Garlic rust?

Asked May 31, 2020, 7:33 PM EDT

I think I have garlic rust in my garden. It seems to affect all varieties of garlic (elephant, hardneck, softneck, travelling, clumping and garlic chives). The onions and leeks seem to be unaffected. Can you confirm it looks like garlic rust? Can you offer advice about treating it, or should I pull it and dump it? I have been cutting off the worst affected leaves and I have been spraying them weekly with a copper sulfide fungicide, with limited success. The spraying seems to be slowing the development, but not preventing transmission and not completely preventing the development of the damage on certain plants.

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Yes, that is garlic rust. Removing affected leaves is about all you can do.

Copper is not labeled for use with garlic, so I'd recommend not using that anymore. Fungicides work to prevent plant disease and don't work well once the infection has started.

I'd continue to pull off leaves for the next month or so and then harvest your garlic. Don't save any for replanting. I'd avoid planting garlic or leeks for the next handful of years. Your chives won't be as affected and you could keep them to see how they do in the future.

Good luck.