It's Always a concern for me. I go out and look at all my hostas daily to make sure I don't see any funny stuff coming. I had it last year on my Striptease which I promptly got rid of in the trash bag that goes to the dump.
I will be watching like a hawk again this year. There can be an incubation period of up to 6 years for Sum and Substance.
I was pleased to see the Home and Garden section of my paper did an article on it last weekend. I am concerned but since I just got started last year and had read about it prior to I hope I have taken as much precaution as possible to have not intriduced anything with it.
As Ann said, if you go back on the Hosta Forum to about August, HVX was a very hot topic (as of today, that is on page 11). I guess right now we are dreaming of fresh, healthy hostas breaking ground.
Did you have some problems with HVX last year? I have in the past with Krossa Regal and I just replaced the plants. If you are on a forum like this one, you would feel ashamed if you kept any suspect hosta! :-) Like GardenGeek Kelly says, it's all about being clean (not you, the hosta! lol). I found it a pain in the butt to sterilize my pruners between cutting down scapes this fall from one hosta to another, but a necessary thing.
Bottom line is, if us hosta fanatics are aware and know what to look for, I think we can beat this thing. I informed a couple of nurseries last year what was most definitely HVX on two Captain Kirks. One had never heard of it, so I gave them the hosta library link. To his credit, he was very grateful for the info. Hopefully the hostas were destroyed, but I guess I'll never know that. I identified HVX on a couple of friends' hostas too, (and said I'd be watchin'!) Knowledge is the key, don't you think? If enough of us look at the pictures all over the internet, it gets easier to identify. From what I've read, I believe the problem stemmed from Holland because of their gargantuan operations and mechanical harvesting, the virus spread like crazy. I'm sure they've felt a backlash by now and cleaned up their act, too.
I had three HVX plants last year. They were three Stiletto from the same mail order nursery. That nursery was great when I wrote them about it. I have photos of their little deceased plant carcasses on my website. :-( It was sad and a bit nervewracking but I learned I can check the "infected" lists on hostalibrary.org to see in advance what might be a problem.
Yes Kevin...I am aware, and only get hosta's from vendors that are aware also...Hallson's is. Yep, it's a big thing...Go to the hosta library and check out in red letters, Hosta Virus X...also Hallson's do have a forum for it, too...
Good Luck!! I so far have only had one hosta with it...My Striptease that has already been replace with a virus free one...:-)
Edited to say I forgot...My Spritzer was virused also!
I didn't realize it had been talked about so much. I just started posting recently. I work for a wholesale perennial grower and we produce a lot of Hostas. So this is a subject that is very much on my mind. We destroyed thousands of plants. Mostly our top sellers because of the virus. We now only purchase liners that are 100% clean of the virus. Also, there has been a lot of conversation about the virus' origin. Though Holland probably did have a lot to do with the spread of the virus. Mainly because of the mass production in their fields. They are not the originator. It has now been traced to the US. Some of the largest growers in Holland are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up their fields. So good things are happening to stop the virus. Thanks all. I appreciate the knowledge.
It's great that growers are taking this seriously. All of us have been into big box stores and local nurseries and seen pot after pot of infected plants. It's discouraging. I mentioned it to my local big blue home improvement box store and after a while, they removed the plants. But soon after a new shipment came in and it was yet another obviously infected batch.
I purchased my plants from a reputable supplier who discovered all of their Stillettos were infected, obviously before they arrived at the supplier's nursery. They offered to refund my money. Pictures of the infected plants are here: http://myhostagardens.com/S/Stilletto.html.
After seeing those infected plants in my garden I have stopped doing things like cutting scapes or damaged leaves. I don't use my tools much at all on my hosta to prevent any spread of disease. Some scapes are still up from last season's plants and they won't come down until spring clean-up.
It gets hard to remember that you can't pinch scapes off with your thumb nails anymore. I wasn't even thinking and di it to 2 hostas and realized what I did. That was the end of cutting of scapes for me.
