What Is Mint Rust?
Mint rust is a fungus which infects certain types of mint plants. It causes leaves to turn brown and eventually die off completely. It affects both indoor and outdoor varieties of mint plants. It’s not known what causes it, but there are several theories as to how it occurs. One theory suggests that it could be caused by a virus or bacteria. Another theory says that it may result from poor air circulation inside the plant. Other possible reasons include inadequate watering and even insect infestation.
How Does Mint Rust Affect Mint Plants?
The symptoms of mint rust vary depending upon the type of mint plant affected. Some plants may show no signs at all while others will suffer very minor damage. However, some plants may experience severe leaf loss and even death. There are two main types of symptoms experienced by affected plants: 1) Leaves turning brown 2) Stems dying back entirely from the stem.
Blighted leaves will be very dark brown in color and will not recover. They will eventually die and have to be cut off in order to stop the spread of the disease.
The stems of the plant will eventually turn dark brown and black before dying. In some cases, the entire plant may die completely. If this happens, it’s best to discard it to minimize further fungal infection and prevent it from spreading to other plants.
Can I Eat Mint With Rust?
In most circumstances, the rust fungus has no effect on the taste of the plant and can be eaten as normal. Although it is best to prevent mint rust to begin with, if it already exists there is no reason why the plant or its leaves should not be used in cooking or for consumption.
What Is The Best Way To Treat Mint With Rust?
If mint rust is noticed early enough, it can easily be treated. There are several home remedies that can be used to kill the fungus and stop its spread. One of these is by cutting away all infected parts of the plant. It should be discarded as soon as possible to minimize further infection. In addition, fungicidal oil can be applied directly to the leaves to kill the fungus. Horticultural oil can be found at most garden centers and home improvement stores. It should be applied according to the directions on the package, but typically it is applied every seven to ten days until the leaves are no longer infected. In addition, it’s also a good idea to increase the humidity around the plant by setting it outdoors in a shady area or by grouping other plants around it. This will help prevent future infection.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Control peppermint diseases by CE Horner – 1955 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu
Control of Mint Rust (Puccinia menthae Pers.) on Mint with Fungicides and Their Effect on Essential Oil Content by A Margina, V Zheljazkov – Journal of Essential Oil Research, 1994 – Taylor & Francis
Disease cycle and control of peppermint rust caused by Puccinia menthae Pers by CE Horner – 1954 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu
Evaluation of selected fungicides to control mint rust on Scotch spearmint by J Edwards, FE Bienvenu – Crop Protection, 2000 – Elsevier
Peppermint rust in Victoria: the incidence–severity relationship and its implication for the development of an action threshold by J Edwards, PA Taylor, DG Parbery… – Australian journal of …, 2000 – CSIRO
Investigations into the use of flame and the herbicide, paraquat, to control peppermint rust in north-east Victoria, Australia by J Edwards, FE Bienvenu – Australasian Plant Pathology, 1999 – Springer
Effects of Puccinia menthae on growth and yield of Todd’s Mitcham peppermint (Mentha x piperita) by J Edwards, DG Parbery, PA Taylor… – Australian journal of …, 1999 – CSIRO
Control of the Mint rust fungus, Puccinia menthae, by nickel salts. by GL Farkas, G Molnar, Z Király – Phytopathology, 1960 – cabdirect.org
Diseases in mint: causal organisms, distribution, and control measures by A Kalra, HB Singh, R Pandey, A Samad… – … & medicinal plants, 2005 – Taylor & Francis