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Re: The "uglies?"


Mike:

>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. 
>(snip) 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.

That sounds like virus to me.

You can sometimes grow a plant out of its virus, if the virus isn't a 
fast spreading one.  High temperatures seem to slow down virus growth. 
This is what TC people use to produce virus free plants.  They grow 
the plants in very warm conditions (105 to 110 degrees) for a period 
of time and then do meristem bud culture.  This is a technique that is 
not technically difficult, but well beyond the capability of the 
average home TC setup.  The high temperature slows down the virus and 
the new grow that forms is virus free.  Then you go in and cut off a 
sliver of the meristem (10-20 microns) and grow it under TC 
conditions.

Lily people keep down virus titer in their plants by frequently 
rescalling the plants.  If you grow the infected hosta in a very warm 
greenhouse, BAP it and then remove the new shoots as quickly as 
possible and then initiate new side shoot development as soon as 
possible you might be able to rescue the plant.  However, if it is 
virused, the best thing you can do is discard all the plants that show 
the virus traits and BURN them to prevent the spread of the virus.  My 
experience is that if a plant is susceptible to virus, it will 
eventually get virus when grown in the garden.  With some virus 
susceptible plants you can keep the virus titer down to a manageable 
level.

Joe Halinar

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