I'm sure I've also seen it at my local reputable Hosta nursery. Remember the "Giant Hosta Land" thread? Well this was the back yard of the guy who owns it and he's a certified Hostaholic himself, but when I asked him directly about the virus last year, he mumbled something about not getting Dutch hostas. Sandy and Erynne will confirm that we saw plants that were suspect at best and I believe they were much worse than that. His attitude bothers me although he's handy and he DOES have many wonderful plants. You just have to be very careful. (And I'm mail ordering more of mine from other sources as well).
Kevan, the big 3; Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, have had the virus in some of their hostas,in the last 2 years. in my area. when I brought it to their attention, they didn't think it was a problem. be careful what you buy from them. and isolate them before you introduce them around your other hostas. if your doing any cross pruning dip your shears in alcohol between cuts. Jim
Although I always preach to buy from your local independent garden center, I understand why everyone goes to the box stores. Keep in mind though, that these box stores can't be held for blame by selling diseased Hostas. It's the company selling to them that should be stopping it way before it gets there. In my experience, there are few qualified plants people at most box stores. Most of which don't keep up with the incredibly fast horticulture industry. So the people there may have no idea. Also, we must acknowledge that in this day and age, you can get the virus from anyone, whether they be Dutch, Danish, American, etc. It's here. It's just time to clean it up and I think the big nurseries will keep this from becoming a major problem. We'll just have to keep on top of ourselves, and soon it won't be so prominent. Have a great weekend.
Kevin, when i was at Home Depot last year, I was telling the clerk about it and she pointed to someone that works for the wholesaler and she was writing an order. I talked to her and showed which ones were virused, she told me that they didn't come in that way and her company wasn't responseable. so who is responseable? she wouldn't give me the name of her co. so I could call them. I guess the consumer is the loser here. I don't buy any hosta from any of those box stores. I used to, but not anymore, Jim
I haven't ordered from BlueStone (that I can remember). If they look good in the Garden Watchdog hopefully you are OK. I have gotten much fussier about where I buy my hostas since I've been aware of HVX. Kelly and I talked to the people at Foxfire Gardens about it before we did the hosta co-op with them last Spring. They are very knowledgeable, and have been very vigilant. However, since it may take years for the virus to show itself on infected plants they say that no one can guarantee a plant is HVX free unless that specific plant has been tested. We all just need to practice safe gardening (something like safe sex) and destroy any infected plants no matter how much it breaks our heart.
Hostajim, She should have been responsible. A hosta didn't just catch a virus while sitting on a shelf at Home Depot. Unfortunately, not everyone is as responsible as they should be. For a plant geek like myself, it is very hard for me to get over the fact that some people dont care. It makes the horticulture industry look bad to the end consumer. It definately does not help with adding value to plants.
TCS, Bluestone is a very credible nursery. I would expect your hostas to be clean. But Hosta Patriot has become a tough buy for growers, as most liners are not clean anymore. It's sad. But the most produced hostas are going to be the most likely candidates to get the virus. When you have a field of hundreds of thousands of plants, it's hard to guarantee that every prune will be sterile.
Kevin, you are so right, every time I see one virused even though I'm not buying any, I still mention it to whoever is working there. but now I order from nurseries that have their TC stock tested. it's worth it in the end. when I think of how much money I have in these guys. I would hate to have to deal with something like a virus. scary!!!! but if the grower that grows 100s of 1000's of TC stock won't be reponsible, who is? it won't be long until you are talking to a friend and you suggest that they buy a Hosta and there reply will be. Oh! I heard about that virus that they get. I wouldn't want that. but then again Roses get disease all the time and people buy them. go figure. Jim
Hostajim---- I got the lowes in Osage Beach Mo to take action on a batch with Virus X. If you suspect do not buy them and tell everyone you know including your locale Newspaper. Just be careful since your treading on legal thin ice.
