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Last updated on January 21st, 2020

Hostas are great plants to grow in shaded areas. They will last for many years with bold foliage filling your garden with colour from spring through Autumn. They can be easily divided to make new plants too. These perennials are carefree with few problems with the exception of slugs. However, from time to time you might notice a problem with your hostas or you might simply want to prepare against common hosta diseases or pests.

Learn how to divide hostas in this article 

Hosta diseases

Firstly, in terms of hosta diseases, there are really no common diseases to look out for as there are with other plants. These plants are particularly disease-resistant with the exception of anthracnose. This is a fungal disease that arrives in warmer, wet weather and produced large, irregular spots with a dark border, spots which eventually fall out and leave the leaves with a torn appearance often mistaken for pest problems.

To much sun

Still, with just one common disease, it does not mean they won’t succumb to problems. They do need protection against direct sunlight. If they are planted someplace with too much sun you will see brown, scorched leaves. The same outcome is brought about by shaded areas that are allowed to get too dry. 

Slugs and snails eating hostas

Hosta pests

If, for example, you have a hosta with holes in leaves, it is likely pests who are eating their way through your foliage.

Slugs and snails

While free from diseases, hostas do battle with snails and slugs. These are the biggest issue you will face. They will strip away all of the foliage if you do not take precautions. They often forage at night, leaving small holes in the hosta leaves and silvery trails throughout the garden. Beer traps are an effective way to lure them away from your plant and controlling them effectively as ae slug pellets and even copper tape if you grow them in pots. 

Vine weevil eat the leaves of hostas and the white grubs eat the roots

Hosta grew in containers

Vine weevils can be problematic if you are growing in containers, though the containers will thwart the problems brought about by the snails and slugs. The weevils will leave irregular notches along the perimeter of the leaves, and later their larvae will eat the roots and crown resulting in wilted, yellow foliage and this is usually the worst problem caused by vine weevils as they can often die and the damage has been done before you notice. You can use Provado ultimate bug killer which you use as a drench to soil the soil which kills the grubs.

Deer and rabbits can have an apatite for Hosta leaves

Deer and rabbits also like to grab a snack of hosta, so if your area is prone to visits from such animal friends, they might also be to blame. 

So if you are noticing problems with your hostas, use the process of elimination to investigate the culprit but 9 out of 10 times its usually slugs and snails that are the cause.

Image credits – Shutterstock.com


Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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