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hosta problems - the nightmare

Something terrible is happening to some of my hostas.  I need help.
Remember the 'Misty Regal' death in my family?  Well, add to that 6-7 more
plants, at least (we now have about a thousand total hosta plants). These
hostas are fine one week, buds completely turned to mush the next. Here are
the variables to consider:

Some of these plants were grown in pots all summer, then planted in
September in the ground.  Some, however, were planted in the ground in June
when obtained.

Some are notoriously weak plants, like my 'Great Expectations,' while some
are very robust plants that have no variegation and have good substance.
This morning I about had a stroke when I noticed this mushiness on
'Starboard Light.'  I think it's a goner. It was robust and full of buds
last week!

Some were all the way in the ground for the entire winter, while some
hostas experienced some slight erosion away from the crown.  I have many,
many plants like this that are very healthy.  I also topdress them as soon
as I uncover the bed and notice this.

These hostas have surprisingly good root systems; while some roots are
rotted, most of the roots are white and starting to really grow.  I suspect
it's just a matter of time, though, before the whole thing goes.

THESE HOSTAS HAD BUDS ON THEM LAST WEEK! This is what puzzles me the most.
I would not be surprised if the hosta had trouble over our very wet and
weird winter, or if there was a vole tunnel (I have seen those too), but to
have healthy buds on the plant one day, and then start to deteriorate, is

I really need some help!  Is it the weather?  Me?

Stacy Holtzman
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Bloomington, Indiana Z5b

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