The Q&A Archives: Hosta Withering

Question: My hostas look as though a pest or animal has been nibbling on them ... they have variable sections chipped away from them. Do I have a pest problem? Or could it be from lack of water?

Answer: Unfortunately based on your description I can't tell you exactly what is ahppening to your hostas. There ae several possible causes for foliage damage on hostas. One pattern (the most delicate) is caused by slugs which work at night and leave little shiny slime trails behind for you to see during the day. Another pattern is caused by deer and other critters which take large chomping bites and also eat the flowers. Hail damage early in the season can also show up later as individual holes in the leaves, and early frost damage can become apparent in midseason when the vascular system is stressed. Finally, plain old water stress will cause withering and discoloration, but I wouldn't really describe that as looking "eaten".

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