One of the things that bother me about this virus is that some hosta are like mules for it. All they do it carry it and it does not show up on them. Patriot is one of them. Another thing is it will lie dormant for years in some hosta before it shows up. If the growers do not test every batch they get they will be spreading it if they get a infected bunch. I cannot see them taking the time are expense to do it religiously.
tcs1366, it's short for Tissue Culture, also it's micropropagation. usually meristems are used for making lots of clones and then grown to the seedling stage. then sold to wholesalers. it's a huge industry now. that's why you can buy full grown Orchids at Costco for $20. it's big in the Hosta trade, because that's the only way to get lots of exact clones of a plant that doesn't come true from seed. also the strawberry industry uses TC plants. Jim
OK -- being a hosta newbie, i'm fairly upset that the 2 i am purchasing this year are HIGH on the virus list... like as in, "Don't even buy'em"
so - I've found lists of infected plants (Hallson's and Hosta Library) and combined the lists -- they were pretty similar. and this is what i came up with as to "what NOT to buy"
Birchwood Parky's Gold
Fortunei Aureomarginata (also sold incorrectly as Carnival)
Goldrush (no HVX free plants known in commerce)
Night Before Christmas (infected with an unknown virus)
Pacific Blue Edger
Stiletto (all imports from Holland appear to be highly infected)
Sum & Substance
Sugar & Cream
Yellow Splash Rim
now, there are quite a few on the list that I had/have on my mental "must have" list... guess i need to start over... and this took me weeks of looking at images of Hostas...
I did find 1 that I like that isn't on the list
I have to do some more searching to find at least one more... and i think i'm going to call BlueStone to see if I can't change my order... it's not due to ship til the end of April.
back to the drawing board...
Any others I should be concerned about ??
** Edited to say --> Since I wrote this post, I've learned a bit more and i have to say initially i was a bit freaked to say the least...
as Tinker writes a few messages down... It's fine to order these from reputable nurseries -- just watch the "Big Box" stores
IE. Home Depot, WalMart, Menards, Sams... etc.
after reading a lot more, i would have no problem purchasing any of these plants from the highly rated on line hosta sellers (Hallson, FoxFire... and the other nurseries highly recommended by Hostaholics on this site.)
Terese, the list is pretty scary. I have a lot of the ones on the list. If I see any sign of it on the leaves I'll dig it up imediately with the soil around it. and dispose of it. so far I haven't had that happen. but the incubation can be a long way off. it's just something that you have to be looking for to keep your collection free of disease. Jim
jim -- yea - i know. the 2 i have ordered are Golden Tiara and Patriot - and they are in my eyes on the do not purchase list.
so sad because they are both gorgeous plants... unless i should just bite the bullet and hope for the best.
As Kevin said, Blue Stone is a reputable company... I dont know... but i will call them today to see what can be done.
The Tiara is HIGH on the infected list... maybe i'll find a comparable one and keep the Patriot (that was the first one that grabbed my eye as a must have.
as you can tell, I'm very torn about this right now.
Ok, just because all those hosta are on that list doesn't mean you can't find clean ones somewhere. Just buy from reputable hosta growers that know their plants and actually care about what they are selling. Hallson, Bridgewood, Naylors, Foxfire, and plenty others that have clean hosta. For the most part if you avoid the big box stores and any nursery that does not grow their own hosta you'll be fine. I would not avoid a whole list of hosta just because HVX has been found in some of them somewhere at sometime. Just be aware of what you are doing. :)
That list has gotten a lot longer since I last looked at it. Wow! But, as Diann said above, you CAN still find clean plants. Many of those varieties are older ones. You may be able to trade with someone who got theirs long before HVX was a problem. But it may also prove useful to me in paring down my list to manageable numbers. I guess if I concentrate on varieties which are less prone to HVX, my list will get shorter.
that is what i'm doing. I think once i get "better" at hostas i may expand my lists, and I have found 2 that i can replace the ones i have ordered. Ginko Craig and Pauls Glory. The color combo's are the same, and so is the cost -- but yes -- there are still A LOT out there.
Wish it were easy to ship plants over the border. I have gobs of Ginko Craig. Another of my early ones which divides easily and grows vigorously. But should it be detected at the border they would be confiscated.
