The Problem

  • Rust is caused by several species of fungal diseases.
  • They affect a wide variety of crops including asparagus, beans, corn, onion and spinach.
  • Affected plants experience slower growth and become stunted.
    • In severe cases they will eventually die.
  • Plants infected with rust are unsightly and generally unfit for human consumption.



  • Rust usually starts out as yellow or whitish spots on the top sides of the leaves.
  • The distinctive bright reddish or yellowish spores that give the plant its name appear later, as pustules on the undersides of the leaves.


  • As with all fungi, rust is spread by wind borne spores and can travel long distances.
  • Remove infected leaves and crop debris to minimize local sources of infection.
  • As much as practical, avoid spreading the microscopic spores while removing infected plant material.
    • Move it as little and as slowly as practical.
  • Avoid getting foliage wet, and make sure air circulation is good.
  • To minimize the effects of the disease keep the plants well fed and watered.
  • Avoid giving plants too much nitrogen

Do Not Compost Diseased Plant Material!


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