Sad Hostas

Novice23Novice23 East SussexPosts: 117
I have a small bed with hostas in it.  In previous years the plants have been quite large and although well eaten by the slugs, still looked healthy.  This year they have been pathetic, with only a handful of small thin leaves, not much in the way of flowers and no real growth.  Apart from one or two, even the slugs avoided them!

I assume that the hot weather was partly to blame, but having cut them down for the winter is there anything I can do to to make them healthier and bushier next year.  Last autumn, after cutting them back I mulched the bed with leafmould, thinking it would open the soil which is heavy clay, and I feed them in the spring.   But now I wonder if this was wrong.

I love hostas and have been upset to see such a sorry sight.  Any advice to prepare them for next year would be very welcome. 

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 17,561
    You need @Hostafan1 for this.    
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 21,606
    dig one up and have a look to see if the roots have been chewed by vine weevil grubs
    Devon.
  • Novice23Novice23 East SussexPosts: 117
    Oh right.  When it stops raining I will do that.  Any advice on how I will know?
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 402
    edited 12 October
    Hostafan1 said:
    dig one up and have a look to see if the roots have been chewed by vine weevil grubs
    Yep, weevils fed on mine many years ago.
    A contained bed can be as risky as a pot, when it comes to evil weevils.

    I’ve got weevil traps around my beds now, for this reason and have had no more issues since.
    🎼"I've been driving in my car, it don't look much but I've been far, I drive up to Muswell Hill, I've even been to Selsey Bill..."🎹
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 17,561
    Oh crikey.  I didn't know th eveil weevils eat hostas.  Ithough mine were strugggling cos of slugs and snails earlier on.  Now I'll have to check the feeble ones.

    Look for maggotty looking larvae in the soil/compost @Novice23

    http://www.downgardenservices.org.uk/vineweevil.htm 

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Novice23Novice23 East SussexPosts: 117
    Dug up one and it just looked thin and ragged. Assume it is vine weevils, so have soaked the compost with an insecticide, although given the amount of rain we have had I think it might have been well diluted by now.  Wanted to do something for over winter, but will certainly use nematodes next year to see if that helps. 

    Thanks for your help everyone, 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,657
    As you’ve used an insecticide, don’t forget to remove the flowers when they form next summer as they will contain the pesticide which is so harmful to bees and other pollinators. 
     😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Novice23Novice23 East SussexPosts: 117
    Thank you Dovefromabove. As I really like the leaves and think Hosta flowers are not special this is fine, but thank you for reminding me.  Will it affect any nematodes I use?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,657
    Novice23 said:
    Will it affect any nematodes I use?
    That’s not a question I’ve heard before and as I don’t use insecticides it’s not something I’ve thought of either ... I wonder whether anyone else has info on this?  @wild edges perhaps?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Novice23Novice23 East SussexPosts: 117
    Thanks for this.  I have sent a message to @wild edges.  I hope that is OK, not sure about the etiquette on this. 
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