it's that time of year again when the nematodes become obvious and everyone
starts squirming about what to say and who to say it to. For everyone who is new
here, foliar nematodes leave brown stripes on hosta leaves that are clearly
bordered by the veins. They are a serious pest that can spread at least five
feet in any direction in the garden in one year. They greatly slow the
growth of infested plants and may even kill them in a few years. When the leaves
are wet they come out into the water on top of the leaf and can move from plant
to plant either that way or through the soil. Moving through wet leaves in a
garden which has them can make the problem much worse.
what can we do? The laws vary from state to state on what chemicals can be
applied and where they can be applied. I would first suggest checking with your
state to see what controls are legal there. The control measures showing the
greatest effect on them are as follows in descending order of
Nemacur--This is a chemical that is highly restricted in most states (to turf
and agricultural use only) which gives near-total control of nematodes. If you
are permitted to have someone with an applicators license use it on your
property, this is the best solution.
Vydate or Oxymyl----These are the same chemical in liquid and solid form. These
are showing very good control, second only to Nemacur. These too are restricted,
but not as tightly as Nemacur.
Heat--- heating the plants can totally destroy the nematodes in that plant. If
you are not careful, it can destroy the plant too. The soil where the infested
plant was should also be treated with boiling water.
ZeroTol--- Just mentioned in the last Journal, and unrestricted, it appears to
give approximately 80% control. This is better than nothing, but still leaves
them in the garden.
If your state
will not permit use of the first two chemicals, maybe the best bet would be a
combination of the third and fourth methods. Plants can be potted if they are
worth saving and placed in a car on a hot day. While this may destroy the
foliage, it usually won't kill the plant. Careful heating in water, monitoring
the temperature and time, should work better. This combined with ZeroTol may
work very well.
By all means, please
contact the nursery that sold it to you and tell them about their plant. They
may not know they have a problem.
Doing a daily survey of my gardens (which I haven't had a chance to do in
several days), I saw a sight that chilled my veins, despite the 90+ degree
I've seen pictures, I've heard talk, but now, I get my first "in the flesh"
peek: H. Montana Kinkaku has nematodes. Unmistakably.
I summarily dug it up, and ran to my hosta reference library. It is
currently soaking, isolated, in a bucket. (Now I'm wondering what to do with
the water in that bucket, once I decide what to do with the plant.)
Can anybody tell me if they've had much success with the hot water
treatment, or should I just throw the poor, afflicted, yet beautiful thing
I also hesitate, oh, yes, verily I hesitate, to say that this hosta was
purchased from one of the vendors at First Look.