Bermuda Grass Fungus: Prevention & Solutions

bermuda grass fungus

Welcome to section 1 of our comprehensive guide on Bermuda grass fungus. If you’re a proud owner of a bermuda grass lawn, you know how important it is to keep it healthy and thriving. However, this popular turfgrass is susceptible to various fungal diseases that can impact its beauty and resilience. In this article, we will explore the different types of bermuda grass fungal diseases, their symptoms, and most importantly, provide you with effective prevention and solution strategies.

Identifying and Treating Large Patch Disease in Bermuda Grass

Large patch disease, caused by the pathogen Rhizoctonia solani, is a common fungal disease that affects bermuda grass. It is characterized by the appearance of rough circular patches of brown or yellow grass in your yard. The disease typically occurs in early spring when the grasses green up and the conditions are wet. To effectively treat large patch disease and restore your bermuda grass lawn to its healthy state, you need to follow a few important steps.


Identifying large patch disease is crucial for proper treatment. Look for the presence of circular patches ranging from 1 to 10 feet in diameter. The grass within these patches may appear thin, discolored, or dead, with a brown or yellowish color. The disease patches usually have irregular edges and can merge together, forming larger affected areas.


When it comes to treating large patch disease, a comprehensive approach that combines good lawn care practices and the use of fungicides is recommended. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Water in the morning: Watering your bermuda grass in the morning allows the foliage to dry throughout the day, reducing the risk of disease development.
  2. Water deeply but less frequently: Instead of frequent shallow watering, deep and infrequent watering promotes deeper root growth and creates a less favorable environment for the disease.
  3. Mow at the proper height: Maintain your grass at the recommended height for bermuda grass, typically around 1 to 1.5 inches. This helps prevent excess moisture and allows for good air circulation.
  4. Relieve soil compaction: Aerating your lawn helps improve water and nutrient penetration, reducing the conditions that favor disease development.
  5. Remove excessive thatch: Thatch buildup can create a favorable environment for disease-causing pathogens. Dethatching your lawn helps prevent disease and promotes better overall grass health.
  6. Perform a soil test: A soil test can provide valuable information about your lawn’s nutrient levels and pH. Adjusting these factors can help create an environment less conducive to large patch disease.
  7. Use fungicides: Fungicides can be used as a preventative treatment to protect your bermuda grass against large patch disease. Specific product recommendations and application instructions can be obtained from the Clemson Cooperative Extension or a local lawn care professional.

By incorporating these practices into your lawn care routine and seeking timely treatment, you can effectively manage and control large patch disease in your bermuda grass. Remember, prevention is key, so regular monitoring and maintenance are essential for a disease-free and vibrant lawn.

Managing Dollar Spot Disease in Bermuda Grass

Dollar spot disease is a common issue that affects Bermuda grass, caused by the fungus Clarireedia jacksonii. It typically manifests as tan spots on the lawn during late spring or early summer. Infected grass blades exhibit bleached lesions with brownish-purple borders, and you may notice a cobweb-like, silvery coating called mycelium on the turf in the mornings.

To effectively manage dollar spot disease and prevent its spread, you need to implement certain measures. First and foremost, maintaining a proper watering schedule is crucial. Avoid overwatering your lawn, as this can create favorable conditions for the disease to thrive. Additionally, trimming or pruning vegetation in shaded areas promotes better air circulation and reduces moisture, which helps prevent the disease from spreading.

Regularly mowing the grass at the appropriate height can also aid in dollar spot prevention. Longer grass can create a humid environment that favors disease development, so keeping it at the recommended height will discourage the fungus. Removing excessive thatch, the layer of dead grass and organic matter, is another vital step in prevention, as it eliminates potential breeding grounds for the disease.

In some cases, the use of fungicides may be necessary to effectively manage and control dollar spot disease. However, it is important to alternate between different fungicides to prevent resistance from developing. Consulting with lawn care professionals or local agricultural extension offices can provide valuable advice on specific fungicides and their application.

By following these management and prevention practices, you can protect your Bermuda grass lawn from dollar spot disease and enjoy a lush and healthy yard throughout the season.

Controlling Leaf Spot and Melting Out in Bermuda Grass

Leaf spot and melting out are two common turfgrass diseases that frequently appear together in bermuda grass lawns. Leaf spot, caused by Drechslera poae, manifests as small purplish-black spots on the grass blades that gradually enlarge into elliptical lesions. On the other hand, melting out, caused by Bipolaris sorokiniana, affects the leaf sheaths, rhizomes, and stolons, leading to their decay.

