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The "uglies?"

I have a 'Ryan's Big One' That is emerging in a greenhouse right now and
it is showing some strange characteristics. There are about 6 seemingly
healthy eyes in the pot that are growing leaves. The problem is, each
eye is producing one or 2 leaves only 4 inches or so across and it is
obvious that there will be no more coming. This hosta is at least 4
years old now and should be showing signes of maturity, but the vigor is
GONE. The leaves are rough to the touch and the veins are close together
and protrude on the underside of the leaf like no other hosta, again,
with the same rough texture. There is also a great lack of color in the
leaf. I saw this problem last year on the same plant as well as several
others in my garden. I also remember pointing out an affected plant to
Gary Trucks of Amber Waves Gardens last year in his garden as well. We
considered the problem to be contributed to strange spring weather, but
I no longer think that since this hosta is in an ideal environment of a
heated greenhouse maintaining a night temp of 50 degrees. Has anyone
else seen this problem in their own hostas? I have seen it now at two
other growers' places and neither one of them had seen it before. Is
this something new that I should worry about? Southern Blight is enough
of a headache . . . .

Mike Groothuis
Kalamazoo, MI

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