Common Diseases in Turf

Here we have listed a few of the most common diseases found in turf.

Check out our Fungicides page for a complete list of control options.

If a specific fungicide is required, it will be listed below.


Anthracnose can be a common and destructive problem in golf course putting greens containing creeping bentgrass or annual bluegrass. The disease can develop as either a foliar blight (in which the turfgrass leaves are infected) or a basal rot (which attacks the leaf sheaths, crowns and stolons. Anthracnose symptoms are most severe in areas that are stressed from low mowing, excessive traffic or inadequate irrigation or fertilization. With the use of a magnifying glass or microscope, black spores (acervuli) can be seen on infected leaves or basal tissues.

Brown Patch

Symptoms of Brown Patch will vary according to mowing height. In lawns and areas where mowing height is greater than 1 inch, this disease will appear as roughly circular patches that are brown, tan or yellow in color and range from a few inches to several feet in diameter. When the leaves are wet or humidity is high, a gray, cottony growth – called mycelium may be visible growing amongst affected leaves. When the disease is still active, a black or dark gray ring (called a smoke ring) may surround the brown patches.

Dollar Spot

Dollar Spot can affect essentially all turfgrass species and is a primary concern for creeping bentgrass and kentucky bluegrass. The disease is most promiment following cool, moist weather. Symptoms will appear as small spots, approximately the size of a dollar coin that are white or tan in color. Mycelium is often observed on affected turf when leaves are wet.

Fairy Ring

Fairy Ring symptoms will appear as patches, rings or arcs that can range in size from 1 foot or less in diameter to several hundred feet. There are 3 types of Fairy Ring disease, Type I, Type II and Type III. The fungi in Type I cause the soil and thatch to become hydrophobic (extremely dry and repels water), killing the turf above. Type II Fairy Ring will appear as rings or arcs that are darker green and growing more quickly than the rest of the turf. With Type III, mushrooms can be visible within the rings – more prevalent during extended periods of wet weather.

Gray Leaf Spot

Gray Leaf Spot initially appears as spots on the leaves that are round or oval shaped, tan in color with a dark brown border. When the leaves are wet or humidity is high, the leaf spots turf gray and fuzzy. Over time, the leaf spots expand throughout the leaf, causing it to die back from the tip. The affected leaves are typically matted and greasy in appearance and as a result, Gray Leaf Spot is sometimes confused with Pythium Blight.

Pythium Blight

Pythium Blight will first appear as small, sunken circular patches during hot, humid weather. Leaves within the patches are often matted, orange or dark gray in color and have a greasy appearance. Mycelium may be visible in the affected areas when leaves are wet or humidity is high. This disease can spready very quickly when conditions are favorable, especially along drainage patterns and can also be spread/tracked by equipment.

Red Thread

Red Thread develops in circular or irregular patches and the affected leaves are tan or bleached white in color. From a distance, the patches will have a reddish appearance due to the presence of thick, red strands of fungal growth on the affected leaves. These “red threads” are what allows the fungus to spread onto healthy plants. Small tufts of pink, fuzzy mycelium may be present during high humidity or when the leaves are wet

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