Rhubarb with Red Spots on Leaves (Ramularia)

Asked May 16, 2016, 2:47 PM EDT

One of my rhubarb plants has little red spots on its leaves, and from my research online a few years ago, I determined it to be ramularia leaf spot. I followed the recommended practices (plant in area where soil drains well, mulch under plant, remove infected leaves/stalks as soon as disease appears, and destroy all plant debris following the first frost), but each year the spots comes back, and this year is no exception.

Two questions: 1) Since nothing else has helped, can I possibly get rid of the ramularia by moving the plant? and 2) What other plants can get ramularia leaf spots? I ask because I'm worried if I move it near something like my blueberries and peonies, that it would create problems over there. Thank you

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response


First, I would confirm that this is ramularia by having an extension agent take a look at either the leaf sample or a picture. Without making sure that the disease is actually ramularia, it's hard to make recommendations that are going to be accurate.

Otherwise, if you move your plants in the late winter (when there is no plant matter), then you'll be moving them to a new place without any disease innoculum (hopefully!) You can also use a cooper fungicide, but it shouldn't be necessary as often times the disease doesn't negatively effective rhubarb output.

If you have further questions, I encourage you to contact your local extension office! And, take a look at this for further reading: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/vegetables/rhubarb-leaf-spot/