I talked to the gal at Bluestone and she said it was no problem making the change... so i did.
she also said their hostas are virus free -- but then i was telling her things i've been reading, like the time frame that the virus actually shows it's self (Patriot taking years)... then she said all their plants are a year or less old ... though I was very reassured in our conversation - she said if i'd feel better getting different ones, she'd make the change for me.
Here's the thing, as far as I am concerned, ALL new hostas, AND the ones I already have, are potentially infected. So, the only things you can control is to purchase or trade with sources that decrease the likelihood of getting an infected one. This means to me, avoid the box stores, buy from garden centers who test and who you KNOW will contact you if an infected hosta turns up, isolate new purchases from old ones, and to do all the cleanliness things needed to prevent spread of the disease.
I definitely agree with Laura. Although understandable, it seems sad to discount all the lovely hostas on a list because a few hostas of a particular variety has at one time been found to be infected. To me, if we are on top of it as gardeners, and the reputable nursery owners are on top of it, HVX won't be around very long. More and more hostas are being tissue cultured so there are decent quantities to introduce, and although HVX can survive the tissue culture process, I understand that most of the labs will do HVX tests of the mama plant before it is put into tissue culture. That, as Martha says, is a very good thing. I, too will buy from a reputable source, (not being afraid of TC hostas), keep good records of where a hosta was purchased, keep a watchful eye always, and keep up the habit of sanitary practices when it comes to hosta gardening.
Sandy -- I'm not totally discounting them. just for my first purchase, i decide to change my order to get ones that were not so high on the "possible virus" list. I"d just be crushed if the very first 2 hostas i add to my garden turn out to be virused - even if the possibility is small -- i'd have to tear them out and basically start over.
I'm hoping down the road to get those other ones, especially Patriot -- but maybe in a swap, so the chance of virus is more minimal.
Or even find out where KevinMc sells to, and go there to pick some up.
Gosh, Terese, I hope you didn't feel singled out. I just wanted to make the comment to balance things out for others that might come along and read this thread in the future. I'm taking the virus seriously and I figure if I take all the precautions I won't have to run scared. I think you made a very informed decision and that's real smart if you ask me!
having that jar of alcohol ready to dip your pruners in when you are working on Hostas is by far the best defense, then if it shows up on any hosta you will know it's isolated and you can dispose of the plant. I even have a alcohol dip when I'm working on my hybrid seedlings in my basement just in case of any other disease that might be present. good plant hygene is important in keeping healthy plants. Jim
tcs1366, the thing about my not liking bleach is it breaks down once you mix it and if I want to reuse it I have to make up a new concentration whereas with alcohol i can dip in it and put the lid back on and use it again. I think clorine bleach is good for 15 to 20 min. Jim
There is always room for a new garden tool in my bag! Do take a chance on at least one hosta that you cannot live without. Sagae is a "must have" as far as I am concerned. If I only had one hosta, that would be the one.
I'm fairly new to this side of hostas. Like many people I've been a casual grower of hostas for many years but it's only this year that I've been expanding my collection.
I wasn't aware of the virus till recently reading a post elsewhere so I came to this forum looking for more information on the subject. My question is has anyone done any testing to see if this virus can spread to other garden plants besides hostas? Also if the parents are infected do they spread the virus to their seeds?
Don't recall what I've read about other plants. I seem to remember that not being the case. It does not go via the seeds, or via pollen, or insects. It is passed via sap on tools, so cut one, then cut another and you pass the virus. Cutting roots, leaves, or scapes are all potential means of passing it. This is why thoroughly cleaning the sap off tools between cuts is so important.
I'm a bit confused. If it passes on sap couldn't an insect land on that sap and transmit the virus?
I also need to see more virus pictures. Last year I bought two hostas from Walmart (Night Before Christmas and Sieboldiana). They looked healthy to my untrained eye but I wasn't looking for signs of the virus but rather for insect/fungal damage. I also bought a hosta from a small nursery labelled All Gold which I haven't been able to find any info on. I'm beginning to think it's not a registered name. Anyway the leaves are a pale yellow in full sun but a light green in the shade. I'll have to check that one out closely though in one year it went from a 3" pot to a big clump needing to be divided as it was crowding other plants. From what I've read the virus would decrease vigor??
