How To Identify And Treat Lawn Rust (Fungus On Grass)

lawn rustDo you have orange grass? Does your lawn look like it has a disease? Maybe it seems to be coated with orange-red or yellowish dust?

Well it is likely that you have lawn rust, which is a type of lawn fungus.

But don’t panic just yet… it is quite treatable and your lawn will likely recover from lawn rust. Let’s take a look at how to properly identify this fungus, and what you can do about it if your grass has it.

What is Lawn Rust and what Causes it?

Lawn rust is a fungal disease that affect turf grasses.

It is usually prevalent in  later summer/early fall when the lawns growth is quite slow.

Dry weather and lack of nitrogen can also be factors that lead the lawn rust growing.

Identification of Rust Fungus on Grass

Identification of rust fungus on grass is quite easy and it just requires looking for a few easy to spot signs.

Look for these signs:

  • Grass blades are coated in an orange-red to yellow/brown dust or spores that resembles rust
  • You will be able to rub the dust off with your fingers
  • You may notice orange or yellow powder/discoloration of your shoes after walking on the affected grass
  • If the lawn rust has gone untreated for some time then you may notice raised pustules
  • Affected patches of lawn will generally become thin and weak

Images of Lawn Rust

Click the images below to see the full size version.

Problems Caused By Lawn Fungus

Overall, grass rust fungus is not a huge problem so don’t stress if you have noticed it on your lawn.

Some of the minor problems that rust fungus does cause includes:

  • Reduces the ability for the grass to photosynthesize
  • Lawn will look less healthy
  • Grass growth will slow down
  • Lawn eventually become weak and will be damaged easily
  • The dust will cling to shoes,clothes and garden equipment and may stain

How to Treat Lawn Rust

Usually lawn rust can be treated without the need to resort to chemicals or fungicides.

So first, let’s take a look at the non-chemical ways to treat rust fungus on your lawns:

Fertilize

Fertilizing your lawn is the best way to treat lawn fungus. Regular fertilizing of your lawn using an appropriate spreader will encourage the grass to grow faster, slow growing grass gives the disease lots of time to develop and entrench itself in your lawn.

We recommend a nitrogen rich fertilizer such as Scotts. See why we recommend Scotts fertilizer here.

On Sale - Save $4.69
Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food, 5,000-sq ft (Lawn Fertilizer)
  • Feeds and strengthens to help protect against future problems
  • Builds strong, deep roots
  • Improves lawn's ability to absorb water and nutrients versus an unfed lawn
  • Formulated with Scotts exclusive All-in-One Particle technology for even greening and feeding
  • Apply to any grass type

Water In The Mornings

Watering your lawn in the mornings gives it time to dry out during the day, which will help discourage further lawn rust growth.

Watering regularly also assists your grass to grow quickly, thus discouraging further lawn fungus growth.

Mow Regularly

Mowing the lawn regularly cuts off the top layer of lawn rust fungus and allows the remaining grass to get proper air circulation – reducing the amount of time the grass stays we for which in turn reduces the amount of lawn rust that can grow.

It is also recommended to always use a  mower with a grass catcher so that the left over clippings aren’t left on the grass, negating the effects of mowing. If you don’t have a mower with a grass catcher, then rake up the clippings and dispose of.

Also ensure that your equipment is washed down properly after mowing to remove any left over rust dust.

Looking for a good cordless mower? Check out this post.

Using Fungicides To Kill Lawn Rust

Using Fungicides to kill lawn rust is usually not necessary, and due to the fact that most fungicides contain toxic chemicals we recommend using this method only when the previous three have failed.

If you do need to use a fungicide to control a particularly bad outbreak of lawn fungus, then you can use something like Scotts Lawn Fungus Control.

Be sure to follow the instructions of your chosen fungicide carefully.

On Sale - Save $11.18
Scotts Lawn Fungus Control, 5,000-sq ft, 6.75 Pounds
  • Controls brown patch, dollar spot and other common lawn diseases* *See label for listed diseases.
  • Use any time on any lawn to prevent or control listed lawn diseases
  • Systemic-action formula
  • Controls major lawn fungus problems without fertilizer application
  • Does not contain fertilizer

Lawn Rust FAQ

Is lawn rust harmful to pets?

No, lawn rust is nor harmful to pets. You may however find that they get a bit of an orange tinge to their coat!

Is grass rust harmful to humans?

No, grass rust is not at all harmful to humans.

Make sure your lawn is healthy, check our list of essential lawn care tools here.

Pricing last updated on 2018-12-15 at 11:14 / affiliate links - Details

Share this post!

Related posts

No posts found.

Leave a Comment


Want an answer to your question quickly? Join our private Facebook Mastermind Group here.

Before you go...
Did you find this article useful?

Don't miss out on anything... Enter your email below and stay up to date with all the latest guides, reviews and tips.
Follow us on social media too to stay 100% up to date
Ryobi Problems?
Stay up to date with the latest solutions

Enter your email below and we will send you the latest fixes as we learn about them.
Pellet Stove Info
Want to be kept up to date on all the pellet stove news?

Subscribe below and we will keep you in the know!
Heating & Cooling Guides
Want to stay cool in summer and warm in winter?
Subscribe below and stay up to date on all the latest info!
Cookware Guides
Interested in cookware and want to stay up to date?
Enter your email and we'll let you know when we have new info to share.
Want Home Improvement Hacks?
Interested in Home Improvement and DIY?

Let us send you all the best info, guides, reviews and tips directly!

Simply enter your email below.
Follow us on social media too to stay 100% up to date
Cleaning Hacks
Sick of cleaning? Us too!

Enter your email below and we will send you tips and tricks to make your cleaning chores easier.
Want Perfect Lawns?
Use our lawncare hacks, guides and tips and you can have the best lawns on the street!

Enter your email and stay in front of the competition!
Get Inspired
Subscribe, and we will send you, for free, our curated list of...
The 10 Best Home Improvement Blogs
Thank you
Please check your email to confirm your email address.

The guide will then be emailed to you.
Learn 16 Ways To Get Rid Of Weeds In Your Lawn
Subscribe and get
notified of Black Friday Deals
name
e-mail
We will not share your details with any 3rd party.