The Detroit Post
Saturday, 16 October, 2021

Can Rust Damage Plants

Daniel Brown
• Wednesday, 30 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Treating the problem takes time and effort and requires a bit of know-how on your end. Here’s the deal, there are thousands of species of rust that can affect your garden or indoor plants.

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Rust is an unattractive fungal disease that can stunt growth and reduce the healthfulness of your plants, but it rarely kills crops outright. On top of that, if you sell your plants at the market, no one wants to buy your leafy greens if they’re covered in rust.

Rust thrives in situations where it’s warm and moist, so it’s a common disease in climates with a hot, humid gardening season. If you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, rust is likely a common garden problem.

Gardens with poorly draining soil or plants that are overwatered frequently are susceptible to the disease. The spores are transferred to plant material either by blowing wind or by splashing water.

The fungal disease spreads easily, which is why it’s so important to address a rust infestation when it appears in your garden. The main signs of rust typically appear on plant foliage.

Common rust often starts out as raised spots, sometimes white. They appear in a variety of colors, including brown, yellow, or orange.

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In severe cases of rust, leaves crumple, wilt, and fall to the ground. There are so many species of rust that it’s pretty much impossible to list all the plants that are susceptible to the disease.

Roses Hollyhocks Snapdragons Day lilies Beans Tomatoes Corn Grasses When browsing seed catalogs or picking up new seedlings at your local nursery, select disease-resistant varieties whenever possible.

Avoid leaving behind debris in your garden, especially if you live in a wet climate with lots of rain. Splashing water easily transfers disease spores to foliage.

Use mulch to protect your plants from rust spores living on the topsoil. Carefully prune bushy plants to ensure proper air circulation.

Regular weeding also helps improve air circulation and reduces the chance of disease spread. Don’t use overhead watering methods (spray hose nozzle or sprinklers, for instance).

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When choosing a spot for your garden, avoid waterlogged areas where water pools after a rainy day. Avoid overdoing it with high nitrogen fertilizers, which can produce susceptible foliage.

A nutrient imbalance is also likely to cause soil health issues that can exacerbate diseases. If you’ve dealt frequently with rust in the past and want to implement an active strategy for preventing infection on vulnerable plants, use products like copper sprays.

Clean your shovels, spades, and weeding implements regularly to avoid spreading rust around your garden. Try applying copper fungicides or sulfur dust to affected leaves.

When using fungicides, spray the affected foliage as soon as you spot signs of rust. Apply these types of sprays in the early morning or evening to prevent leaf burn.

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. Don’t buy plants that have yellow, orange or red spots.

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A little spotting on the leaves will not significantly affect the health and growth of the plant. Rust is a common fungal disease of many plants in the flower garden.

The bright red, orange, yellow, and brown colors of this disease often draw attention and can detract from a plant’s appearance. On rare occasions, a highly susceptible plant may suffer severe damage due to rust.

Some spotting on the leaves will not significantly affect the health and growth of the plant. Use drip irrigation or soaker hose to apply water to the soil, not the leaves.

Using pesticides Fungicides are rarely necessary to manage rust in a home garden and should only be used to protect high-value plants that cannot be replaced and have a history of severe infection. Fungicides must be applied to healthy green tissue early in the growing season before infection begins.

Examine the lower leaves of plants with history of severe rust once a week. When the first leaf spot is observed, pinch off the infected leaves and begin fungicide sprays to protect healthy tissues.

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Repeat applications are often necessary throughout the growing season and should be applied according to label instructions. Fungicides with the active ingredient Myclobutanil or Azoxystrobin are most effective against rust fungi.

Pustules can occur on all green parts of the plant including stems, petioles, and the flower calyx. Spores can be yellow, orange, or brown and can easily be seen as a colorful powder on hands or on a white tissue that has been gently rubbed on the leaf.

Dark brown to black lines and dots may form around the edges or within leaf spots at the end of the growing season. Severely infected leaves may turn yellow or brown or fall off.

Severely infected plants may be stunted, discolored, and wilt easily. Powdery orange spores of the rust fungi can be seen on the lower leaf surface of a Monarch plant Rust is caused by a group of related fungi in the order Ordinals.

Rust fungi have complicated lifecycles that include five different types of spores and sometimes two completely different host plants. Rust fungi can only survive by feeding off of live plant tissue.

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Spores of rust fungi are easily spread by the wind and occasionally splashing water. They need a film of water on the foliage from rain, dew, or irrigation to germinate and start a new infection.

Weeds from the same family as the garden plant can become infected and serve as a location for the rust fungi to survive and reproduce. At the end of the growing season, rust fungi can produce a thick-walled resting spore that allows it to survive through the winter.

These are formed on the edges or within leaf spots or stem infections and persist from one season to the next in plant debris. Some rust fungi survive by infecting perennial plant parts like branches or crowns.

Rust -infected Monarch plants have yellow leaf spots on the lower leavesMany commonly grown annual and perennial flowering plants, as well as ornamental grasses, can be infected by rust fungi. Each species of rust fungi is only able to infect a limited group of plants.

A common example is cedar apple rust, which spends half of its lifecycle infecting Junipers (Junipers SPP.) And the other half infecting apple or crab apple trees (Males SPP.

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Creative reuse of containers makes an eclectic garden decor visually interesting -- and practical. While recycled metal cans may show a little rust over time, the iron oxide isn't water-soluble and not available to the plants roots.

Layering a second plastic or clay plant pot inside the outer container helps insulate the roots from the sun's heat. Placing the container where the herbs receive dappled shade during the hottest part of the day also protects them from drying out.

Fungal rust disease infiltrates these spinach leaves. This fungal disease affects a wide range of woody and herbaceous plants.

Rust disease is caused by a fungal parasite that needs living plants to survive. Rust diseases come in different varieties and can affect a wide range of plants.

Look for yellow or white spots forming on the upper leaves of a plant. Look for reddish to orange blister-like swellings called pustules on the undersides of leaves.

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Orange or yellow spots or streaks appear on the undersides of the leaves. Small pustules appear on the undersides, and sometimes the tops, of leaves when a plant is infected with rust.

For bramble fruits, remove and destroy all the infected plants and replant the area with resistant varieties. Space your plants properly to encourage good air circulation.

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