Lawn Disease – Rust

(Puccinia spp.)

Rust is a lawn disease caused by the fungus Puccinia spp. Rust affects many different species of turfgrasses throughout the United States and damage is most common during the summer and fall months.      

Identifying Rust -

Rust is a relatively easy lawn disease to identify in your lawn. It initially causes light yellow flecks on the grass blades and sheaths. The flecks enlarge and elongate over time, turning yellow in color. These areas then rupture, releasing spores that are yellowish-orange to reddish-brown in color (hence the name “Rust”).

A severe disease infection can cause the entire turfgrass shoot to turn yellowish to reddish-brown in color and slow growth in your lawn.

Turf may appear to be thin as individual shoots begin to die. Towards the end of the Rust disease infection cycle, leaves may become shredded and point downward if the infection is severe enough. Also, plants infected by rust are more susceptible to infection from other turfgrass diseases.

Lawn Disease Rust
Lawn Disease Rust

Conditions for Rust Infection -

Rust can only lead to an infection in your lawn if all of the following conditions are present:

1. Pathogen – Rust (Puccinia spp.)

2. Host – Bermudagrass, bluegrasses, fescues, ryegrasses or zoysiagrass

3. Environment – Moist climates with temperatures ranging from 65-86 degrees Fahrenheit and low nitrogen soils

Rust Control -

Cultural disease control practices create favorable conditions for a healthy lawn, and often create unfavorable conditions for the growth of Rust. Environmental conditions cannot be changed, but cultural practices performed by the homeowner can be modified to lessen the chance of extensive damage from Rust. Scotts LawnService can help determine a plan for preventing and controlling Rust in your lawn.

For Rust control and treatment, Scotts LawnService recommends the following cultural control tips:

  • Use fertilizers with adequate levels of nitrogen
  • Reduce thatch with core aeration
  • Reduce shade and improve air circulation
  • Avoid watering at night
  • Water deeply and infrequently to increase growth

Scotts LawnService has professional products that can prevent and control lawn diseases when cultural control practices are not effective.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Rust control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.