5 Turfgrass Diseases in Georgia and How to Identify Them

Feb 12, 2022

Disease #1: Brown Patch

Brown Patch is one of the most common turfgrass diseases affecting lawns in Georgia. It is caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani. This disease usually occurs in warm and humid conditions, particularly during the summer months. Brown Patch can quickly damage large areas of turfgrass if not properly identified and treated.


Initially, Brown Patch appears as circular patches of brown, dying grass that can range from a few inches to several feet in diameter. The affected areas often have a dark brown or purplish border. In the early morning, you may notice a white or greyish, cotton-like mycelium at the outer edge of the patches.

Prevention and Treatment

To prevent Brown Patch, avoid excessive nitrogen fertilization, proper watering practices, and improve air circulation. If your lawn already has Brown Patch, use fungicides specifically formulated for this disease, following label instructions carefully.

Disease #2: Dollar Spot

Dollar Spot is another fungal disease commonly found in Georgia lawns. It earned its name due to the small, silver dollar-sized spots it creates on the turfgrass. The fungus Sclerotinia homeocarpa causes this disease, which thrives in warm, humid weather with heavy dew or prolonged leaf wetness.


Dollar Spot presents as small, sunken spots in the grass blades with tan or straw-colored centers. The affected areas can expand up to several inches in diameter, forming irregular shapes. Early in the morning, you may see white, cobweb-like mycelium on the grass surface.

Prevention and Treatment

Proper irrigation practices, such as watering deeply and infrequently, can help prevent Dollar Spot. Avoid frequent, shallow watering, as this promotes disease development. Additionally, ensure proper lawn maintenance, including mowing at the recommended height for your grass type. Fungicides can be applied if necessary, following instructions on the product label.

Disease #3: Pythium Blight

Pythium Blight, caused by the Pythium spp. fungus, is a destructive turfgrass disease prevalent in moist and warm environments. Georgia's climate provides optimal conditions for Pythium Blight development, especially in poorly drained areas or during excessive rainfall.


Pythium Blight initially appears as circular, water-soaked patches with a greasy or oily appearance. As the disease progresses, the affected areas turn brown to tan and may develop a cottony, white mycelium in humid conditions.

Prevention and Treatment

To prevent Pythium Blight, enhance drainage in susceptible areas and avoid overwatering. Promote good air circulation within your lawn, as this can limit disease development. Fungicides labeled for Pythium control can be used as a curative measure, following manufacturer instructions.

Disease #4: Gray Leaf Spot

Gray Leaf Spot is a turfgrass disease caused by the fungus Pyrothecium griseum. It primarily affects St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, and perennial ryegrass found in Georgia. This disease thrives in hot and humid climates, making it a significant concern for Georgia lawns.


Gray Leaf Spot appears as gray to light-brown spots on the grass blades. These spots usually have a distinct rectangular shape and distinct margins. In severe cases, the spots can merge together, resulting in large patches of dead or dying grass.

Prevention and Treatment

Proper lawn maintenance practices, such as regular mowing and appropriate nitrogen fertilization, can help prevent Gray Leaf Spot. Fungicides labeled for Gray Leaf Spot control can be used to manage the disease, following instructions on the product label.

Disease #5: Take-All Root Rot

Take-All Root Rot, caused by the fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis, is a prevalent disease in Georgia turfgrasses, particularly warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass and zoysiagrass. This disease primarily affects the roots, causing significant damage to the turfgrass.


Take-All Root Rot initially exhibits subtle symptoms, such as thinning and yellowing of the grass. As the disease progresses, affected areas turn brown, wilt, and eventually die. The roots of infected plants may have black, necrotic lesions.

Prevention and Treatment

Proper soil management practices, such as maintaining proper pH levels and promoting good surface drainage, can help prevent Take-All Root Rot. Aerate compacted soils and avoid overwatering. Fungicides labeled for Take-All Root Rot control can be used as a curative measure, following manufacturer instructions.

Remember, early identification and prompt action are crucial in managing turfgrass diseases. By understanding the characteristics and symptoms of common diseases like Brown Patch, Dollar Spot, Pythium Blight, Gray Leaf Spot, and Take-All Root Rot, you can protect your Georgia lawn from extensive damage.

Florida Potting Soil Wood Products Div, your trusted source for eCommerce & shopping - groceries, provides high-quality resources and products to help you maintain a healthy and vibrant turfgrass. Don't let these turfgrass diseases ruin your lawn; take preventive measures and ensure proper care to keep your turf beautiful all year round.

Leslie Waggoner
Thanks for sharing this informative piece! It's crucial for Georgia residents to be able to identify and treat these common turfgrass diseases.
Nov 8, 2023