's instructions mentioned that any color on the positive line is a positive result, so I guess it's positive. This test went with the plant that I initially suspected (bright green with dark green splotches), or the one I think looks the sickest. The other one came out positive within 10 minutes.

So, I don't want to put hostas back in those areas. What can I plant there? Can I plant coral bells?
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Re: Possible Hosta X Virus

Postby griswoldmi » Jun 23, 2014 10:03 pm

Image Image Image

Sorry, pics didn't upload on previous comment.
Last edited by griswoldmi on Jun 24, 2014 11:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Possible Hosta X Virus

Postby Tigger » Jun 23, 2014 10:45 pm

Sorry to hear about your infected plants. You could plant heuchera in the holes. Just be careful of any digging.

Note: if you're using the Tinyurl function to share pics, please select the "message board" size. I'm using a tablet to visit here, and can only see what I assume is a corner of your photos.

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Re: Possible Hosta X Virus

Postby Chris_W » Jun 24, 2014 8:44 am

Hi,

I would just get as much of the soil surrounding the plants thrown away as possible (try to get all the dirt as far out as the roots go) and then I think it is fairly safe to plant other things that aren't hostas.

From the pictures we could have diagnosed these as having really bad HVX infections and I would have said to save your test kits, because it is always the questionable ones that don't show clear symptoms which I think are better for testing.

One note about doing the test, you should put the leaves between the mesh inside the bag and then rub the leaves with the side of a marker or pen or some other blunt object so that the leaves are crushed up and the solution turns green. When you do that the test will be a lot clearer and the positive line would be darker, faster.

Sorry to see more HVX infected plants like this, but glad you are learning about it and taking care of it.

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Re: Possible Hosta X Virus

Postby griswoldmi » Jun 24, 2014 11:25 pm

Thanks for your help. I was going to post pictures last week, but didn't get to the computer to resize the pics. I've been really lazy with technology this summer. Sorry. But it would have saved me 2 tests. :???:
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Re: Possible Hosta X Virus

Postby griswoldmi » Jun 25, 2014 6:58 pm

Image Image Image


The last to test. I will post more pics later. I'm thinking all from that bed is infected. :(

I'm not sure about my other Hosta beds, hoping I don't have to take out all of them. Right now, it's only up to 3 for sure. I would say after looking at the upper bed it might be 9 more. The lower bed is at least 30. I think I'll order more tests so I don't take out more than I need.
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Re: Possible Hosta X Virus

Postby Chris_W » Jun 26, 2014 10:19 pm

Sorry to see so much of a problem :( Yes, that up close picture looks like HVX infection. From the larger clump picture I couldn't tell if it was HVX or maybe some winter frost/freeze issue, but the close up confirms it.

Hopefully it doesn't turn out to be as bad as you think, but in the end it will make you feel a lot better to get rid of them and start fresh.

Good luck,

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