Are there list of nurseries to avoid? I did see the list of varieties that had a history of the virus so I'll avoid those till further notice. I don't "think" I have any infected plants but I'll have to look my plants over when they emerge this spring. I'm in zone 4b so it will be a while yet.
Okay too funny for words. After I posted my message I saw the sticky at the top of this forum and followed a link to plants. There I found ALL GOLD listed! Once mine grows I'll submit all the data I can on it to DG.
There really is no list of nurseries to avoid except the big box stores. They get all their plants from growers who aren't necessarily concerned or maybe don't even know about the virus. Online places you can trust are http://www.naylorcreek.comhttp://www.foxfiregardens.com and Hallsons Perennials but I don't have their URL right off hand. If you do a search on Hallsons gardens they will come up. There are many more places and people can chime in with their favs.
It's been questioned about insects and bugs transferring HVX and no one seems to be able to come up with a concrete answer. I myself would think it possible and keep watching my hostas like a mother hen. I'm in 4a so there's time here yet too.
HVX isn't spread by insects, bugs, or slugs due to the type of virus that makes this one up. Some viruses can be spread by insects and even pollen, but not this one. HVX is pretty much just a human spread virus, although there is probably a slight chance of animals also spreading it.
HVX is unlikely to spread to any other garden plants, but it has been found to have infected one species of tobacco, so it may be possible for other plants to get it. However those plants may be unlikely to be in the garden or handled at the same time as hostas.
In these respects we have been lucky. There are other viruses out there, like Tobacco Rattle Virus, which can spread a lot easier than HVX. One main reason HVX was allowed to spread so easily was that people collected these diseased plants thinking they were sports and not realizing they were virused. Then once they made it to the field grown operations and a couple tissue culture operations it really took off.
Fortunately a lot of progress has been made so that most of the wholesale growers are aware of the virus and testing for it. Now that education needs to trickle down to the nursuries and hosta gardeners. In the meantime good sanitation practices when handling hostas (washing tools and hands every time you cut into a leaf, crown, scape, etc.) will go a long way to prevent spreading it.
terese, I'll have to ask Gary or Jack from Naylor Creek, because I know for sure they have their TC plants tested. they have thousands of TC's done every year, I didn't think to ask them how they are tested. luckily I haven't had a virused hosta yet, knock on wood. I have a friend that had a Hosta with it. she asked me to come over and see the hosta that had sported. I took one look at it and new it was virused. she didn't want to dipose of it, because it was her favorite hosta. I told her that I would replace it with one I had. and to put hers in the garbage can. and to not plant her new one in that area. Jim
You send it to a lab. Or, you can follow Chris' instructions on the Hallson Gardens website and send him some leaves and he'll give them a visual once-over and give you an idea if they are virused or not. He's pretty good at it, I think. Sometimes they are just deficient in a mineral.
I made up my mind last year that I was going to get one plant tested, but realized quickly that it was useless to spend the money on the types of hostas I had at the time. It is cheaper to toss and buy new if really suspicious about one. If you paid big money for it, then it might be worth it to test before tossing. The tests are done at a couple of places but I don't remember where--university labs. Before you test, though, you have to consider what your actions would be if it is positive, or if it is negative. If positive...you have to toss it. If negative, you have to take precautions anyway, so why test for a home grower? Makes sense for someone propogating large quantities as you want your stock to be free of it or to ensure that what you receive from someone else is free of the virus. I seem to recall from my reading that the virus can be in one leaf, but not yet in another, so even testing can be inaccurate and I'm not sure on the rates of false positives or false negatives on the test. Best thing to do is buy what you love from a reputable source that does test and takes precautions, then watch them like a hawk! Pretty much all plants can get some virus or another, so learning this has helped me to be a better gardener in general.
