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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Annuals and Perennials > Hosta > Spots on leaves

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Hosta > Spots on leaves

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  • Image: Sunscald 1
  • Image: Sunscald 2
  • Image: Sunscald 3


  • Patches of leaves exposed to too much sun are bleached to a yellow or white color
  • Severely burned leaves may have light tan dead areas that are papery and thin
  • Whole sections of leaves may discolor and die
  • Occurs in hostas that receive too much sun
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  • Image: Leaf Spot 1
  • Image: Leaf Spot 2
  • Image: Leaf Spot 3

Leaf Spot
Colletotrichum sp., Alternaria sp., Cercospora sp., and
Phyllosticta sp.

  • Randomly scattered tan to brown spots on leaves
  • Some spots have a dark border and light center
  • In severe cases spots grow together to kill large sections of the leaf
  • Dead tissue in the center of the spot may fall out
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  • Image: Foliar Nematodes 1
  • Image: Foliar Nematodes 2
  • Image: Foliar Nematodes 3

Foliar Nematodes
Aphelenchoides sp.

  • Yellow to tan stripe on leaves parallel to leaf veins
  • Starts on lower leaves first
  • Leaves may rip or fall apart where brown and dead tissue occurs
  • Most noticeable in late summer and fall
  • More information on Foliar Nematodes
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  • Image: Virus 1
  • Image: Virus 2
  • Image: Virus 3

Hosta Virus X, Tobacco Rattle virus, and others

  • Unusual dark and light green streaks, blotches and spots on leaves
  • Dark and light green leaf color may seem to bleed together like ink on wet paper
  • Leaves may be malformed and twisted
  • Dead brown tissue may occur in streaks or spots on leaves
  • Some cultivars may not show symptoms
  • Lab test required to distinguish between viruses and to verify infection
  • More information on Virus
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Petiole Rot
Sclerotium rolfsii

  • Leaves, turn yellow, then brown, wilt and fall down
  • Older, outer most leaves are infected first, followed by younger inner leaves
  • Infected leaves come off easily and are brown and mushy at the base
  • Tiny tan to reddish brown hard spheres and white cottony growth can be seen at the base of infected leaves or in the soil around infected plants
  • Often seen after warm wet weather
  • More information on Petiole Rot

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