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Myrtle Rust - Information for Gardeners

The fungus attacks members of the Myrtaceae family, also known as the myrtle family, which includes pohutukawa, ramarama, manuka, rata, lilly pilly, bottle brush, eucalyptus, and guava. Its microscopic spores can easily be spread large distances by wind, insects, birds, people or machinery.

The myrtle rust fungus produces spores in warmer weather so it’s a good time to check your garden for any sign of it on your myrtle plants. Soft, new growth – leaves, buds, shoots and fruit – are especially susceptible. Look for:

  • bright yellow powdery eruptions on or underneath leaves

  • brown or grey fuzzy rust pustules or spore growth on or underneath leaves

  • leaves that are buckled, twisted or dying off.


Don’t touch the plants – even if there’s no visible infection, you might disturb and spread the microscopic fungus spores.
If you suspect you have an infected plant, take some photos, of the infection and the plant, and call the Biosecurity Hotline: 0800 80 99 66. They’ll tell you what to do next.


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