Asked on Jun 22, 2014

My hosta leaves are being (chewed) off at the base, help?

It is just not one plant, or in one area. Several plants in different areas?
At the very base of the plant they are actually laying on the ground, nothing else on the plant looks like something is eating it.
They all have this sort of tear on them.
  16 answers
  • Lori Jackson Lori Jackson on Jun 22, 2014
    Someone just posted similar damage and attributed it to voles. She showed that these leaves will root (slowly but surely) in water.
  • Are the roots in tact? You could rabbits eating them. Voles eat the roots up to the crown of the roots where I have posted how to save them.
  • Nancy Steiler Nancy Steiler on Jun 22, 2014
    rabbits, OR woodchucks!
  • BONNIE J BONNIE J on Jun 22, 2014
  • Therese C Therese C on Jun 22, 2014
    My guess would be Voles. These little creatures are very damaging to lawns and especially flower beds! They resemble field mice with shorter tails and can deliver new babies every 21 days or so, so they rapidly take over an area. Their main diet consists of plant roots and bulbs. You will know quickly if Voles are the problem as they dig surface tunnels in the grass and holes about the size of a golf ball near drainage areas. I do not like to kill any creature, but there is a time when you must deter them and unfortunatly there is no 'nice' way.
  • Debi Matlack Debi Matlack on Jun 22, 2014
    I live in Florida and we have these monstrous grasshoppers called lubbers that like to chew things off at ground level. It could be a very industrious insect of some kind.
  • Myrna Engle Myrna Engle on Jun 22, 2014
    Hostas just call loudly to snails and slugs. I've never been able to have success due to this problem. The best control is to go out at night and pick the snails and slugs by flashlight. In an hour I killed 300, but you have to go back every night. There are good snail baits, I just try not to use chemicals but in this case I would.
    • See 1 previous
    • Kristen Rikli Kristen Rikli on Feb 13, 2015
      @Myrna I've read that they'll eat cornmeal, which kills them too. What I do - because I really dislike touching them, and it kills them on the spot, is to mix half water, half ammonia, and put it in a squirt bottle. I spray the slugs I see. This doe not damage the plant, but gives it some nitrogen. A tip I got from a Hosta "farmer", is you can mix a solution with 1 part ammonia to 9 parts water, and when you are just seeing your Hosta sprout in the spring, pour this around the plants. It will kill the slugs that are in the ground. They have like 60,000 babies per season so that's why you have so many. Also, established Hosta do not need to be mulched. If you do use mulch, keep it away from the base of the Hosta. The diatomaceous earth works great. Also, they don't like crossing copper (such as pennies). It messes with their systems by giving them some sort of electrical charge. They do like beer so you could always place a saucer with some beer in it at ground level, digging it in a little so that they don't have to crawl more than an 1/8th to 1/4 inch over the lip to get at the beer. They drink up and die in bliss. Best of luck to you this summer.
  • Tipsee Thomas Tipsee Thomas on Jun 22, 2014
    Slugs are alcoholics - pour some beer in a small plastic lid ..they'll drink until they die!
  • I don't think they are voles because the plant is still intact, the roots are fine as is the rest of the plant. Just a leaf laying on the ground with what looks like a tear from the bottom up and it doesn't look even look like anything had been eaten.
    • Bonnie Budrick Bonnie Budrick on Jul 01, 2020

      Mine are the same way...... my guess chipmunks or squirrels. I had a flower box on porch and they took fliers out and buried acorns/walnuts. I read coffee and did that.... now a couple more off another plant- my son told me Turic (?)and hot pepper flakes...... so I wait. It’s So frustrating. I planted last year and they are big, beautiful and big blooms on them. I googled and sounded like squirrels-

  • Donna Lawless Donna Lawless on Jun 22, 2014
    It's snails and slugs. We have an over abundance of them in our garden of hostas also.
  • Barb Rosen Barb Rosen on Jun 22, 2014
    Rabbits have done this to several of mine - I caught them in the act!!
  • Those slimy snails and slugs in sunny CA..... and get up and my beautiful Hostas are gone and I love themmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Penny Penny on Jul 18, 2014
    rabbits? maybe...
  • I have been spraying them with soapy water lately and whatever it was has quit. I'm thinking rabbits though.
  • Kittykatz2001 Kittykatz2001 on Feb 14, 2015
    I have read that wood ash would keep them anything away.
  • Irene Sheridan Irene Sheridan on Jul 27, 2017

    My Hosta ant has all but a few leves eaten completely off leaving just the stem. My guess is rabbits. Also my Hens and Chicks have been torn out of the ground and stems have been eaten. Any ideas who did it.?