As we all know, rust isn’t something to overlook. We can see it on cars and other metal objects. And of course, this rust just won’t stay in a small area, it will definitely spread, leading to a serious problem. Well, gardeners also face the rust issue but on plants and mostly on flowers we hold dear. Furthermore, in the case of plants, this is like a rust fungus that will affect the foliage. Letting it spread means that the foliage rust will cause large masses that distort and deform our flower’s leaves. Thus, it is time to learn how to protect your flowers from foliage rust and beat this issue with natural treatments.
How to identify the foliage rust
There are many species of the rust fungus disease, affecting host-specific plants and flowers, but gardeners can recognize this problem by observing the speckled masses that form on the surfaces of leaves. Most of the leaves will have the color of rust and will get dry spots of brown, orange, purple, red, or yellow discoloration.
Furthermore, the foliage rust spreads like tiny, scattered dots across plant leaves just like freckles. Affected plants can have dozens of rust spots on each leaf, and it’s possible for a single leaf to have more than a hundred rust spots.
Another sign you will see is the curling of the leaves or their complete falling. With this much damage, the flowers will stop growing. Most of the flowers that are affected by foliage rust are Aster, Geranium, Iris, Lily, Pansy, Primrose, Snapdragon, Sunflower, and Sweetpea. You should also check your flowers now because mostly the signs appear when the summer comes.
Organic sprays for foliage rust
A weekly dusting of sulfur can prevent and treat garden rust disease. Neem oil, a botanical fungicide, and pesticide, also control the foliage rust. Other organic solutions you could use are made of baking soda which is also good for garden fungus control. You can enhance the efficacy of baking soda spray by mixing it with light horticultural oil.
Take control of the rust fungus
Rust fungi, like many plant fungal diseases, flourish in wet conditions. The most important step you can take to reduce rust in your flower garden is to stop overhead watering. Instead, use a drip irrigation system to deliver water at ground level. If this isn’t possible, water your flower garden early in the morning, so the sun’s rays will quickly dry your flowers’ foliage.
Good garden hygiene
Practicing good garden hygiene can decrease rust attacks. If you see signs of rust, remove and destroy the affected foliage to prevent the spores from spreading. Do not compost diseased foliage.