Myrtle Rust is actually a pest that is already well established in New Zealand and something we need to actively be aware of! At the moment, it is across most of the North Island and the top of the South Island.
Myrtle Rust is known for infecting taonga species such as Mānuka, Pōhutakawa, and Rātā across New Zealand.
Myrtle Rust is an easy infection to recognise - it shows up as bright yellow powdery eruptions on both sides of leaves and shoots.
Myrtle Rust is wind-bourne meaning it is incredibly easy to spread which is why you should not touch any plants with the disease as you risk spreading it to even more plants!
It’s not just bright yellow eruptions to look out for with Myrtle Rust as this is the appearance of young infections. Older infections look like brown/grey pustules and leaves may appear dry and twisted.