What is eating my Hostas? - Knowledgebase Question

Coventry, Rh
Question by sleepyeyes42
July 15, 2008
We have lived in our home in Coventry for almost 11 years. We had no problems with our Hostas for about 8 years; however, for the past three years or so, something is chomping down on our Hostas during the night. We were shocked the first morning we woke up to find that all the Hostas around our well had been eaten almost down to the ground. Each year, other Hostas are attacked. We've tried vinegar, to no avail. It just adds a dressing for


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Answer from NGA
July 15, 2008

0

You may have to put on your detective cap to discover what might be attacking your hostas. Deer do eat them but they generally leave the main stem attached to the plant. They put the leaf in their mouth and clench their teeth - almost the way you would pull the flesh off of an artichoke leaf. In the deer's case, they pull off the outer parts of the leaf but the middle stem usually remains attached to the plant. If deer are snacking on the leaves, the only control will be to cage the plants in chicken wire. Ditto for bunnies. They tend to munch the entire leaf, main stem and all. Slugs will damage hosta leaves but they leave a slime trail and generally only leave holes or take ragged bites out of leaves. They rarely consume entire plants in a single evening. But, if you suspect slugs, try one of the iron based baits (Sluggo or Escar-go). If you cage your hostas for a few months, the deer or the bunnies will go elsewhere to feed and may even forget you have beautiful hostas in your yard. I wish you the best of luck with your garden!

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