How to Get Rid of Lawn Rust

How to Get Rid of Lawn Rust


April 21, 2022

Try as you might to take care of your lawn, sometimes various diseases and pests pop up to ruin it. Lawn rust is one of the most common diseases out there and surprisingly easy to treat, as long as you know a few simple tricks.

How do you get rid of lawn rust? Lawn rust is one of the easiest diseases to get rid of, and it can usually be rectified with an application of a high nitrogen, quick-release fertilizer. Most people find this removes the lawn rust without needing to rely on a harsher fungicide.

With a few simple tricks up your sleeve for how to get rid of lawn rust, you’ll keep this pesky disease off your grass. We’ll show you how to treat it easily and ways to prevent it from forming in the future, so your carefully manicured lawn can be free.

What is Lawn Rust?

What is Lawn Rust?

Lawn rust, grass rust, or Puccina sp. as it’s scientifically known, is one of the most recognized forms of lawn disease in North America.

This fungus usually shows up on specific grass types including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and zoysiagrass, so it’s spread all across the country.

The usual time to spot lawn rust is during August and then it sticks around for the whole fall season, unless you can get rid of it sooner.

Although annoying, there’s no long-term damage that lawn rust delivers, but you still don’t want to leave it on your lawn and ruin all of the hard work you put into keeping it nice.

The appearance of lawn rust is given away with its name, as it creates brown-red and yellow-orange spots on the lawn. A closer inspection will show small pustules on the grass blades, and the grass may thin out if it’s been affected for a while.

What Causes Lawn Rust?

What Causes Lawn Rust?

As a fungus, lawn rust needs the conditions to be ideal for it to thrive on your grass.

The weather should be warm but not too hot, so you’ll first see it at the end of summer and then it’ll stay on your lawn for the entirety of fall before disappearing before the winter.

During these months, your lawn is likely to be more stressed as it’s near the end of its growing season.

Add to that the lower light conditions because of shorter days and higher dew points, and the conditions are perfect for all kinds of fungus to start growing.

Most importantly, lawn rust will thrive when there’s a nitrogen deficiency, as well as when it’s lacking in water. These are two things that the gardener can do to prevent lawn rust from occurring, as we’ll discuss later.

How to Get Rid of Lawn Rust

How to Get Rid of Lawn Rust

Lawn rust is one of the easiest lawn foes to get rid of, and the sooner you get on top of the problem the better. Follow these steps to treat the pesky fungus and restore your grass to its former glory.

Tips for Prevention

Tips for Prevention

As always with gardening, the preventative measures you put in place will stop you from having to deal with issues like lawn rust down the track. Here are a few things you can do to ensure this disease never returns to your grass:

  • Have a regular fertilization schedule of between two and four times a year, depending on what your grass needs.
  • Assess your grass and the soil below it regularly to see what nutrients it might be lacking, or if there are signs that fungus and other diseases are cropping up.
  • Aerate your lawn once a year to allow the grass to absorb moisture and other nutrients better.
  • Choose rust-resistant grass varieties when reseeding your lawn if you find this fungus to be an ongoing problem.
  • Bag all lawn clippings and if there are signs of fungus or other infections, don’t add them to your compost.
  • Water your lawn regularly and consider installing an automatic irrigation system if you can’t seem to stay on top of a schedule.

Lawn Rust Be Gone

Nobody wants to see spots of brown and red on their beautifully manicured lawn, but the good news is lawn rust is easy to get rid of.

With a simple application of fertilizer and some preventative measures, you can make sure this rust never bothers your lawn again.

Related Questions

Lawn rust is just one of the common problems that plague lawns, and thankfully one of the easiest to fix. If you’re looking for other solutions to your grass woes, check out these FAQs for some quick ones.

How Do You Remove Dead Grass?

How Do You Remove Dead Grass?

Removing patches of dead grass can be done by removing the affected turf, smothering it with compost and letting it decompose naturally, or using a power rake or tiller to break it up.

You’ll need to reseed the area once the dead grass has been removed if you plan on growing a new lawn there.

Why Is My Grass Yellow?

The reason why grass turns yellow is that it’s lacking something important, usually either nitrogen or water.

Apply a lawn-specific fertilizer to suit your soil’s requirements and start a regular watering schedule to see if that helps bring the green color back to it.



Rebecca Vargas is an experienced gardener and landscaper and has been rendering professional services for many years. Her services cover both private homes and commercial properties. Leveraging that rich experience, Rebecca Vargas now dedicates a chunk of time to show just about anyone how to maintain their garden and yard, whether at home or workplace. GreenIQ is his way of reaching and teaching millions of homeowners across the globe about proper gardening and lawn care practices.