Rhonda B
Rhonda B
  • Hometalker
  • Muscatine, IA

Holes In Hosta Leaves-It Might Not Be Who You Think!


So, you walk by your prized Hosta one afternoon on a stroll and it looks like this:
Hosta "Guacamole" with damage
Hosta "Guacamole" with damage
or this:
Hosta "Lakeside Shore Master" with damage
Hosta "Lakeside Shore Master" with damage
or this:
Hosta "Journey's End" with damage
Hosta "Journey's End" with damage
Your first thought is probably to go and grab the beer, eggshells or the copper banding. To be honest, these things might not work. The damage in the pictures above is not from the infamous slug but from another enemy of the gardener-the cutworm. At this time of year (late Spring) cutworms are usually the culprits in my garden.
So, you ask, how do you tell the difference. Well, it seems that cutworms make larger "neater" holes. Here are some examples
cutworm damage
cutworm damage
cutworm damage
cutworm damage
cutworm damage
cutworm damage
Slugs, on the other hand, are "messier" if that makes any sense. Since I apparently don't have any slug damage at this time I found this photo online of an example:
slug damage
slug damage
If you still don't know which you have you can go out at night with a flashlight and look for the culprit(s). Both slugs and cutworms like to feed at night. You can also look for cutworms during the day. Here is how I do it:
Find a Hosta that is being attacked.
Hosta "Journey's End"
Hosta "Journey's End"
Gently pull back the mulch from around the Hosta
holes in hosta leaves it might not be who you think, gardening, landscape, outdoor living
Look carefully around the Hosta, I found this cutworm at the base of the stems on this Hosta
holes in hosta leaves it might not be who you think, gardening, landscape, outdoor living
cutworm
cutworm
Can you spot the cutworm in the photo below?
holes in hosta leaves it might not be who you think, gardening, landscape, outdoor living
Now all you need to do is squish it. No chemicals needed:-)) Seriously, finding them and squishing them has been the best and easiest way I have found to control them. If you catch them early enough you won't have significant damage to your Hosta.
Here is a cutworm I found near my Hosta "Guacamole"
holes in hosta leaves it might not be who you think, gardening, landscape, outdoor living
holes in hosta leaves it might not be who you think, gardening, landscape, outdoor living
holes in hosta leaves it might not be who you think, gardening, landscape, outdoor living
Did you notice how far away from the Hosta this one was? You have to make sure to check the whole area surrounding the Hosta-they can be anywhere around it. I usually will only find one cutworm in an area, but I usually check the entire area just in case.
So, the next time you have holes in your Hosta don't blame the slug, you could have a different enemy:-))
Stop by my blog for tips and gardening ideas!

Top Hometalk Projects

15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
16 Creative Ways To Upcycle Pallets
Fake It Until You Make It! 27 Creative Hacks for High-End Looks
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
15 Quick and Easy Gift Ideas Using Buttons
18 Easy DIY Projects That You Can Do This Weekend!
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
30 Fun Ways To Keep Your Home Organized
Browse Through These Dream Bedrooms & Find Your Favorite!
15 Affordable DIY Projects You Can Do Right Now!
17 Faux Brick Ideas For Your Home
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
22 Ideas To Make Your Terra Cotta Pots Look Oh-So-Pretty
Rhonda B

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Go

Have a question about this project?

3 of 13 questions
  • Twilla Cummings-King
    on Jun 26, 2017

    What can you do to stop deer from eating them??
  • Albertmay
    on Jul 15, 2017

    I have newly planted petunias in the front of my hosta bed that are being destroyed by something. Safer's hasn't worked. Could this be cutworms?
  • Millie
    on Mar 4, 2019

    Can u grow Hosts in the house and do they need a lot of sun or could they live in a basement apartment.

Join the conversation

2 of 34 comments
Your comment...