Ask a Question forum→homemade pesticide for hostas ... disaster

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Winston-Salem, North Carolina
May 27, 2018 8:20 AM CST
Recently, I saw a suggestion/idea at "" for a mixture of ammonia, Listerine, Epsom Salts, and Ajax Lemon Dish Soap to spray on Hostas to guard against pest (snails), etc. I made up a batch and sprayed it on about 20-25 various hostas around my garden/landscape, but much to my horror, about two days later I noticed some of them had brown damaged areas on their leaves, as well as some varieties had light yellow spots. Even more horrible was the fact that some of my other plants (like a once beautiful, thriving Lungwort plant), a Bleeding Heart, and a Tea Rose, which were next to some of the sprayed Hostas, must have gotten some of the spray on their leaves as well... and now they too have even worse damage (i.e., brown, crinkled leaves). I am devastated, and was wondering if there is anything I can do to reverse the damage, or revive them. I am also curious if anyone else has tried this mixture with success.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
May 27, 2018 8:34 AM CST

Sorry about what happened. Sadly that's the main reason it is better to stick with commercial products made and tested specifically for use on plants. I've heard of a few similar concoctions damaging plants. No, the damage cannot be reversed, once a leaf is damaged it will stay like that until it dies, but hopefully the plants will regrow new leaves eventually. The only other thing I can think of would be to cut the hostas back. I know they will regrow new leaves from late freeze damage here but whether they will at the stage of growth they are in your area I don't know. Sad If you decide to try a "home-made" remedy another time it's a good idea to test it on a plant or two first to make sure there's no reaction.
[Last edited by sooby - May 27, 2018 8:36 AM (+)]
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Winston-Salem, North Carolina
May 27, 2018 8:59 AM CST
Thank You!'re so correct...should have tested it first...I'm still kicking myself! Sighing!
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
Sempervivums Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
May 27, 2018 9:01 AM CST
I hope cutting your plants back or trimming them will work and they aren't permanently hurt.
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
May 27, 2018 9:25 AM CST
Hi & welcome! Don't kick too hard, all gardeners make mistakes. Each is a learning experience.

I don't use any 'cides, home-made or store-bought. If a plant can't make it here without those things, I can replace it with one that can. Usually mother nature provides a balance if things are left alone, beyond some manual adjustments like trimming off badly affected parts of plants, manually moving pests to other locations, smashing them. For every pest, there is a predator.

My most reliable form of slug control is to have a bird bath. Hungry birds like to bathe and take a drink, and many birds like to eat slugs while they're hanging around. ;)
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
May 27, 2018 10:36 AM CST
Yikes ! That mix sounds like a weed killer.
If you haven't, take a hose sprayer and wash your plants off. It's better late than never !
For snails and slugs, sprinkle some dry oatmeal, or corn meal on ground. It kills them.👍👍
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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