Golden Tiara Hosta, that is. Something is definitely wrong with this little Hosta, and I have no idea what.
I rescued several pots of this Hosta about 4 or 5 years ago from a big box store well known in these parts for having no idea about how to care for plants. These little guys and some Gold Standard were sitting out on hot pavement with no shade in sight. No water in sight, either. I got the pots for one dollar each, and I brought them home and put them in the ground. They looked puny for the rest of the summer, but the next year, they came up looking great. That year all was good.
In year two, every one of the Golden Tiara came up with misshaped and spotted leaves. They stayed that way until late summer when they put up perfect leaves. To further compound the mystery, the Gold Standard planted right alongside never exhibited a problem. Every year, these Golden Tiara come up all ugly and stay that way until late summer. They appear to be prospering otherwise, because they have multiplied quite well.
I thought it might be fungus, but nothing nearby seems to be damaged. I dug them up and looked for root damage, but the roots were healthy. Last year, I dug one clump up and divided it. I carefully cleaned the dirt off every clump and dipped the plants in a mild bleach solution and then rinsed them. I planted them out back in the Azalea Bed and waited to see what happened. This year, they came up all ugly again.
Here's a closeup.
The holes in the leaves are from slugs and some hail we had. You can see some perfect leaves emerging at the bottom center. I'm pretty fed up with this plant and am considering ripping it out and putting it in the trash.
Any ideas about what the problem could be?