Hostas are beautiful shade perennials and are loved by gardeners. The most noticeable and attractive characteristic of these plants is their foliage.
Among different varieties of these plants, the color, shape, and size of the foliage widely varies. The colors of the foliage are primarily variations of blue, gold, green and white.
Hostas are mostly immune to the common plant diseases. However, some particular microbes can still cause damage to these plants.
Types of diseases in hostas:
Hosta plants are vulnerable to bacterial, viral as well as fungal infections. Each of these infections can cause severe damage if ignored.
- Petiole rot: This is a fatal disease which can kill the plant quickly. The foliage turning yellow is the first symptom of this disease.
- Anthracnose: The fungi in the garden soil is responsible for this disease. It causes damage to the leaves. The main symptom is the irregular spotting on the foliage.
- Crown rot and fusarium root are other diseases caused by fungi. These also can be fatal if not treated immediately. The symptoms are wilting of leaves and retarded growth despite providing an ample supply of water.
Bacterial disease: Soft rot is a bacterial disease which initially affects the foliage by harming its soft tissue. It finally results in the death of the plant.
Viral disease: Viruses can cause the leaves of the hosta plant to turn brown, thus ruining the plant’s appearance.
Factors responsible diseases in hosta:
Lack of proper care and maintenance: Once you buy hostas, it is solely your responsibility to nurture, maintain and protect them. Carelessness in maintaining these plants makes it a lot easier for the microbes to come in contact with the plants and infect them.
Use of dirty gardening tools: The gardening tools you use are an important factor affecting the health of plants in your garden. Usage of dirty tools can cause infections in hostas and can spread diseases among other plants as well.
Using infected soil in the garden: Gardeners sometimes decide on a particular type of soil without getting it checked for infections. Infected soil can act as a source of microbes and cause diseases in a hosta plant.
Treating the diseases in hosta plants:
- For fungal diseases, fungicide can be applied to the soil.
- The diseased or dead foliage should be regularly removed and the plant should be kept in a cool place.
- In case of viral infections, the whole plant needs to be destroyed to prevent the infection from spreading to other plants.
Preventing diseases in hosta plants:
- While buying the plant, get it checked for infections.
- Do not excessively water these plants.
- The mulch should be kept away from the base of the plant.
- Plant debris should be removed regularly.
- Soil of good quality should be used for the plants.
- Individual plants should have plenty of space. A congested garden can become a breeding ground for insects and microbes.