Hosta dying? Rhino Hide leaf

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Hosta dying? Rhino Hide leaf

Postby Hot Cold Warm » Jul 19, 2017 5:26 pm

Hello hosta friends,

I purchased a 4 inch potted Rhino Hide last year It was small but it survived the winter planted in the ground (yay!)
It is located in a shaded woodland garden area in northern New Hampsire. I am a newbie to "real gardening" (real gardening is my idea of = love, interest, concern and caring if things die or thrive type of gardening). I am learning a lot through forums (thanks to all for sharing) and by trial and error.

About the Rhino Hide: Everything seemed fine and was flourishing spring into summer... In late June, before going out of town for 2.5 weeks, I applied Milorganite and a pellet form of slug bait (my first time using this since I would not be around to hand pick the slugs)... I returned to see sick and dying leaves, and the eyes easily fell off the crown of the main Rhino Hide when I touched it for closer inspection. This has only happened to the Rhino Hide Hosta.

Is this leaf death from dehydration? I left the hostas to tough it out with whatever rain would fall. Chemical reactions? Disease? Looking online I see Cercospora that kind of looks similar, but I am not sure.

To be clear, the slug holes in the leaf are not my issue- I have tons of slugs and snails to battle... But I am wondering perhaps the stem/leaf death is because of a slug or snail eating the eye at the base causing the leaf to die?

But then again, I saw no evidence of slugs at the base gorging on the hosta... but then again the eye (stem) just fell off the crown when I touched it to examine it. 2 "sick" stems/eyes fell off the main plant and I was shocked. :o

Sorry for word "eye/stem" usage if it is incorrect.

Any ideas? Suggestions?

I have open ears to learn and
Thank you for your help! :)
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Hosta dying? Rhino Hide leaf

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Re: Hosta dying? Rhino Hide leaf

Postby Chris_W » Jul 19, 2017 7:35 pm

I wonder if this Hosta 'Rhino Hide' was originally grown in a paper plug called an "elle" plug. These paper plugs have to stay wet or the roots can start to dry and rot, leading them to catch a fungus disease called fusarium root and crown rot. The rot will progress up into the eye and kill it from the inside. If that is the case then it is a goner.

The other thought was that too much milorganite could cause nitrogen burn if it was surrounding that eye. In that case the crown would still be okay and might generate some new eyes, provided the nitrogen burn didn't get the crown too.

I would recommend inspecting the roots and washing them off to see if you have any crown material left that will regrow. This eye isn't going to come back, sadly :(
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Re: Hosta dying? Rhino Hide leaf

Postby Hot Cold Warm » Jul 20, 2017 1:22 am

Hi Chris thank you for the guidance and sympathy,

You are probably 100% correct about the nitrogen burn, and I did not think it would burn per the label "non-burning". I had applied the Milorganite willy-nilly around the hostas, with hand measures of a little bit per plant (not much- a pinch or two maybe three for the bigger circumference hostas) but I do remember getting some on the stems and probably by the crown too. Ugh, I feel foolish.

About the Elle plug: Good to know for future reference about those plugs and moisture!
I am not 100% certain about the Rhino Hide hosta but there were other hostas in the "elle" plug when I removed them from the 4inch pots to plant them into the ground... at the time I didn't know what those fibers were so I painstakingly broke it apart and carefully threaded out the roots. It was my first time with hostas and I wanted to be so perfect and careful to give them a good start in my yard... It was a chore to untangle the roots from themselves and the plug! I remember wondering how the roots were supposed to grow if they were "trapped in" circling this fibrous hairy thing.

I will dig it up and save what is left of the crown and remaining hosta, as you mentioned. Very much hoping that it is fertilizer burn and not a root rot issue.
I will report back.
Thanks so much!
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Re: Hosta dying? Rhino Hide leaf

Postby Tigger » Jul 20, 2017 11:07 am

Or is this a vole attack?

Does (did) the base of that eye look eaten away or rotten away? If rotten you can usually smell it. If voles got it you won't find any roots or crown left.

David
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Re: Hosta dying? Rhino Hide leaf

Postby Hot Cold Warm » Jul 21, 2017 12:45 am

Hi,
I do not think it is voles because the roots are there. I did not smell anything rotten or fishy - no odor was noticed. One eye that fell off looked nibbled on the side of the stem. But this is not where stem/eye fell off the crown. (I took close up photos to help illustrate)
I dug it up today and I have photos to share. I rinsed off the dirt and rinsed the roots really well. Another eye and a tiny eye fell off easily. I repotted what was left of this poor Rhino Hide (1 eye) in fresh potting mix and put it in a container for some coddling- hoping it does not completely die.

Continued in next post...
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Re: Hosta dying? Rhino Hide leaf

Postby Hot Cold Warm » Jul 21, 2017 12:55 am

Does this crown look sick and rotted? Is the crown purple-ish red inside normal?
Are the roots OK? (the zoom function of a camera really makes a difference to notice things- but not sure if it is OK or signs of problems) The green at the roots were there last year when Hosta was shipped.

Is this Fusarium root and crown rot? or something else?

I am hoping that I just burned it with fertilizer and there is good possibility to save this (and the other hostas that I fertilized but not yet showing signs or issues)...along with a huge lesson learned!

Thank you David and Chris for your help and suggestions. :)
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