|all my varieties of hosta are starting to break off at the base with a mushy consistancy??? Any thoughts?|
|Your hostas may have petiole rot, which is a serious disease of hosta. It is caused by the fungus Sclerotium. Disease symptoms on hosta start as marginal yellowing and browning of the lower leaves. A soft, brown, mushy decay may be seen at the base of the petiole sometimes accompanied by white fungal threads. As the disease progresses, the leaves discolor and wilt. In the final stages of the disease, the bases of the petioles rot away and the leaves collapse and lay flat on the ground. Collapsed leaves pull easily from the crown of the plant.
Effective management requires a combination of strategies. Before planting hostas in the garden, carefully inspect each plant. Do not plant any suspect or symptomatic hosta. Remove and destroy infected plants. Also, carefully remove the soil in the area to a depth of six to eight inches and replace it with non-contaminated soil. Avoid moving plants from contaminated beds to other parts of the garden. A mulch-free zone of several inches at the base of susceptible plants also might help. Flutolanil and thiophanate-methyl based fungicides, such as Cleary 3336 or Fungo, help control the disease. Be sure to apply according to label directions.