Hosta Virus X (HVX)

After being dormant, the virus known as HVX has re-emerged this year. HVX otherwise known as “Hosta Virus X” is a disease that effects most to all varietals of the Hosta plant. It can be transmitted from having infected sap on your hands then touching another plant, or even sharing tools between plants. Now, we’re not telling you to wash your shears after touching each HVX_collageplant- but you should be knowledgable in what HVX symptoms look like. Its also good to keep in mind that symptoms don’t always show up after infection. Symptoms include:

  • Dark green mottling
  • Yellow-green patterns
  • Leaf distortion
  • Ink bleed coloring (that is distinctly different from surrounding tissue; such as blue-green markings spreading out from the veins in a feathery pattern.)
  • Tissue collapse (leaf tissue looks indented and wrinkly or even puckered like a deflated balloon.)
  • Solid colored leaves can also develop a white waxy coating that makes their shiny leaf appearance dull and hazy.
  • When exposed to strong sunlight, infected tissues are prone to sun-scald and drying out.

When you have an infected plant, all tissues will contain the virus. The entire body of the plant becomes infected by sap circulation. If you have one or many hostas infected with HVX, the easiest thing to solve your problem would be to dig them up. Make sure that you get most to all of the roots out of the ground, and give a long enough period for all the any remaining roots to dry up and die before planting in the same spot again.

Thank you to NC State University, A&T State University Cooperative Extension and the Crossville Chronicle for the original information. Click on these links for more information!

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