Hostas are hardy perennials grown for their attractive foliage. They are easy to grow and exceptionally shade tolerant. Hostas are available in a variety of leaf textures, shapes and sizes. The leaves can be any combination of green, blue, gold, cream and white.
The symptoms of bacterial diseases on Hostas are soft, watery tissue, wilted yellow leaves and rot on the base of affected petioles. The rotted areas have an unpleasant fishy smell. Eventually the infected plant will die.
Fungal diseases on Hostas can affect the foliage, crown or roots. Leaf spots may appear as large irregular tan to reddish-brown spots with darker edges or as water-soaked lesions. Some fungal leaf diseases cause leaf yellowing, wilting and potentially death. The symptoms of crown and root rots include yellow leaves, slow growth and stunted plants.
Viruses attack the foliage of Hostas and cause yellowed, mottled or chlorotic foliage. Other symptoms of viruses are white or yellow specks, and ringspots, with or without concentric rings.
Diseases on Hostas are usually caused by wet, humid and/or crowded conditions. Avoid overhead watering and provide good drainage. Be careful not to wound Hostas when using tools around the plants. When plants become crowded, divide and set plants further apart.
Some fungal diseases respond to fungicidal sprays. Hostas infected with any type of crown or root rot should be removed and destroyed. There are no treatments for bacterial diseases or viruses. Remove and destroy affected plants.
- Iowa State University Extension
- University of Illinois Extension
Hosta diseases, Hostas, diseases of Hostas
About this Author
Melody Lee began working as a reporter and copywriter for the "Jasper News" in 2004 and was promoted to editor in 2005. She also edits magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 25 years of gardening experience.