Rust Information

By Ronnie Dauber, Garden Guides Contributor

About Rust

Rust is a fungi infection that cannot be adequately detected on contaminated plants since they show no symptoms of the infection. It has the ability to negatively affect production of many crops, including flowers, foliage and wheat. Rust spores lodge in the crown of plants that have had foliage removed and spread to disease-free plants very quickly.

Prevention and Control

Quarantine restrictions and eradication efforts are enforced to manage rust outbreaks and minimize potential disease loss during transportation from one place to another.

Affected Plants

Rust fungi attacks plants including deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs, cut flowers, foliage and flowering potted plants such as geraniums, chrysanthemums, daylilies and gladiolus.


Rust fungi does not immediately kill the infected plants, but the infection of the rust will reduce plant health and prevent flower production.

Predator Insects

There aren't any known natural predators to consume rust.

Natural Insecticides

The simplest natural way to stop the disease from spreading is to remove the infected areas from the plant.

Other Methods of Control

A DNA marker has been developed that is effective in flagging the presence of prime components which provide resistance against different species and strains of rust. This enables breeders to track the presence of this rust resistance through a simple DNA test.

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