How to Treat a Plant Infected with Rust

Dan Nursery Crops, This Land of Ours

plant infected
White Rust of Crucifers ‘Mustard’

In this, the third installment on plant rust, Cathy Isom gives us solutions on how to treat a plant infected with rust. That’s coming up on This Land of ours.

How to Treat a Plant Infected with Rust

If your plant is infected with rust, your first action should be to remove diseased plant material. Pick off affected leaves and throw them in the trash. Don’t compost them, you’ll spread the rust wherever you use your compost.

If removing infected plant material doesn’t solve the problem and rust damage continues to appear on your plants, commercial fungal treatments are your next best bet. Try applying copper fungicides or sulfur dust to affected leaves. Always read packaging thoroughly to ensure you’re using it safely.


Fungicides containing sulfur or copper combat rust by altering the pH of the surrounding environment. The fungus can no longer survive when the pH balance is out of whack.

When using fungicides, spray the affected foliage as soon as you spot signs of rust. Repeat application every week or so. Apply these types of sprays in the early morning or evening to prevent leaf burn.

While it may be extraordinarily common, plant rust is always an unpleasant surprise. Prevention is best, but the right techniques can help you eliminate the disease.

I’m Cathy Isom…