year my freesias have succumbed to what looks like a rust disease,
leading to leaves dying and poor flowering. Usually there are masses
of flowers for weeks. It hasn't affected the sparaxis which grow
alongside. Any help you can offer would be appreciated.
HAD not heard of rust affecting freesias before so I checked with
bulb expert Paul Hoek, of Aorangi Bulbs, who says it is relatively
rare. He suggests it is probably a generic rust disease, possibly
a secondary infection following on from damage by botrytis or thrips
and encouraged by wet weather coupled with warmer spring temperatures.
So there's a good chance, given more favourable weather, the problem
may not occur again next year.
You could reduce the
risk of overwintering disease spores by spraying the foliage before
it dies down with a fungicide such as Fungus Fighter or Greenguard.
Spray again next spring at the first sign of the disease, should
Gardener, Issue 207, 2006, Page 41
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.