Reducing Rust in Your Turf

This article explains the management strategy to reduce the likelihood of rust in your turf.

February 14, 2022

Causal organism: Puccinia spp., Uromyces spp.

Rust in turf


Host Grass TypesMany species affected. Some affect many grass types while others are specialized
SymptomsOrange/brown pustules on individual leaves. Chlorotic halo may be evident around pustule


Conditions that can favor the development of the disease:

  1. Warm/humid conditions
  2. Low light intensity
  3. Sufficient periods of leaf wetness (10–12 hours)
  4. Slow-growing turf

It usually indicates stress e.g., drought, inadequate fertilizer, shade.


Management strategy to reduce the likelihood of attack:

  1. Maintain turf health with sufficient nutrient inputs, especially toward the end of the growing season.
  2. The use of slow-release fertilizer late in the season can help maintain nutrient availability and turf health going into fall.
  3. Irrigate in the morning to minimize long periods of leaf wetness overnight.
  4. Provide good air movement on the surface of the grass.
  5. Mow the turfgrass regularly and remove clippings if the turf is infected to reduce the number of spores.
  6. Mixtures of several compatible turfgrass species fare better against rust than turfgrass composed of a single species.
  7. It rarely needs fungicide control.


Preventive strategy (guidance only)

preventative strategy rust