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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - June 12, 2011

From: Downers Grove , IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Rust problems on Jack in the Pulpit in IL
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

The last 2 years I have noticed that some of my jack in the pulpit plants have something that makes me think of a copper color rust.It seems to start on the underside of the leaves. What can I do to get rid of it and/or keep it from spreading? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, wihtout actually seeing your plants, we cannot make a conclusive diagnosis of your problem.  We recommend you contact your local Agricultural Extension office.  They will be able to offer suggestions and perhaps have you drop by with a leaf sample.

A quick internet search indicates that Jack in the Pulpit plants are quite susceptible to rust fungi. This comprehensive article by Wikipedia may help you diagnose the problem yourself and will offer treatment suggestions.

The best advice we can offer is to remove infected leaves and destroy them at the first sign of infection. When plants are finished blooming flower stalks should be cut down and destroyed. Good sanitation is necessary as rust spores over-winter on the ground in plant debris.  This ehow article on organic rust control may be helpful ... we strongly discourage the use of chemical fungicides.

 

 

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