What is Frangipani Rust?

Frangipani rust is a fungus that remains dormant during winter and spring and usually pops up in December. When it first appears, it is a single gold dot.

When you first see rust each season, you should gently cut off the infected leaf and dispose of it carefully to stop the rust from spreading. This should slow the spread but the rust will most likely get worse and will need a fungicide spray. If you have a large frangipani or have dozens or hundreds of frangipanis, it will be very difficult to completely eliminate the rust and should be treated every year.

Frangipani rust is a fungus that affects only frangipanis. Frangipani rust spreads easily to other frangipanis of the same species and can spread to other frangipani species but not as quickly. As far as I know, frangipani rust does not spread to other types of plants.

If liquid copper protectant is sprayed on every leaf in November, the rust does not spread as much during December and January.

When it first appears, it is a gold dot on the underside of frangipan leaves. When it is active, it is bright gold and if you shake the leaf, you can see the spores float through the air like dust. One dot quickly becomes many dots on many leaves.

Frangipani rust usually doesn’t appear in Spring but it likes to pop up during summer. Leaves do not like rust and react badly. If left untreated, the rust will get worse until every leaf is infected. The leaves will likley turn yellow and be all brown by autumn and fall of earlier than usual going into winter. Many people say the health of frangipani plants and trees are not weakened by rust, however I would guess that if all the leaves are brown and falling off, the frangipani will not photosynthesize sunlight properly.

We recommend

-spraying liquid copper in November.

-checking the leaves of your frangipani every few days from late spring.

-cutting off any leaves with rust as soon as you see them and dispose of them carefully to slow the spread.

-spraying a fungicide as soon as you feel cutting off leaves is not enough. If you have a fungicide already, feel free to try it on the rust. Fungicides will not harm frangipanis and it will most likely attack the rust. We recommend Mancozeb which can be bought in any big garden or hardware store.

If you plan on buying a frangipani from us, please read the Frangipani Rust blog post.

One Reply to “What is Frangipani Rust?”

  1. I’ve notice orange frangipani trees for years while driving around the Gold Coast but never seen them in the nurseries.

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