Hostas are easy to grow and usually less subject pests and diseases than other perennials. However, like all plants, even hostas are host to some pests and diseases which are worth noting. Most are easy to prevent or safe and simple to treat - a few are more serious. None are unique to hosta and most are much more serious in other plant species.
Populations of deer are increasing throughout the US. As they forage in residential communities deer frequently find hostas among their favorites, especially those hostas with the fragrant flowered parents. There are many solutions AHS members have recommended for deer protection as well as some previously recommended remedies that have been tested and proven unsuccessful. Check out our Journal publications section of this Website for a list of some of these articles, and to order previously published issues of the Journal.
Rabbits and squirrels may chew an occasional leaf, but they are not generally known to be problems for hostas.
Mice and Voles
On the other hand, mice and voles can be major pests. They normally move in during the colder seasons when hostas are dormant, and may even stay if the food source is not depleted in the spring. The can devour the entire crown of a hosta before you even notice them. Cats may help the situation, but putting crowns in fine mesh (3/8” or less) wire baskets, or pots with holes in the bottom for extra drainage. Again, there are some fine articles in the Journal that explain more fully how to do this.
White Fly, Aphids and Ants
Probably not a serious pest to the home garden - they usually like roses and clematis plants best. Your local nursery can recommend solutions. These critters have been known to spread fungus and diseases in dense plant environments like the greenhouse where there are large concentrations of plants.
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