Try as we might, unfortunately we cannot protect our beloved plants 100%. There will always be something that we cannot control, such as the temperature, the wind or, perhaps, the irrigation. For this reason, we often have to do treatments, whether preventive or curative, because plant beings have a multitude of enemies that are always on the lookoutwaiting for the slightest sign of weakness to attack them.
Probably one of the best known is the fungus of the Roya. It affects all types of plants, regardless of their age and size. But fortunately, it is very easy to control it and also to prevent itas we are going to tell you below.
What is rust?
It is a fungal diseasemainly of the Puccinia and Melampsora genera. It affects, as we said, all types of plants, but especially those that have leaves; even so, cacti can also suffer from it.
Like all fungi, once it manages to penetrate the plant through the roots or pruning wounds, multiplies very quicklyand, therefore, the symptoms do not take more than a day or two at most to appear.
What are the symptoms?
We will know that our plant has rust if we see that small red or brown bumps appear on the underside of the leaveswhich are nothing more than the accumulation of the spores of the fungus. In the beam, we will see yellow spots or more discolored portions. Unless treated, over time the plant can become leafless.
Types or varieties of rust
Several types or varieties are distinguished, the main ones being the following:
- Birch rust: it is caused by the fungus Melampsoridium Betulinum. It attacks the leaves of this tree, where round orange spots appear on the underside. It also affects the trunk, causing it to break easily.
- Garlic rust: it is caused by the fungus Puccinia there. It produces small yellow-orange bumps on the leaves.
- Plum rust: it is produced by the fungus Tranzchelia pruni-spinosae var. discolor. The symptoms are characteristic of this disease.
- Gooseberry rust: it is caused by fungi of the genus Puccinia. The affected plant will have yellow spots on the leaves that will later turn red. In addition, it will look weak and with malformations on the leaves.
- Hyacinth rust: it is caused by the fungus uromyces muscariwhich affects the hyacinth and other similar plants, such as muscari. It produces brownish bumps on the leaves.
- Lentil rust: it is caused by the fungus Uromyces fabae. It affects legumes, such as lentils or beans.
- Quince rust: it is produced by the fungus spotted woodpecker. It produces red spots on the underside of the leaves that blacken.
- Rose rust: it is caused by the fungus Phragmidium mucronate. It causes yellow spots on the upper part of the leaves and small bumps with yellowish spores on the underside.
- Starch rust: it is not caused by typical rust fungi, but by bacteria Xanthomas campestris. However, since it is known by the same name, we wanted to include it in the list as well. It produces brown or reddish spots on the leaves.
- Thought rust: it is caused by the fungus Puccinia viola. Affected leaves will have yellow bumps on the underside.
- Peppermint rust: it is caused by the fungus Puccinia menthae. It mainly affects the stems of the plant, where orange bumps and deformities will appear on the affected shoots.
How is it treated?
If we detect that a plant has this disease, the first thing we have to do is remove the affected leaves with previously washed hands, or with disinfected scissors. In this way, we will prevent the fungus from continuing to spread.
Once this is done, we must proceed to treat it with fungicidessuch as Fosetyl-Al. If we prefer home remedies, we can opt for the Bordeaux mixture, which we can apply in spring.
In severe cases, where it looks really weak, it is best to burn the plant.
Can it be prevented?
Not 100%, but yes. There are several things we can do to protect our plants from rust.
Fertilize the plants
During the warm months of the year it is necessary to pay regularly. Plants need water, but also “food” to grow and develop. In nurseries today it is easy to find Fertilizers specific for almost all types of plants, but I recommend that you combine them with organic ones, such as manure o guano (casting once one, and the next another). Thus, they will not lack anything.
Acquire healthy plants
As much as we like a plant, if it is sick or we suspect that it may be, it is best not to buy it. Why? Because we could endanger the health of those we already have at home. Therefore, if you have symptoms of rust or any other disease, or pests, you do not have to buy it.
Disinfect pruning tools
Before and after using pruning tools, they must be disinfected, for example with a few drops of dishwasher or pharmacy alcohol. You have to think that fungal spores are tiny, so much so that the human eye is unable to see them with the naked eye. There may be some in a tool and we do not know it. To avoid taking unnecessary risks, they must be disinfected before and after use..
Water, but without overdoing it
Irrigation is one of the most difficult tasks to control, but it is the most important. When we buy a plant, we have to know more or less how much water it needs, and when in doubt, not water or, even better, check the humidity of the soil. For this we can dig a little, or introduce a thin wooden stick. If it comes out clean when you extract it, it will mean that the earth is dry and that, therefore, we can water.
Seal pruning wounds with healing paste
Especially those that are made in woody tissue, it will always be much more advisable to seal the wounds with healing paste than letting them dry in the sun.
We can get this product in any nursery or garden store.
And with this we are done. We hope you now know what rust is and how you can eliminate it .