What are the scales on the leaves of a clivia, and how do I treat them?

Asked February 11, 2015, 2:37 PM EST

There are small rust-colored scales on the leaves of a clivia that is about 3 years old. What are they, and how do I treat them?

Waseca County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for your question regarding your clivia plant. Clivias can get a fungus called "rust." It will appear as rust-colored spots on the plant, as you describe. These change in appearance over time and can be rubbed off at some point. These spots are spores and if left untreated can spread to other susceptible plants. Treatment involves removal and disposal of any foliage that has died and application of a fungicide. Follow this link to an article from Cornell University: Daylily Rust: Puccinia hemerocallidis. It is about daylilies, which are also susceptible to this. There is a section that lists ingredients and fungicides that can be used.