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How to Treat Rust on Daylilies


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Though typically chosen for the home garden due to their ease of maintenance and resistance to problems, daylilies may develop rust, a fungal infection. Daylily rust (Puccinia hemerocallidis) should be treated as the problem can lead to plant death. Observe your daylilies and look for spotted leaves that appear to have areas saturated with water. If these areas turn into raised sites of infection that release a rust-like substance, you are witnessing the release of the dangerous fungal spores that spread to other plants through wind and water. Act immediately to save your prized garden flowers.

Difficulty:
Moderately Challenging

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • White facial tissue
  • Gardening gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Spade
  • Fungicides (azoxystrobin, myclobutanil or propiconazole)
    1. Wipe a white facial tissue carefully along the infected leaves of your daylily to determine whether or not a rust infection is present. Look for a rust-hued stain on your tissue as a sign of a rust problem.
    2. Verify a rust infection as rust can be confused with other diseases. Contact a professional or your local county extension agent if the rust-hued spores are not present or if you are unsure. Avoid treating your daylily for rust until you have accurately identified the problem at hand.
    3. Remove affected plant parts with pruning shears while wearing gardening gloves as a first step in treatment. Destroy infected parts and fallen debris to prevent further spread of infection. Sanitize pruning shears between each cut and from one plant to the next to inhibit disease transfer.
    4. Select a fungicide appropriate for daylily rust disease treatment. Choose from fungicides with active ingredients azoxystrobin, myclobutanil or propiconazole, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
    5. Spray your daylilies with two of the fungicide treatment options, trading off every application. Spray as a preventive measure during the growth season or spray daylilies as soon as you notice symptoms and have removed affected plant parts as a means of preventing the spread onto new foliage.
    6. Remove and destroy your entire daylily plant if it has died; fungicides will prevent the spread and development of disease but cannot revive your plant. Dig your plant up with a spade while protecting your hands with gardening gloves. Replant with resistant cultivars like Buttered Popcorn, Prairie Blue Eyes or Woodside Ruby, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service.

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