The Q&A Archives: rust spots on iris leaves

Question: My bearded iris growing on the south side of the house have contracted rust. Do I have to start over or can they be saved?

Answer: You should be able to keep your iris. Iris are subject to several foliage diseases including a "rust" and a "leaf spot" both of which are fungus infections. The best cure is to remove the affected foliage as soon as it starts to try to limit the source of infection. Every fall and again every spring, do a thorough clean up of all the old iris foliage and dispose of it in the trash. Make sure the iris are in full sun and in a well drained soil, and preferably in a location with good air circulation. This is usually enough to control the problem (and also helps with iris borers.)

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