Daylilies forum: Rust Is Here!

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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Oct 1, 2017 1:37 PM CST
Finally, my garden is overrun with rusty daylilies. They started on the east side of my house where I had planted all of my new daylilies purchased earlier this year. It then spread to the south side. It will be making its way to the west side soon enough. I had tried to contain its spread but I am no match for Mother Nature. There seems to be no way to contain it now that it has spread this much. At first I was overcome with terror and helplessness. But I have come to terms with it and accept that it is the way things are. All I can do now is hope that this winter will be cold enough to get rid of it. I will follow Sooby's advice in cleaning up dead daylily leaves sometimes in January and have the plants exposed to as much cold as possible.

In spite of this "rusty" experience, I have learned to appreciate what many on here do - searching for and hybridizing for daylilies with foliage resistant to rust. I can see first hand in my garden which daylilies are very affected and which are not as much. There are a few that I am amazed at showing no rust when their neighbors are totally infested with rust. The two that I am most surprised to find that are very resistant to rust are Stenciled Infusion and Stenciled de Fresco. I am just wondering if there are other daylilies out there that exhibit clean foliage even when they are surrounded by rusty neighbors. If you know of any, please share them here. Thanks.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Oct 1, 2017 1:55 PM CST
Yes there are others, the only problem is that there is variable consistency from garden to garden. What is rust free in my garden may be rust prone in your garden. I tried to order daylilies with a 1.0 to 2.0 rust resistant rating only to find that some daylilies in my garden did not match their decimal rust rating listed here on garden.org which shows the results from several studies on rust.
I will say that overall the ones with a 1.0 rating did pretty much show great resistance to rust. Anything over a 2.0 rating here pretty much was susceptible to rust, but at best that is a generalization.
Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
Oct 1, 2017 4:16 PM CST
So sorry to hear this Karen. One of the reasons I became a daylily lover after all the decades of growing roses was their ease of care. No spraying and little disease. The one year I had rust I was thoroughly disgusted with it. I wasn't going to start a new hobby plant only to have to turn right around and begin spraying again. And no, I don't like the looks of a "little" disease running through my garden. I wanted clean foliage. Fortunately I mostly grow in pots and was able to segregate the rusters from the non rusters. I pitched the worst rusters even if in full bloom. Then we had a hard winter for a change and I've never had it since. I attribute that to not buying from known rust sources (my original mistake), a few prayers and luck. Even when buying from what would seem like rust free sources, I've discovered that you need to find out if they overwinter outside or in a greenhouse. Also buy any new daylilies as early as you can plant them (or pot them up if necessary), so that if the grower does have a little rust in the fields it might not have had time to spread. Clean all foliage down to the nubbins on any suspect daylilies and dip them in a 5% bleach solution or 3 tablespoons to a gallon of water for 10 minutes and rinse (I still do this on all new arrivals). ...As to rust free varieties I only remember a few from back then. Yesterday Memories, Coral Corduroy and Dutch Yellow Truffle were 3 that were smack dab in the middle of the rusters for weeks before I was able to pull them away and never got so much as a spot on them. Don't know what might have happened if I'd just left everything in place though. Larry gives a good Caveat on what may happen in everyones own personal garden. Good luck and I hope you have a very cold winter..............Maryl
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Oct 1, 2017 7:14 PM CST
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, Larry and Maryl. I would never have thought that rust resistance can be different in different areas. That is so interesting. I guess the daylilies will have to be grown in one's garden to know what is resistant and what is susceptible. But I am just so blown away by how clean Stenciled Infusion foliage is next to my Purify My Heart very rusty and sad looking foliage.

Maryl, I am so glad that you were able to be rid of rust. I do not like a cold winter but I hope that there will be a few cold enough days to take care of these rust spores once and for all. I am OK with the rust for now because the spread had come after blooming season had finished. THe foliage was looking ratty anyway. Though it would be very terrible to see rust in new growths or during blooming. I had been very careful inspecting and monitoring new plants coming in following your advice that you gave me in the past. But this past spring, I made the mistake of buying too many and I guess some slipped through my inspection and/or monitoring. I am going to plant new plants in pots from now on. That way, I will only have to spray the potted plants if they show any indication of rust.
Name: bron
NSW-Qld border Australia
DD + her little ones
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bron
Oct 2, 2017 12:13 AM CST
Karen. sorry u have the blighted rust. To add to Larry's comment, I have found the impact even on a particular plant varies greatly from time to time. Hope u can access this article which has an interesting, non simplistic report on their trial for daylily rust. http://www.aucklandbotanicgard...

helpful things I have learned from @sooby and @admmad and from my experience:
- the rust can affect all green parts but is not systemic in the whole plant (ie. the roots and crown)
- uninfected new or old leaves of a plant can be (and often are) infected by spores from a leaf on the same plant
- high temperatures do not kill the rust. They may slow down the infection rate but they sure stress the plant.