Here is an excerpt from the QC paper a couple weeks ago telling where to test in IL:
If you are wondering whether that funny-looking hosta in your garden is infected with a virus, the best way to be sure is to have it tested. Both Iowa State University, Ames, and the University of Illinois, Champaign, offer testing.
n In Iowa, samples may be sent to the ISU Plant Disease Clinic via area county extension offices or directly to 351 Bessey Hall, ISU, Ames, IA, 50011. The cost is $10 per sample. For more information, call the clinic at (515) 294-0580.
n In Illinois, samples may be sent to Plant Clinic, 1401 W. St. Mary’s Road, Urbana, IL, 61802. The cost ranges from $12.50 on up, depending on the sample. For information on how to collect and submit samples, visit the Web site http//plantclinic.cropsci.uiuc.edu. The clinic is open May 1-Sept. 15. For more information, call (217) 333-0519.
kevin, the American Hosta Society along with the Un of MN is participating in a Hosta virus X research project. It is not posted on AHS web site but should soon be. Many hosta lovers are very concerned about this disease and what will prevent the spread of the disease. this research project is designed to give the gardener some practical methods of protection.
Thank you very much for that information. It saves me a lot of needless worry.
As to babies once they're up and growing do they change color as they grow? I collected some seeds from a large unregistered blue and the babies are all green so far. I know the blue is unregistered because I bought it right from the hybridizer who does have some he has registered. The seeds were nature's work not mine.
Last night I did a "head" count and between hostas I own and ones on order I now have 15 named varieties. A huge number who's name I don't know too.
Laura, good luck on your hybridizing! this is my 3rd year. I have hundreds under lights right now and lots of ones that are showing a lot of good qualities. now I'm planning who I want to cross this year. it's as addicting as collecting. Jim
I am up to a whopping 8 seedlings, maybe one more trying to push up from those I planted in January. I did purchase some more seed through the Hallson Gardens website forum. There is a seed swap type forum there and it turned out Chris still had some seeds. If you make a donation to help with the forum upkeep, you get some seeds!
I have them all planted and under lights, but no germination yet, but it has only been about a week. Fingers crossed I'll get some green showing in the next day or two. A couple of the seed packets were labeled 'good luck', lol!
Actually, heat is not a bad idea as long as the tools don't have a flammable handle! You might be able to use a grill lighter, though the fuel would not last as long. I'm going to try a container of rubbing alcohol and maybe a bucket of hot soapy water for the larger tools with a spray bottle of alcohol or disinfectant wipes if I need something for a quick wipe.
I know they're cheaper at Menards because I've already looked at them. A torch makes it easier to hook and unhook the fittings for the pump on my underground watering system. I've been borrowing one for the past couple of years. It comes along with the guy who installed it. I took notes last Fall, and hopefully I can do it myself this Spring.
It is a bit of a pain to be hauling around a sloshing bucket in the garden. I'm a klutz. It has been tripped over and knocked over several times. I've been thinking about disinfecting wipes for this year (if I don't get the torch). I'm a real power tools kind of gal. Torch = Power! Arrgh!
marie, I've used those torches to fix irrigation lines too (Arrrghhh!) I bet the torch would do a bang up job of sterilizing tools, but there's a couple of things that come to mind, other than the price is half at the hardware store, but you already know that. Well, you know how hot those suckers are, you'd have to be really careful with them, making sure you weren't having a clutzy day 'cause the potential for really bad burns would be way up there! Or melting your tools as Laura points out! The other thing I found was that the automatic igniters don't last very long for some reason, then you have to have to light them with a cigarette lighter, and then you need 3 hands.
I used Lysol spray and paper towels last year. Needed 3 hands for that too, smelled nice though (green apple scent, harhar) I'd like to try something different this year, I like the idea of disinfectant wipes, as it seems like you'd only need 2 hands.
marie, you're just a little ole thing, how can you possibly carry more than a couple of tools on your tool belt without it knocking you off balance? Hey now... maybe we should all start carrying toolbelts. Think wild west: with one hand you whip out the pruners, extra high and catch them on the downfly, with the other you whip out the torch from your holster and "click, whoosh, furrrrrrrrrrrr" with the torch, a brief forceful puff to extinguish, then two fancy twirl, twirls before replacing in the toolbelt. I could dig it.
