Hosta Virus

Saint Charles, IL

Just out of curiosity, are Hosta fanatics concerned about Hosta Virus X? Are you aware? I don't see any posts. Please advise.

Gravois Mills, MO(Zone 6a)

Yeah Kevin they are concerned.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Kevin - just wait till the season gets going - or do a search or just go back to last summer's posts. It was a BIG topic.
Ann

Central, WI(Zone 4a)

Kevin,
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.

Gravois Mills, MO(Zone 6a)

Your just real nosy. that is your whole problem Kelly

Central, WI(Zone 4a)

oz,
We all know that,,,especially when it comes to my hostas

Bettendorf, IA

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.

White Lake, ON(Zone 4b)

Hi Kevin,
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.

Sandy

Clementon, NJ(Zone 6b)

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.

Sue

Newport News, VA(Zone 7b)

Maybe it is time to bump that thread up some.

Laura

Schererville, IN(Zone 5a)

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!



This message was edited Mar 1, 2007 9:25 PM

Saint Charles, IL

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.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Kevin - it's good to hear that the growers are taking it seriously. Unfortunately, there are still too many sellers who don't.

Ann

Clementon, NJ(Zone 6b)

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.

Sue

Sue

Central, WI(Zone 4a)

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.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

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).

Ann

Port Orchard, WA(Zone 8a)

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

Saint Charles, IL

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.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Since i'm new to hostas... does anyone have photos of this virus?
that way i know what to look for.

**edit**
I googled and found some images

TIA,

terese

This message was edited Mar 3, 2007 10:22 AM

Clementon, NJ(Zone 6b)

http://myhostagardens.com/S/Stilletto.html - I think my last link was messed up. Maybe this will work. You can see the one photo of the infected leaf that shows the mottled color that is typical.

You will also find lots of photos at the HVX section of http://www.hostalibrary.org/

Sue

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Sue,

yes the first link was messed up, but i just typed in the url so i was able to browse the site.

i guess with this virus, you have to know what you are looking for.... so seeing images helps.

thanks,

terese

Port Orchard, WA(Zone 8a)

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

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

Kevin there is a link to photos of HVX plants on the Hosta Resource Thread at the top of the forum. Here's the link to the HVX thread.
http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/615405/

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

doss,

thanks for posting that link -- i read most of it -- I also saw mention that "Patriot" tends to be infected. I ordered one a week or so ago from BlueStone Perennials.

Boy -- i certainly hope it's "clean". That would be a bummer - my first ones ever and they come with a virus.

terese

West Central, WI(Zone 4a)

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.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks marie.

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

If anyone has more photos of infected plants it would be good if they added them to the HVX thread as listed on the stickie resource thread. Then they will all be available in one place.

Saint Charles, IL

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.

Port Orchard, WA(Zone 8a)

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

Gravois Mills, MO(Zone 6a)

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.



This message was edited Mar 5, 2007 8:56 AM

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Question -- What it "TC" ?

Port Orchard, WA(Zone 8a)

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

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks 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"

Abby
Alex Summers
Antioch
August Moon
Baby Bunting
Beauty Substance
Birchwood Parky's Gold
Blue Cadet
Captain Kirk
Corona
Diamond Tiara
El Nino
Fan Dance
Fortunei Aureomarginata (also sold incorrectly as Carnival)
Gold Edger
Gold Standard)
Golden Tiara
Goldrush (no HVX free plants known in commerce)
Ground Master
Guacamole
Halcyon
Honeybells
Janet
June
Katherine Lewis
Krossa Regal
Minuteman
Montana Aureomarginata
Niagara Falls
Night Before Christmas (infected with an unknown virus)
Pacific Blue Edger
Paradise Joyce
Patriot
Regal Splendor
Revolution
Royal Standard
Sagae
So Sweet
Stiletto (all imports from Holland appear to be highly infected)
Striptease
Sum & Substance
Sugar & Cream
Sun Power
Sweet Susan
Tardiva
Tattoo
Undulata Albomarginata
Venucosa
Veronica Lake
Wolverine
Yellow Splash Rim
Zounds
**end list**

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

Ginko Craig

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.

....crap!

back to the drawing board.....

Any others I should be concerned about ??

Terese


** 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.)

This message was edited Mar 24, 2007 5:54 PM

Flora, IN(Zone 5a)

Thank you all so very much for the education. I will be very careful IF I add any new plants , and more alert for the signs. Again thanks ,Cinda

Port Orchard, WA(Zone 8a)

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

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

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.

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

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. :)

Diann

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

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.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Terese - keep looking at lists. You'll still find way too many you like that aren't on that list above. Even after taking out the ones that are at high risk, I still have over 80 on the wish list.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

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.

I'm still learning.....

terese

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