Our climate is ideal for rust. - humid and showers or heavy rain. Occasionally I think I shld just grow other things. We have just had some rain after an unusual period of 4 dry windy months. I try and remove at least the badly affected leaves or parts thereof especially before rain. I have never sprayed with anything as it is always too windy and I think I would not get it all.

Some I thought would always be a heartache have now diminished in their horridness. In particular HELENA SEABIRD and MILDRED MITCHELL seemed hopeless but have been good for months. Even BAT MASTERTON which GlenI gave me has looked OK for a long time now. So it is an ever changing situation for me.

But most impressive is one plant, which I hope to identify soon as it has big healthy leaves. It was horribly infested with rust so I kept removing as much leaf as I dared. As soon as it was large enough early this year I risked all and removed all green parts (RAGP) as Sue Bergeron explains with excellent pics. It never looked back.

Several that I bought in May from a rust free grower became infected within a few weeks. Like Larry I have several I bought which had a score of 1.00, but disappointingly they do get rust. viz. CRAYOLA VIOLET, RADIANT RUFFLES and PIRATE'S PATCH. But some I have show excellent resistance so far: MOONLIT ORCHID, MARCIA FAY, TROPICAL HEAT WAVE, TWIN CLASSIC, MOONLIGHT MIST, PERSIAN MARKET, GRACEFUL EYE, METAPHOR. Also some red and yellow NOIDS.
KIMBERLY SUE seems very resistant Thumb of 2017-10-02/bron/ff3e61 Thumb of 2017-10-02/bron/57b3e3
[Last edited by bron - Oct 5, 2017 12:20 AM (+)]
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Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
Oct 2, 2017 12:15 AM CST
LOL Karen on buying too many. It can often seem like an insurmountable task when they all show up at once in the spring. I think potting suspect ones up and holding them to see what happens is a good idea. Just another warning though, in my case at least, there was a lull of any new rust cases during high summer after I had thrown out all the obvious ones. I thought I was home free. Then about mid September or so, some that had so far looked clean started sporting spots. I pitched those too of course, but apparently you need to wait a full season to be sure that everyone remains clean...... I've read that summer heat can slow down the spread of rust, but it certainly doesn't kill it if the daylily is already infected and in some cases it didn't seem to slow it down much even with recorded temperatures of 105-110 during that time. So take the summer heat thing with a grain of salt. My only solution on some of them was to pitch them.........Maryl
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Oct 2, 2017 7:04 PM CST
Many thanks for sharing your experiences, Bron and Maryl. Maryl, I am so sorry to hear that you have to dispose many daylilies because of the rust. I hope that I don't have to pitch any. I can only hope that it will be cold enough this winter that all the rust spores are killed. It will be an experiment for sure! A few of my new plants that are infected with rust are not growing well. They look rather stunted. But many others manage to grow a fan or two in spite of the rust and in spite of being new. You can definitely tell some daylilies are either more vigorous or are not as affected by rust as others.

Bron, just out of curiosity, has your daylilies garden always been infected with rust?
Name: Avedon
NE Tex (Zone 8a)
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Avedon
Oct 2, 2017 9:01 PM CST
Rust just showed up here in August, but it has not been as bad as a few years ago; My husband does spray, and that seems to suppress the worst of it. It is strange that the degree of rust seems to vary from year to year, so one plant may be eaten up during one season and then do okay the next season. Here is one plant that has never shown rust and it is right next to one of the worst.

Thumb of 2017-10-03/Avedon/bf3552
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Oct 3, 2017 5:30 AM CST
"...can only hope that it will be cold enough this winter that all the rust spores are killed."

I saw one prediction that this will be a cold winter (La Nina) in the NE but one thing to bear in mind is that the orange "summer" spores don't necessarily remain viable over the winter and can't do anything anyway without living daylily leaves to infect even if they do. Plus it's not only the spores that need to be killed but also the fungus itself which grows inside the leaves. So what you really want, to be sure, is for all the daylily foliage to be deciduous or else killed by the cold in order to prevent the fungal body (mycelium) from surviving the winter.
Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Oct 3, 2017 8:49 PM CST
Rust does well where I live.

I try to grow rust resistant plants. There are different kinds of rust and some plants are resistant to some, but not to other rusts.
If plants can be left in place and not constantly lined out, I think they can be stronger and more resistant.
Sometimes this isn't possible.
I try to keep the last number on the fertilizer bag high since potash is supposed to be lethal to rust.

Having good air circulation, morning sun and not watering at night helps too.
Name: bron
NSW-Qld border Australia
DD + her little ones
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bron
Oct 5, 2017 12:17 AM CST
Maryl
rather than bin the pants u see with rust, try the 'remove all green parts', RAGP trick. Probably not good to do if just before a cold season, but otherwise it is amazing how quickly leaves grow from a clean sliced off crown. But if the plants are very small they may not survive.

