Out, out, damned spot!

It pays to be observant, although in my case, I have been averting my eyes each morning, as I rushed off to get the kids to school.  That lovely pot I planted up last fall, with the Narcissus poeticus, the Heuchera ‘Lime Marmelade‘?  It appears to have come down with a horrible case of measles:

Heuchera rust
Heuchera rust

It’s even worse on the underside:

Heuchera rust
Heuchera rust

This particular rust that infects Heuchera, Puccinia heucherae, also infects other members of the saxifrage family, and although none were close by, I immediately took out my secateurs and gave it a severe haircut. By this, I mean everything that had even a hint of a spot. I then discarded these leaves in the trash, not my compost, and not even the yard-waste bin. I could have also hot-composted or burned them, but my compost bin actually composted, so I have to rebuild it before I can consider hot-composting again.  But that’s a chore for another day.

Rust proliferates in wet environments with poor air-circulation.  These poor plants were in a pot on the North side of the house and were not overly watered, so I have to think it must have been the air-circulation.  Yet, the clonal specimens in my greenhouse (I divided it before potting it up, and didn’t get around to planting both pots) survived without the rust.  It definitely doesn’t get air circulation in there.

Heuchera 'Lime Marmelade' in the greenhouse
Heuchera ‘Lime Marmelade’ in the greenhouse

Unfortunately, you can see it is suffering from too much sun, and the color is too yellow.  I really need to get that sun-shade up on the greenhouse.  Crud, another chore.


If you want to get really geeky, there are some cool spore pictures online, but I digress.


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