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Cumbria, United Kingdom Gb

What is causing this damage to my hostas?? Yes, I know that hostas are caviare to slugs, but I see no sign of slugs near the hostas, which are in posts. No slime trails, no sign of slugs in the nearby plants. Also, the shredding effect doesn't look like the usual slug damage. Thanks for any clues!




they kinda look like mine. Not enough moisture. I need to be more attentive to watering them. They need constant moisture esp if you have sunny windy days.

3 Aug, 2020


looking at them I would go for he small slugs that hide in the soil.

from your earlier description I did wonder about hail damage but that tends to be tears rather than complete chunks missing.

leaf miners and other leaf eating invertebrates [beetles etc] could also be the culprits.

3 Aug, 2020


Thanks.I'll try putting some slug deterrents on the soil in the pots. As for dryness, yes, we had drought conditions in the Spring so they were very late to come up so maybe that affected them. They look horrible so may cut them down and hope for better things next year!

4 Aug, 2020


if you do go for cutting them back remove the most damaged and leave the least damaged ones to keep the root stock strong. You may get new leaves as the season develops. Lack of water wont have caused the holes though as that is physical damage.

4 Aug, 2020


Your best idea, though the neighbours might think you are weird, is to go out at night with a torch and inspect the leaves, top and underneath, to see if there are any slugs sneaking about. The other idea is to cut off the worst large leaves and lay them around the plant, then inspect those for sleeping slugs the next day. I think Seaburn is right about those sneaky little ones!

4 Aug, 2020


We get that kind of damage when the molluscs eat the part of the leaves with rain or dew on them.

4 Aug, 2020


I find that if mine don't get enough water (and they love their water) they become susceptible to all kinds of other problems.

4 Aug, 2020


Thanks for all suggestions and ideas. IF it ever stops raining in Cumbria (seems unlikely) I'll cut off some of the hosta leaves. I like the idea of putting damaged leaves round the plants and looking for evidence.
Supposing we ever get a warm, damp summer evening I could easily go out with a torch - my garden is well-walled and very private!

5 Aug, 2020


I've got the identical problem on my hosta's and it is snails. I've seen the so and so's hiding amongst the leaves. I saw a gardeners' world that if your hosta's were well looked after and well fed, they don't suffer from slug and snail damage so mine obviously aren't!

5 Aug, 2020


I have similar damage to some hostas whilst others have none at all - mainly the very dark green/blue large leaved ones. I haven't seen any snail/slug trails either and spray them all with a garlic mix once a week. They are hard work but I think worth it. Good luck with them.

8 Aug, 2020


Think it IS snails - hiding in a wall nearby! Do you have to make garlic spray or do you buy it?
Any more suggestions for deterring slugs and snails -organically?

9 Aug, 2020


don't know if you can buy it.

there are wool pellets that are supposed to work. then there is ferric oxide that works and causes less harm to the natives. [Sluggo is one named brand that is available in the UK]

9 Aug, 2020


Thanks for suggestions for garden -friendly slug and snails deterrentd.

10 Aug, 2020

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