Hostas as a species, tend to have only a few serious problems. In comparison to many other herbaceous perennials, they tend to be what people call "problem free" plants. However, they do have a few disease, insect and physiological problems that can be problematic to the home gardener.

We have listed several of these problems below and have added information to our database on them. Hostaphiles will notice the absence of a few serious problems including deer, foliar nematodes and hosta virus X. So far, we have not been able to gather good data on these problems which lends itself to inclusion in a database. We will continue to be on the lookout for such information from reliable sources.

A few hostas tend to emerge from the ground very early in the spring. In Northern gardens, heavy frosts may still occur after the leaves are out of the ground. The result is frost damage that will show as tears in the leaves. To prevent this, you may need to cover these plants on spring nights when heavy frost is predicted.


Certain cultivars with blue/green foliage and either marginal or medial (center) variegation have a leaf problem. In the late spring, the variegated part of the leaf begins to dry out and turn a brownish color. Our lists show those known to suffer this defect and others of similar types of hostas that do not.


Slugs are one of the major pests of hostas. They chew holes of various sizes in the leaves and cause the plants to look unsightly by the end of the season. In various references, certain hostas are listed as either being very susceptible to slug damage. i.e. slug bait or resistant to their damage often due to thick leaf tissue.


A few hostas develop a leaf problem called the drawstring effect. The edge of the leaf seems to shrink and form a cupping effect as the season progresses. Cupping can be a desirable effect, however, in plants that exhibit the drawstring effect, the edges of the leaves tend to split and pull apart as the season progresses. This results in a ragged, unsightly appearance to the plant.



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