How to handle HVX

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

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How to handle HVX

Postby Kris » Jun 03, 2017 9:22 pm

I have a large Hosta bed and right in the middle is 2 different plants with HVX. Both are in extremely close proximity to other plants.
1. Do I try to dig out? There is no way to get them out without touching many other plantings.
2. Do I poison and leave for now and dig out after frost has hit all plants so I can avoid all other plants?

Looking for specifics on how to handle the best way. The bed has been established for many years. All plants are touching.
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How to handle HVX



Re: How to handle HVX

Postby Chris_W » Jun 03, 2017 11:56 pm

Best way for now is to just wait out the summer and dig in the fall since these are so well established. In testing it was found that it is difficult to spread HVX when the plants are dormant, so it is really only best to dig up the infected plants in the fall when they are close to other things. I would wait until a frost has knocked them back a bit, then try and dig up these crowns without disturbing other hostas too much.

Unfortunately since HVX has the chance of spreading to surrounding plants through the leftover root debris in the soil these may not be the only plants you end up having to remove. Time will tell in that regard.

If you really wanted to get a clean start you could remove the infected hostas along with any other hostas they are touching, simply as a precaution, but that would be up to you. Don't replant any other hostas into the same spot.

I wouldn't spray them down since they aren't easily killed with herbicides and there is no evidence that even if they were killed that HVX couldn't still move to other plants from the leftover root debris. You would still want to dig them up in the fall.

Make sure you start cleaning your tools after working around all of your hostas to prevent cross contamination. We use disinfecting wipes (like Clorox wipes) and foaming lysol cleanser with paper towels to clean all the time. Don't forget about washing your hands or gloves.

Good luck.

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