HVX on my favorite hosta?

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

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HVX on my favorite hosta?

Postby SadPuppy » Apr 06, 2018 12:24 pm

New to the forum, and sadly I must ask a scary question... Does my favorite hosta have HVX? These are pics from last year, and not very good ones since I was in partial denial. Now that we're anticipating the return of our beloved hosta, anxiety has returned, and it seems too long to wait another month or two to see what my Blue Ivory looks like this year. Hence I'm sharing these pics to hopefully hear your thoughts on whether you think this could be HVX or something else. The pics show three Blue Ivory plants. The first pic is from 5/23, the second pic from 6/17, and the third from 9/27. These hosta have been in my yard since 2010, but in 2016 I planted some of them (don't remember which ones) in a relative's sunny yard, only to move them back to mine in Fall 2016. Therefore, last year (2017) was the first full year they had been back in my yard. Chances are slim that they might have gotten infected while in the other yard, but possible. I know that I planted them too deep when I moved them back to mine, and planted them too close to some astilbe and evergreens. I also know that I burnt many of my plants last year by applying too much fertilizer and the granules directly on the crowns, but the Blue Ivory is the only one that developed these strange bubbles. If I'm not mistaken, its leaves also look more twisted than normal, and the last BI plant was very highly variegated even though it was not located in full sun last year (I don't know if you'll be able to see it, but a couple of the leaves were completely white with no blue/green at all, and several others only had thin streaks of blue/green). Every year my Blue Ivory gets reddish/brown spots such as the one at around 3 o'clock in the first picture, and melting in the white area, and I usually pull those leaves off, hence the BI plants look small and sad before the end of the season such as the one pictured in the last photo. However, the bubbles that you should be able to see in the center of the first picture, possibly in the blue area around 10 o'clock in the second picture, and in several areas in the last pictures (most noticeably around 5 or 6 o'clock) is something that I had never seen it do before. Please let me know what you think these bubbles might be. I did not take any photos of the back of the leaves so I realize that these photos might not be enough to tell, but I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts regardless. Many thanks.
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Last edited by SadPuppy on Apr 12, 2018 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HVX on my favorite hosta?

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Re: HVX on my favorite hosta?

Postby Chris_W » Apr 12, 2018 7:45 pm

Welcome to the forums.

Blue Ivory is going to be a tough one to diagnose by looking at the leaves until HVX reaches a really high concentration and you start to see a lot of distortion. Brown spots and meltout aren't signs of virus but rather fungus or bacteria. Those things grow and thrive on constantly wet conditions and sometimes invade damage that was previously caused by things like frost.

The final picture is a plant that is simply very unstable and sporting to solid white which as you can see can't hold up. Basically this plant doesn't have enough chlorophyl to thrive.

Now I do see some possible signs in a couple leaves of distortion, and even the strange bubbling in the white of the third picture at 6 o'clock, but it isn't clear enough for me to be definite about what is causing this. Testing a leaf from these might be worth it if you are really concerned, but I would suggest waiting to see what it looks like this year and then taking some closeup pictures of leaves and not just of the plant some time in June after these have fully leafed out. If we see some oddities again then I'll be able to give you more advice.

Hope that helps, and I look forward to seeing more individual leaf pictures when you get a chance.

Chris
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Re: HVX on my favorite hosta?

Postby SadPuppy » Apr 12, 2018 8:37 pm

Chris, thank you so much for the welcome and response. I figured that it might not be enough to go by, and in a way that's providing some relief right now. I feel bad for not erring on the side of caution, and instead proceeding with planting brand new, clean hostas all around these Blue Ivories. In total I have 7 of them, but only some of them spent a year in the other yard before being moved back here, and I only recall 3 or 4 of them looking this odd last year. I'm afraid that if any or all of the Blue Ivories are infected, then the two other hostas I got in 2010 from the same source might be too, and since I have multiples of them as well, I'm looking at 11 plants in total that might be potentially infected. Not only did they come from the same source, but I've divided and moved them all around the yard without disinfecting much of anything before last year. I did disinfect any time I planted or moved any of the new hostas, but with the old ones being near-by, and with the old ones having inhabited just about any spot in the yard over the years, chances are that the new plants might be infected now too if it indeed is in some or all of the old hostas. Sadly the other two varieties that are in question are also harder to see HVX on (from what I've read so far). In hindsight I should have had the old ones tested before getting all the new ones. Well here's to hoping that if there is virus here that I'll be able to remove it without cutting into and possibly infecting the new plants just from removing the old ones. Part of me feels like giving up on hostas just because of this, but let's hope that we can make it through this. I have my doubts because chipmunks are all over my yard, and both my next-door neighbor and his next-door neighbor have hostas, and so a virus that could(?) be spread by critters could be going back and forth between our plants at any point. I do recall reading in your other responses that the transmission rate for HVX is low, and that's encouraging to hear.
I'll definitely plan to take more pics, most likely around the end of May. If I'm able to get any of the Blue Ivories and/or others tested, I'll report back with those results as well. Thank you again for your kindness and time.
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