I actually wear men's Carhart painter-type pants for gardening. They got lots of pockets on the legs, etc. My pruners is always in one on my leg, and that leaves room for more stuff in the other pockets. The No Mercy weeder can hang in the hammer loop. I'm sure that I can find a belt holder attachment for a torch. Oh yeah!
A question on H.'August Moon' Before learning about HVX I had arranged a trade with a woman for some of her August Moon. Is it safe to get it, plant it far away from the others and avoid any contact between them till I can observe if it's infected or not? Or are all August Moon plants already infected??
Well now this calls for a comment by Mr Negative. I think the price is out of the solar system. If you hold it a little to long on your tool it can effect the temper. At 3500 degrees that is a very short time. I bet ten to one if it has a off on button it might not work so simple. Prophane torches are sometimes a pain to get to fire up. the flame is also a lot harder to see than is shown in the picture. and you can get burnt on the tip. I would go with the other ways myself.
If she has had the plant for over 4-5 years, it may be safer to get from her than from some nurseries as the virus was less commen then. As long as you isolate it and use precautions against transfer, I see no reason why you shouldn't get it. As the virus isn't passed through the air, as long as it is in a pot or not planted next to another hosta, there is no reason why you should not give it a try. HVX shows up easily in August Moon as bluish blotches, so you would probably know if it is sick.
Oz...you're spoiling all of my fun. I'll need to look into other kinds. I should find out more about the one that my dad's buddy has. He is a retired farmer...so you know that he's not throwing away money.
My disinfectant of choice will be 1:10 bleach solution. As a nurse that used to be in a dialysis unit, cleaning and disinfecting were a necessity. Bleach will kill HIV virus and Hepatitis. I think that that if it can kill these, it will kill Virus X. The downside is that it can be corrosive to metals. In this case, I will wash off my tools with soap and water afterwards. I will have to look into it further, but I have never seen that alchohol can kill a virus.
I may reserve one of my older nippers for this job.
Thanks to all that have made me aware of this virus.
The problem is I don't know anything about her or her garden. She said she'd had it a long time and had tons. Would send me a very large clump ( a promising sign) BUT I don't know what other hostas she may have (she did mention having some others) or if they may be sick, etc so I guess I'll let her send but treat it as I would a patient in quarantine. I quarantine new daylily arrivals for fear of spreading rust (and that is airborne) so I guess I can put this new arrival over by the quarantine bed till it's health is established.
Thanks all! Knowledge is a powerful tool but it also adds to the workload!
I say go for it and pot it up rather than putting it into the ground. That also gives you the flexibility to move it around a bit to see what lighting it likes. Use a nice BIG pot and enjoy it. If you look through the HVX thread, you'll see a photo of my August moon that was infected. It is really obvious when it is.
I just ordered a new one this year from a reputable source. I really like the color of this hosta and am looking forward to having it light up a darker spot in the garden.
I've had success overwintering hostas in pots if I bury the pot in the Fall and cover it with leaf mulch. Your soil level in the pot needs to be the same as in the ground. Clay pots are the best since they are porous. When I reuse nursery pots, I plant them in the shade, tilted and sometimes slash the side of the pot so they will drain. One problem I had in the past was that the top would start melting in the Spring, but the rest would still be frozen solid so that the top would be sitting in a pool of water. That is not a good thing.
I was just about to buy my first hosta at Bi-Mart (a big chain store in the northwest) when I saw this thread. The plants were bagged dormant roots...so are they safe? Can the virus be present in the roots?
I personally won't buy from box stores anymore, they don't have the ability to quality control like the smaller places do. Hopefully, the growers will get it under control in a year or two, but until that happens, I only buy my hostas from a reputable hosta grower who tests and if something should arrive virused, will do something about it.
