Asked on May 26, 2013

Hostas...what is Happening???

Bernice H
by Bernice H
Look ! All the others have grown into big boys, or girls, whatever. These are stuck..they don't do anything , it has been almost 3-4 weeks now. These are my biggest ones too. They get huge, I think they are called Sun Power, or Paul's glory, not sure anymore, but they have an area all their own because they get so big, but they are just stuck in 3-5 inches!
All I did this year different than all the years before is put mulch down before winter. I thought maybe I had put too much and covered them too much so they couldn't breathe..but even after I removed most of the mulch they still haven't gotten any bigger!
So sad......any suggestions? UPDATE 6/9 13..more pictures below. Oh another update, the last picture way below is how the hosta should look, I just found it!!!
  22 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 26, 2013
    Weird since the neighbors seem to look fine. So it shouldn't be drought, which would be my first suspicion with stunted hostas. Are there any abnormalities to the foliage other than size?
  • Becky P Becky P on May 26, 2013
    the hostas we have at work are acting weird, too.
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on May 26, 2013
    @Bernice H your problem could be underground. Did a bit of a search and found this site Hope this helps - I am no expert, but I too would be concerned if my hostas failed to grow in the spring.
  • Bernice H Bernice H on May 27, 2013
    @Gail Salminen Thanks so much for the link and concern. @Douglas Hunt Yes the neighbors are fine, and this is the first year I have had any problems. If it was a virus I would think the rest of the group would be affected too, right?@ what problem are you experiencing? Now I am concerned for the others. We have had so much rain, I don't think the garden is draining and drying, but this doesn't seem to be the problem because the rain just started this past week. So sad, because this is a huge hosta. The others are regular average.......however the lemonitis , sooo pretty, seems to always have some drying leaves underneath, and never gets any bigger. I have it planted in the ground in a pot. Can we think of any more suggestions or help? did notice those roly poly bugs all over , and lots of them. But nothing else seems to be affected and I don't know what they do to a garden. And if you look closely even some of the hosta in question HAS grown.
  • Becky P Becky P on May 27, 2013
    there is just one at work that is affected.....I think maybe it needs to be divided, but it is very stunted. It also doesn't help we have had a lot of rain, and it's right by the downspout.
  • Nancy Hand Nancy Hand on May 27, 2013
    They might be just slow coming out. How do they look now??
  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on May 27, 2013
    @Bernice H I was so lucky to finally find hostas that survive in Florida. I planted them where they get morning sun and afternoon shade. I only bought 3 tiny ones last year because I didn't think they would do well. Your larger ones look lovely so I'm betting they will all be beautiful in time.
  • Bernice H Bernice H on May 27, 2013
    Hi @Nancy Hand Here is this mornings picture..not much change except some of the stunted leaves are opening up. The one on the right side picture 1 is part of this clump... it is almost normal from the beginning of the is not drought by any means. We had lots and lots of rain this week, but they were stunted before that and everyone else was in full size, in fact the other hostas are about to bloom! Very perplexing. Not MUCH change from above! @Douglas Hunt have you or the other gardeners run into this problem?
  • Bernice H Bernice H on May 27, 2013
    @Sherrie S I am so happy to hear you finally got some to love!!!! Good for you! Good for them! Do you know what kind they are? Have you ever been to a hosta site ..thousands of them...I love looking at all of them. My dtr's mil has some I have never seen anywhere. I hinted sooo big, but she never shared even a tiny bit with me! grrr She lives 4 hours away or I would make friends with her! haha
  • Ruth T Ruth T on May 27, 2013
    The center seems to have died out - and the outer ring looked stunted. Dividing looks advisable at this time, to save some parts of them and to find out what's going on underneath. Ants have done this to some of my plants - killed a hundred black dragon lilies, and now my hen and chicks!
  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on May 27, 2013
    @Bernice H yes my Hosta are called Sun Hostas - how fitting for Florida. Many of us have tried to grow these plants but this is the only one that looks like it will do well here. It should have a flower later this year. Your dtrs mil is mean if she won't share. I'd share with you.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 27, 2013
    It could possibly be a virus. They affect some varieties more than others. Keep an eye on your plants and check out this from the American Hosta Society:
  • Nancy Hand Nancy Hand on May 27, 2013
    LOL I love your stone faces in your bed!! Well Im stumped? Maybe you should check out the site that Doug gave you. American Hosta Society might help with your problem. My hosta's have done great this year. They grow better for me in pots than the ground.
  • Leslie Herbert Leslie Herbert on May 28, 2013
    The center seems to have died and what you have are baby plants in the outer edge. I would dig up the whole thing and get rid of the middle, replant the others.
  • Sharron W Sharron W on May 28, 2013
    You said you planted them in the in the ground in a pot? Maybe they are root bound? What about fertilizer? Have you given them any? Here I have mine planted in pots above ground because of the squirrels/chipmunks/voles that eat the roots off but if yours is in a pot planted in the ground I would think that I would check the roots first...
  • Bonnie Lewenza Bonnie Lewenza on May 29, 2013
    Try to feed with epsom salt and sugar to give them a boost. I use 3 tbl. spoons of each to 2 litre of water, feed at base of plants. It will take a day or two but you will notice a big difference.
    • Jud319029 Jud319029 on Jul 09, 2017

      I would think Epsom salts, thats what I use when ever they give me trouble......

  • Mo Mo on May 29, 2013
    It was not hostas but another plant which became stunted while surrounded by all its vigorous growing siblings. Biggest puzzle to me I could not solve until my dog walked up and lifted his leg. Sure enough I watched closely and that seemed to be Bubba's GO-to place when I first let him out into the yard each morning. Put in a acid loving plant and dropped a mothball on top and it is all now good to go, so to speak.
  • Bernice H Bernice H on Jun 09, 2013
    @Mo dog here! Well they haven't grown to speak of. I just took a picture today which I will post soon, actually of my plate flowers, but you can see the big guy hasn't done anything. you would think it would die or something, or curl its leaves, it just sits there....
  • Sandra K Gibson Sandra K Gibson on May 30, 2014
    You need to divide hosta's every few years when they become too big,they will take a couple of seasons to recover though,protect from frost,by mulching ,slugs snails earwigs all love munching on the young leaves, also in pots you may get Vine weavel,they deposit their larve into the soil, looks like a white curled up maggot,but it's got a heck of an appitite for roots,shoots
  • Sharmin Palmere Sharmin Palmere on May 30, 2017

    Mine have done the same thing the one next to it is fine but the other is barely making a appearance

  • Bellanell Bellanell on Jul 31, 2017

    I had that happen to one of was moles!

  • Pat Pat on Jul 31, 2017

    I noticed my big leafed hostas sometimes take longer to get big also.....they come up like yours and then it seems forever till they are big....just wait and keep watering them.