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Can Hosta leaves be saved from night time pests?

by | Mar 17, 2010 | Resources, Market News, Ask Pahl's Market

My hostas all full of little holes. I’ve tried spraying them for bugs, but nothing seems to work. Some varieties are affected more than others. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Dear Sally,
     The hosta leaves you describe are a common site this time of year.  The damage is done by snails or slugs.  These little pests do most of their feeding at night.  They absolutely love many hostas as well as some other choice perennials.  There are a number of methods to reduce their number but I have found that a commercial slug bait is the best.  We sell a granular type at Pahl’s.  The slugs are attracted to it and once ingested they quit feeding and die.  The product we have will not harm other animals or pets. The damage you see now will not correct itself by winter, so for now you will just have to accept those holes in the leaves.  I would treat the area around the hostas now though and then again in Spring.  Next season, until you really have the slugs under control, repeat the treatment every couple of weeks.  It is simple to do.  Just scatter the bait granules around the plant. You will see a huge difference next year. �
One other suggestion I could offer is to plant hostas that are vase shaped.  One of my favorites is “Krossa Regal.”  It has tough leaves and stems, is a beautiful blue green and is a large upright shape.  Slugs seem to leave these tougher hostas alone.

Thank you for your question and please come in to Pahl’s and let us send you home with a good slug bait that will solve your problem.  

Best wishes for your garden..  Dee

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