I agree on not buying hosta from big box stores. I'm even starting to be suspicious of the nurseries that buy in bulk early in the season...fatten up the plants...and then sell them to the rest of us. I wish that there was some way of knowing if they were buying from a reputable source. I also wonder if they even know about HVX.
As for wild life...Kelly and I only seem to get wild when there are plants around. Oh wait...somehow that didn't sound quite right. We never do anything illegal.
But back to Winter Sowing. I've never had anything messing with my WS containers outside. (Inside...as I'm preparing my containers, I have had to drag a couple of very interested cats away.) I've always had them very close to the house. The deer aren't bold enough to come that close. As for the assortment of other varmints around here (cats, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, possums, porcupine, coyote(?) black bear(?), nothing as ever bothered my containers. The neighbors have pretty well trained dogs. They only have big paws attached to big bodies that stomp through my garden...and make me cringe.
My biggest concern for my containers right now is the freakishly warm weather we're having. 76 yesterday and 78 today. If anything starts feeling frisky in those containers, they will be toast when the temps decide to return to something normal.
You know what Marie. I don't believe that "normal" winter conditions will come back this year. Not only is it pre-maturely warm but all the birds that normally we wouldn't see for another month have already come back. I think the seasons are totally off this year. I'm zone 4 b. Normally that means winter arrives in November and lingers well into April sometimes May. This year winter made a brief arrival in November then vanished till late January and by mid March had gone away. (Okay so that's my kind of winter but it's not normal here!). Even the ground has thawed out so you can easily push a shovel into it. I really don't think (at least where I am) that winter will make a re-appearance.
Daylilies here are coming up, crocus are blooming and yesterday I spotted some hostas waking up. Lilacs are also leafing out. Daffodils and tulips are up about 4". All signs of spring.
Sylvia wants me to prepare Creme Brulee in the garden now! LOL I actually do not have one of those fancy tools...but my sister does. I can already see the look on her face when I ask to borrow if for the summer...for gardening purposes.
Although specific research has not been completed yet on how it is spread, there is good reason to assume that it cannot be spread by insects, fungi, nematodes, or pollen. Limited research has indicated it may infect plants other than hostas, but it has not been observed in other plants at this time. Transmission through seed is not considered very likely, but not ruled out. The primary method of infecting plants is moving fresh sap from one plant to another. There are any number of ways to do this, including the cutting of rhizomes, leaves, or scapes, lawn mowers and string trimmers, handling hail-damaged plants, keeping plants with fresh cuts in contact with each other, and possibly animals feeding on leaves. No future cure is expected, so all plants with HVX must be destroyed.
Beth, the best place to buy Hostas is online. the growers are up to snuff about the disease. Just dont buy anything from the box stores. I doubt if they box stores Hostas would appeal to you anyway. I saw a bunch of them in the HD, what a dull boring site and they arent even named. Now if a chronic Hosta lover can look over a bunch of Hostas ... its a sad situation. I would not buy them if they sold for 49 cents a piece. I would love to own a Hosta shop in Dallas ... I could clean up!
Beth dont let the virus scare you, besides we are not discovering them as often, I dont think. Just be careful who you trade with. If you keep them separate or in a pot. Dont deny yourself the pleasure of watching a hosta grow, it will always outweigh the fear of HVX.
Well said Sylvia. Despite our fears over HVX, it doesn't appear to me that any of the hostaholics have stopped buying hostas. We're just becoming more refined in our choices.
I'm hosting a hosta co-op again this year with Foxfire Gardens. I feel very safe getting hostas from them. Take a look at the co-op thread to see if there is anything that you may wish to order. http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/704987/#new
Now that you have become an intelligent hosta shopper, do not listen to your evil twin. Do not buy your hostas from there...do not submit to your desperation to hold some living hostas in your hands. Anything worth getting is worth waiting for.
In fact, I just received their catalog in the mail. I found them a couple of years ago when I was looking for one special hosta, and they were the only one that I could find that had it. Our cat Blackjack had just died after 15 years with us, and I wanted to plant the Blackjack hosta over him. Of course, I managed to add a few more to my order.