Even the most experienced gardeners occasionally lose a plant or flower to disease. Just like humans, plants have their own list of diseases. One such malady that landscapers see all too common is the rust fungus. If you're an avid gardener, then the following guide explains the characteristics of rust fungus and how to protect your plants and flower beds from this disease.
Rust Fungus Symptoms
Carefully examine individual plants and flowers, especially at the leaves and petals for blotches of rust-colored specks. The specks may take on a reddish, brownish, or purplish color.
Damage Caused by Rust Fungus
Plants and flowers inflicted with heavy rust fungus may wither or curl at the leaves, resulting in loss of those leaves. While the condition is not typically fatal, it does often lead to stunted growth, which can give the plants an unhealthy and less attractive appearance.
Organic fungicide sprays are effective for preventing rust fungus. Neem oil is a good example of an herbal extract with powerful anti-fungal properties. Baking soda combined with horticultural oil is another effective fungicide. The baking soda and oil can be combined with water and sprayed directly at plants.
Prevent Excessive Moisture
Like any other microorganisms, fungi thrive in wet and humid conditions. For this reason, it's important to avoid excessive watering especially if you utilize an overhead sprinkler system. Instead, opt for a drip irrigation system, which can be installed just above the soil and provides water to the plants' roots without making contact with the leaves. If you do not wish to replace your sprinkler system, then water early in the morning so that the sun will quickly dry the droplets on the leaves.
If you do not wish to have to deal with rust fungus at all, then consider renovating your garden and introducing plants and flowers that have a natural resistant to the disease. Consider these varieties:
In addition, many plant and flower suppliers are also experimenting with new hybrid varieties with a strong immunity to rust fungus. Speak with landscaping companies such as Superior Lawn and Landscape to learn whether selected plants in their inventory have been grown in this manner.
Rust fungus has an uncanny ability to spread across vulnerable plants and blemish the appearance of your lawn. However, you can prevent the disease from occurring by creating an environment that doesn't allow it to spread.