Posted by Matt Matt on 15th Mar 2024

Frangipani Rust: A Gardener's Guide

Frangipani rust

Frangipani rust sneaks into our gardens, waiting through winter and spring, only to announce its presence come December with a subtle golden dot beneath frangipani leaves.

To combat this fungal pest, gardeners must act quickly. At the start of each season, carefully remove any infected leaves and dispose of them to halt the rust's spread (in the bin, not in mulch or compost piles, it will only help the spread). But even with such diligence, containing it can be tough, often requiring fungicidal treatments, especially for larger frangipani collections.

This rust has a thing for frangipanis, spreading easily among them but not so much to other plant types. A preemptive strike with liquid copper spray in November can help hold off its advance during December and January.

The visual cues of frangipani rust are unmistakable. It starts as a small golden speck, quickly turning into a powdery gold mess, with spores floating through the air like dust, spreading from leaf to leaf.

Though it tends to stay quiet in spring, frangipani rust thrives in summer, causing leaves to suffer and turn yellow. If left unchecked, the whole plant can be affected, with leaves falling prematurely, hindering proper sunlight absorption.

While some say frangipani plants can withstand rust, a plant covered in brown, rusted leaves probably won't photosynthesise properly.

To manage frangipani rust:

  • Apply liquid copper spray in November.
  • Keep an eye on your frangipani leaves from late spring.
  • Cut off any infected leaves as soon as you spot them and dispose of them carefully.
  • Pretreat the ground around the tree with Spot Rust, a systemic ground treatment
  • Use fungicides when manual removal isn't enough. We reccomend StopRust Spore Spray, created by Sydney Frangipanis.
  • Maintain Frangipani Health with a feed twice a year, early spring and late summer. We reccomend this Frangipani Fertiliser.
  • In the ongoing battle against frangipani rust, staying ahead with preventive measures and quick responses is key.