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Jun 1, 2009 05:53 PM

Bean disease?!

I have wax beans and eating beans (the kind you dry) growing in 5 gallon buckets, and a couple of leaves on each have yellow splotches. They aren't to dry, and most leaves are beautiful shiny green. It looks kind of like rust or blight.
Anybody knows what I should do and/or what I did wrong? They were going so well, I hope it isn't a total loss. I'm zone 5A if that makes a difference. Thanks for the help.

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  1. I'd recommend that you pick some of the yellowed leaves and take them to a nursery to determine whether it's rust or blight. Ultimate treatments for those two will vary.

    Rust is a fungal disease. Blight is bacterial. It's more likely to be rust than blight if you're growing them in buckets. Blight tends to overwinter in soil, so unless your potting soil was infected (or you got bad seeds), blight seems like a long shot.

    For both, the first thing you want to do is to make sure the infection doesn't spread. Since only a few leaves are affected, the first and best step is to remove those leaves. Don't put them in compost -- dispose of them far away from your beans and any other plants. (If necessary, stick them in a ziploc bag in the freezer until trash day.)

    For rust, if the problem continues after a week or so of picking off the affected leaves, you can treat the plants with a commercial fungicide, available at any nursery. Unfortunately, there isn't really any topical application you can get for blight. If it is blight and your plants really start to suffer and die, it's best just to get rid of them so that it doesn't spread to other veggies. It's not too late for you to start over with beans. Just sanitize your buckets and get some new soil, if it is indeed blight.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mudster

      Thanks for the advice, I'll keep pulling the bad leaves. I heard it might be from to much moisture, and we have had a lot of rain, so hopefully getting rid of the bad leaves and the drier weather we are supposed to have will do the trick.

      1. re: corneygirl

        If it's the lower leaves, and only those, too much moisture is almost certainly the culprit. It feels weird not to water your plants, but sometimes that's the best option.

        1. re: corneygirl

          you shouldn't handle the bean plants when the leaves are wet, for some reason. Hold off on picking off the bad leaves, or on harvesting the beans until the leaves have dried.

          1. re: janniecooks

            Handling wet bean leaves promotes rust.