HAVE an area planted in hostas that I mulched with silage. One of
the hostas has a problem with the leaves yellowing and the flowers
appearing deformed. Should I remove the plant to protect the others?
your photo it looks as if the affected plant has either gone into
early dormancy because of some sort of stress, perhaps caused by
excessively dry soil (which seems very unlikely), or it's suffering
from a disease, probably fungal, causing the foliage to collapse.
Disease like this can be brought on by excessive moisture and humidity
around the crown of the plant caused by the silage being in contact
with the hosta foliage.
Silage can get extremely
wet and soggy, so it should be used sparingly as mulch and always
kept well away from contact with plants. Scrape away the silage
from around the plant and check the crown and any roots close to
the surface. If they appear diseased, with areas of brown rot, it's
probably best to dispose of the plant.
However, if there are
still healthy buds and roots, you might get away with simply removing
all the affected leaves and flowers and getting rid of some of the
mulch to let fresh air and light into the crown. You won't get new
growth until next spring, but the plant may well recover. To help
it along, you could drench it with a fungicide such as Phoscheck
or No Root Rot to combat any infection that may be present.
Gardener, Issue 196, 2006, Page 38
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.