Nickel Prevents Daylily Rust

By Charlie Nardozzi

Got daylilies? You might also be getting daylily rust. What was once considered an indestructible plant has been succumbing to a rust disease in many parts of the country. Daylily rust symptoms include orange bumps and yellow streaking of the leaves and a general downturn in the vigor of the plant. The fungus is native to Asia but has been in North America since 2000.

A common way to prevent the disease from spreading is to cut back infected foliage as soon as the streaking is noticed. Many fungicides have also been recommended to control daylily rust. Now new research indicates that nickel fertilizer can help stop the spread of this disease.

Researchers at the Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory in Byron, Georgia, sprayed various concentrations of nickel fertilizer on infected daylily plants. Potted plants were infected with rust disease and sprayed with nickel at 50, 100, 200, and 400 ppm concentrations. A repeat application was applied 10 days later. The 200 ppm spray reduced the disease by 90 percent. Nickel fertilizer products are not yet available in most garden centers but can be purchased through the Nipan Company (

For more information on daylily rust disease, go to: Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory.

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