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Re:Hosta Disease?

Jean Carpenter asked about a disease two of her hostas were exhibiting. Jean
it sounds like you have a case of crown rot. We have had a few cases of it
every summer for at least the past 5 or 6 years. The first time it happened
to a clump of H. Golden Tiara. I got out all my literature and tried to find
out what was going on and how to cure it. It seemed like we were to dig up
the plant, destroy the surrounding soil and treat the plant with a
fungicide. A few years and a number of clumps later this procedure was
getting to be real old. Someone told us to leave the clump in the ground,
pull off all the sick foliage we could, being careful to destroy it without
letting it come into contact with any other plants, and to completly drench
the crown of the plant and the surrounding soil with a 10% solution of
household bleach. You may have to repeat the drench after a week or so or
even a third time if you have a very severe case. This procedure seems to
work as well or better for us than the more scientific method and it is sure
a lot easier and cheaper. You supposedly can spread it to other plants
through contact so make sure you dip your hands, tools or anything else that
came into contact with the sick plant. I think this is one of the real joys
of gardening in very hot humid climates. I've had all sorts of theories as
to what causes southern blight, but none of them seem to hold true in all
cases. I am as sure as I can be that it is heat triggered, but after that
nothing seems constant as to why a few plants get it and the rest don't. I
suppose the only sure fire preventitive measure is to move up north where it
is cooler.
Tom Moore Bardstown, KY  Z6

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