Ilex VS Lawn Fungus

Common Signs of Lawn Fungus Diseases

  • Spots and patches
  • Underdeveloped growth
  • Bleached or light colored turf
  • Shredded or curled grass blades
  • Circular lesions on the blades
  • Dark growth at the base/thatch line

In general, the damage from a fungus will be circular. Correctly identifying the damage is crucial. For if the damage is actually grubs, treating them with fungicide won’t work, duh! Fungi that damage the lawns are parasitic and steal nutrients from grass, which causes it to decline, turn colors or in some cases die. When a fungal spore encounters a host in the right environmental conditions think: pathogen + environment + host =  disease disease Triangle

Common Lawn Fungus Diseases

snow mold

Pink Snow Mold – White to pink fungal growth that feels slimy, favored by abundant moisture.

gray snow mold

Gray Snow Mold – White to gray fungal growth that may form large irregular patches, favored by abundant moisture or snow cover.

yellow patch

Yellow Patch – Circular patches of light tan to brown grass, favored by cool, wet conditions.










brown spt

Brown Patch – Circular, light brown patches, favored by moist conditions or areas that remain wet.

necrotic spot

Necrotic Patch – Circular yellow patches or tan to brown grass, favored by cool, wet weather.

red thread

Red Thread/Pink Patch – Small, light pink to red patches, favored by cooler weather and moist conditions.


Rust – Small, yellow flecks on leaves, sometimes enlarged to form rust-colored pustules, favored by moderately warm and humid conditions or stressed turf.

dollar spot

Dollar Spot – Circular patches with reddish-brown borders, favored by humidity.

fairy ring

Fairy Ring – Circular patches of dark green, often enlarged into rings, favored by mild temperatures and moisture, and sometimes in dry, hot conditions.
















Changing your lawn care habits might reduce your risk of fungi problems. A healthy lawn has a really good chance of pulling through a fungal infection, but that is up to you!

  • Water your grass regularly, but don’t water it too much because waterlogged grass invites fungi. Don’t set your irrigation and not monitor it.
  • Dry grass can also makes your lawn more susceptible.
  • A one time, nitrogen-based fertilizer applied in the fall supplies your grass with the nutrients it needs to flourish.
  • When you mow, don’t remove more than one-third of the length of the blades of grass at a time. A healthy length for grass (from the thatchline) is 3 inches tall.

Generally, a homeowner doesn’t have many choices in the self-help isle of the Big Depot. You also don’t go to the store until you notice there is a fungus among-us in your lawn. There are many products, however most home-use products will cure most fungi. ALWAYS read the labels thoroughly.

The first thing you must do is to cure or the CURATIVE treatment. Which, in general, is either a stronger mixture, applied more often or both than the PREVENTATIVE. Be aware, you will need to apply this curatively, every 3 weeks, preventatively, every 4-5 weeks.

Organically, I’ve heard of putting corn meal on the lawn. I’ve got no experience using this. Has anyone tried this??

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

24 thoughts on “Ilex VS Lawn Fungus

  1. our lawn looks like a nuclear test ground… it’s too much of everything this year… too much heat, too much rain… we probably have to ask our neighbor if he can come with the tractor and the plow, it looks like it is time for a complete lawn-makeover :o(


  2. You missed one! Dead grass – generally random/rounded shape but rarely circular = Dog pee. May save grass if watered directly after dog peed. Watering dog will only move location of dead grass. 🙂


    • Ha ha ha! You are so right, Colin!!
      How did that get by me?
      I have heard of feeding your dog dark green veggies to alkaline their pee a bit. My boss feeds his females a vitamin to help this. My boys don’t seem to cause this problem. Only in the spring do I see it from Oreo not wanting to walk in the snow and pees in the same location for months.


  3. My lawn is pretty dead, but has none of your above problems. I think it was actual critters that chomped it. (My theory is that my husband caused it by fertilising the lawn and not watering – he doesn’t agree!) 🙂
    But looking at all your fungi, I think I’ll stop complaining about my lawn now.


  4. Good info here. Thank goodness that I don’t have to worry about all of that. I have some Bermuda (native) but very little. The rest is in shrubs, trees, and some flowers with some blank spaces. It’s an acre and I could in no way maintain all that in grass. It would send me to the poor house. 🙂


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