Do these plants look infected?

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Do these plants look infected?

Postby grdngrl3 » Jul 07, 2015 2:53 pm

Took these pictures a while back of plants that looked suspicious to me. I am wondering if this looks like HVX? I am still trying to learn how to spot the signs. Thanks!
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Do these plants look infected?

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Re: Do these plants look infected?

Postby Tigger » Jul 07, 2015 4:31 pm

At first I thought no, until I got to picture 4 which screams Yes. :( The fact that the white edge is gone on some leaves (Francee, right?) makes it even more suspect. The little guy in the lower left of the 3rd picture looks like it might have caught it, too. Double boo.
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Re: Do these plants look infected?

Postby Chris_W » Jul 07, 2015 11:51 pm

Normally when I see distortion confined to the leaf tips I think that it is frost or cold damage, and from a distance this could be mistaken for that. But like Tigger, once I opened the pictures these just scream out HVX. It is a classic example of the collapsing tissue on a green leaf.

If it was cold damage you would see some kind of browning or tearing of the white edges, especially on the tips. You don't see that at all. In the second picture there is a leaf shot in the bottom right corner, behind the grass, that gives a really good example of HVX damage in the green portion without any symptoms in the surrounding white edge. If it was cold or environmental damage then you would see some kind of damage to the white part too, not just the green.

Sorry, this is a bad case of HVX, and it has likely been infected for several years since Francee takes a very long time to ever show symptoms this clearly.

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Re: Do these plants look infected?

Postby grdngrl3 » Jul 17, 2015 8:38 am

Thanks Tigger and Chris for your responses. Would it surprise you to know that these pictures were taken at a local business? They do not grow any of their own plants, they are re-sellers.

Unfortunately, I bought a number of hostas from them last year, albeit smaller from a different section but likely from the same source(s). This confirms for me that I really need to test my hostas in that bed even though they are not showing any obvious signs of real tissue damage. So, I will definitely be starting with that bunch.

Also, I wonder if you have any advice as to what I might do. I really enjoy this nursery and stop there frequently. This year I have been unwilling to buy any hostas from them but have purchased other things. When I saw those plants I thought I would point out my suspicions to the owner and was surprised that he responded in a strong manner - he would not walk with me so I could show him what I thought I might be seeing and I wanted to be discreet in front of any other customers so I waited for others to finish paying and attempted to tell him at the counter that I though I might be seeing some tissue damage that could be HVX. He would not make eye contact with me and told me they were out too long in direct sunlight and that was the problem.

I guess the question I have is what to do about it because I am certain he sold those plants to other customers and I am pretty sure I have seen other plants looking just as suspicious to me being sold. That means this area that I live in in Maryland has a pretty active flood of these plants into the market, and into the soil that could be divided and spread and really create a big problem. I really hate to see that kind of thing go on.

Any advice as to what is reasonable to do would be appreciated.
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Re: Do these plants look infected?

Postby Tigger » Jul 17, 2015 10:52 am

I'm not discreet at all when I see obvious HVX at nurseries. I tell the line employee the problem, ask for the perennials manager to come to the display, tell that person, and let them know that I will call the state dept of agr if I see these same infected plants on my next visit. I state my "credentials" as a member of the AHS, as if that matters :lol:

Of course it's too late for them to do anything about customers who have bought the plants, although they should have GOOD information available about transmission if someone brings one of the plants back on "warranty."

It still saddens me greatly that 15 years after good folks like Chris raised a huge red flag (and 20 years since the virus started spreading), "good" resellers still don't have a clue about something that's probably taking up 40 or 80 feet of retail shelf in their nurseries.

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Re: Do these plants look infected?

Postby grdngrl3 » Jul 17, 2015 4:55 pm

David,
Love it - the "AHS" thing! That's great! Actually, it is highly relevant as members are likely to know a heck of a lot more than the average person. :D

I like the idea of letting a state board of agriculture know. I really think it is just too important to protect others from unknowingly spreading something like this. I just wish they had been a bit more receptive to my concern and would have expressed a genuine desire to do their part, also.... Had it been a big box store, I think I would have felt more comfortable with a direct and insistent approach.

Hmmm.... I'll let you all know how this turns out.
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Re: Do these plants look infected?

Postby Chris_W » Jul 18, 2015 8:08 am

See if MD has a spot online to report this to the dept of agriculture. Michigan has that, which makes it a lot easier to send a report.

And I agree with you Tigger that it is really sad that 15 years after this epidemic started there is still very little active education done by either the AHS or the hosta growers association. :(
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Re: Do these plants look infected?

Postby grdngrl3 » Jul 19, 2015 11:31 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried to find an online portal to make a report, but only found phone numbers and forms to fill out to drop off samples to the U of MD Extension.

I also tried to get a feel for how much this has been reported in MD and what the general awareness level is... I found a significant reference to HVX in the 2006 MD Dept. Agriculture annual report (see attached single page) referencing this, "big concern...increased media coverage...", a results chart for a sample of 71 plants tested, and an ongoing study to determine the effects of the virus to be reported at a later date (and wasn't to my knowledge).....then NOTHING in any other year about the virus until 2014 when only one sentence in the report states that, "out of several samples submitted, only one was found positive..." The virus was not mentioned at all in years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, or 2013. Unbelievable.

I am certain that the incidence has not gone down from 2006 to 2014, but to read these reports a very misleading assumption could certainly be drawn.

So, I did not get a sample from the infected plants in those pictures. I think I will keep taking pictures, test my hostas, and continue to research what can be done in my state. You all have been dealing with this for years which must be so aggravating, but it is new information for me that I find to be a very tough pill to swallow.

On another note, guess who recently got my order for hostas? :D Glad I can pursue my love of hostas, even if that means from another state. Thanks for being professional and honorable about it!
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