Here is the RAGP plant that I did in March this year. Think it has had thrip and/or aphids damage and maybe leaf streak or sunburn. I have trimmed a few leaves in case it was rust, but it is pretty healthy for being in our full sun and wind, and it is increasing. Thumb of 2017-10-05/bron/f16137

Name: bron
NSW-Qld border Australia
DD + her little ones
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bron
Oct 5, 2017 12:34 AM CST
Karen
I bought my first daylilies about 5 years ago when I lived even closer to the coast here. Had no rust after purchases from 5 different sources, all inland growers. Then I bought several at a local market. After a few months I noticed orangey brown spots on some leaves. So I asked the seller if it was rust. She initially denied her plants had rust even though I later recalled her sometimes pulling few leaves from the plants. When the powdery orange spores appeared and I queried her again, she said: "Yes but it doesn't hurt the plants. Everything has rust nowadays".

I stopped buying because of her dishonesty. However, she had plants I could not get elsewhere and I would love to replace some that were stolen when I moved. I would isolate such plants and RAGP as soon as they were large enough.

I find it amazing that years ago snapdragons used to get awful brown flakey rust. I have not seen any snapdragon rust for over 30 years. I hope the same happens for daylilies and gladioli. I have some gladioli which seem resistant. They came up again this year and so far are rust free. One beautiful violet one still has it, so I gave it a yoghurt soak. One day I will move some of them to a drier part of the yard.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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frankrichards16
Oct 5, 2017 5:04 PM CST
Any photos of the rusted daylilies???
Name: Ginny G
Central Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Legalily
Oct 5, 2017 5:08 PM CST
Karen I had a bad case of rust last summer than went rampant through the daylilies on all sides of the house. I didn't realize what it was at first. We did have enough of a winter freeze so it didn't come back this winter. Now I'm more careful about where I buy and ask first if they have rust. Hopefully you get a good freeze to kill it off. Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers!
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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Oct 5, 2017 5:53 PM CST
Bron, boy it sounds like you can't get a break! I did not know that rust is so pervasive in your area. I have never heard of rust on gladioli and snapdragon. HOpefully they are not the same type as daylily rust because I do grow these plants too.

Frank, I will take some pics tomorrow and post them on here.

Ginny, when I treemailed you, it was only on the east side of my house. I was spraying fungicide every five days to the affected daylilies and stripped off their rusty foliage. I guess what I used was not enough. It somehow managed to spread to my south side and now some daylilies on my west side are showing rusty foliage. I am still stripping rusty foliage, but I give up on spraying for now. I think I have killed some rust but also beneficial fungi. So I hope that our area will get a short period of extreme cold that will take care these rust spores. I am hopeful though knowing that your rust was eliminated by the cold in your area. Did you remove dead foliage and dispose of them before spring?
Name: Avedon
NE Tex (Zone 8a)
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Avedon
Oct 5, 2017 6:00 PM CST
Here are pictures of rust on Chance Encounter on June 14, 2016.

Thumb of 2017-10-05/Avedon/9dd097

Thumb of 2017-10-05/Avedon/a07e42

Thumb of 2017-10-05/Avedon/add4ec

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Oct 5, 2017 6:27 PM CST
frankrichards16 said:Any photos of the rusted daylilies???


Frank, you may find the pics on the page link below of interest (and Karen, check out question 3 on the page for freezing temperatures and rust spores):

http://web.ncf.ca/ah748/FAQ.ht...

Edited to say no, snapdragon and gladiolus rusts are not the same as daylily rust. Daylily rust only affects daylilies, patrinia and Dianella.
[Last edited by sooby - Oct 5, 2017 6:28 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Oct 5, 2017 6:45 PM CST
THanks Avedon for posting the pics of rusty daylilies and many thanks to Sue for the link to the Rust Q&A. After reading over the rust spores ability to survive deep freeze, I plan to spray fungicide on any green parts of daylilies during Feb and March to be on the safe side.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Oct 5, 2017 7:00 PM CST
The conditions for spore survival are better in laboratory deep freezing than outdoors where other environmental conditions interact to degrade the spores. I was just trying to make the point that it isn't low temperature alone that kills the spores. While spores are unlikely to survive the winter outdoors, if you have green tissue then the fungus itself could still be living inside those leaves. To get at that would need a systemic fungicide.

Where we have a gap in our knowledge is whether this rust can, like some other rusts, survive as mycelium any temperature that the leaf can survive. If it can do that, then any green tissue over winter becomes a potential problem if infected, and there may be no visible pustules.
Name: Ginny G
Central Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Legalily
Oct 5, 2017 8:18 PM CST
Karen took them all to the ground as the foliage died and disposed of it. Came up fine in the spring.
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