These diseases are most active during the fall and spring when temperatures are cool and the environment is damp. To effectively control leaf spot and melting out, there are several key steps you can take:

  1. Perform a soil test: By analyzing the soil composition, pH levels, and nutrient deficiencies, you can address any underlying issues that may contribute to the diseases.
  2. Practice proper watering techniques: Avoid overwatering, as this can create a conducive environment for disease development. Water in the early morning to allow the grass time to dry before evening.
  3. Trim or prune vegetation in shaded areas: Increasing sunlight penetration to shaded areas helps to improve air circulation, reducing the likelihood of disease occurrence.
  4. Mow regularly: Maintain the recommended mowing height for bermuda grass and do not remove more than one-third of the grass blades in a single mowing.
  5. Remove excessive thatch: Thatch buildup provides favorable conditions for disease development. Regular dethatching can help minimize disease risks.

In addition to these preventive measures, applying fungicides can be an effective part of your disease management strategy. Consult with a lawn care professional or follow product label instructions to determine the appropriate fungicide for controlling leaf spot and melting out.

leaf spot and melting out in bermuda grass

Managing Rust Disease in Bermuda Grass

Rust disease, caused by various fungi including Puccinia cynodontis, can be a challenge for bermuda grass lawns. This disease manifests as a bronze appearance on the lawn or field, along with tiny dark brown to orange pustules on the grass blades. As the pustules burst, they release dusty reddish-brown spore masses.

Rust disease thrives in humid conditions and temperatures between 75 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. To effectively manage rust disease in your bermuda grass lawn, there are several important steps to follow.

First, maintaining proper soil fertility is essential. Make sure to test your soil regularly and amend it as needed to ensure optimal nutrient levels. This will help promote healthy grass growth and increase the lawn’s resistance to disease.

Removing excessive thatch is another critical management practice. Thatch buildup provides an ideal environment for rust disease to thrive, so regularly dethatching or aerating your lawn can help prevent its occurrence.

Practice good irrigation techniques to minimize the development of rust disease. Avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture creates favorable conditions for fungal growth. Ensure that your irrigation system delivers water evenly and at the right time of day, typically in the early morning.

Consider harvesting your bermuda grass for hay or heavy grazing if rust disease becomes a recurring issue. This can help reduce the disease’s spread and prevent further infection.

If necessary, fungicides can be used to manage rust disease. However, it’s important to exercise caution if you use the grass for livestock grazing, as some fungicides may have restrictions on their use in such situations.

By following these management practices, you can effectively control rust disease and ensure the health and vitality of your bermuda grass lawn.

Preventing Spring Dead Spot Disease in Bermuda Grass

Spring dead spot disease is a common issue that affects bermuda grass, characterized by circular patches of bleached dead grass in the spring. This disease is caused by one or more species of Ophiosphaerella. It is most active when soil temperatures range between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Several factors contribute to the development of spring dead spot disease. High nitrogen levels, late-season nitrogen fertilizer application, low soil pH, excessive thatch, and soil compaction all play a role in creating favorable conditions for the disease. To prevent spring dead spot disease from damaging your bermuda grass, consider the following measures:

  1. Aerate and dethatch the lawn in the summer: By aerating and dethatching your lawn, you can improve air circulation and alleviate soil compaction. This, in turn, helps prevent the development and spread of spring dead spot disease.
  2. Perform a soil test: Conducting a soil test allows you to assess the nutrient composition, pH levels, and overall health of your soil. Based on the results, you can take corrective actions, if needed, to create an optimal growing environment for your bermuda grass.
  3. Apply fungicides in the fall: Fungicides can be an effective preventive measure against spring dead spot disease. Applying fungicides in the fall, before the disease becomes active, can help protect your bermuda grass and prevent the formation of dead patches.

Preventing spring dead spot disease in bermuda grass requires proactive care and attention. By implementing these preventive measures, you can maintain the health and vitality of your lawn, ensuring a lush, green landscape.

Protecting Your Bermuda Grass Lawn from Fungal Disease

Protecting your bermuda grass lawn from fungal diseases is essential to maintaining a healthy and vibrant outdoor space. By implementing proper lawn care techniques and taking preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of fungal infections and ensure that your bermuda grass stays lush and green.

To start, it’s important to pay attention to your lawn’s watering needs. Overwatering or underwatering can create an ideal environment for fungal diseases to thrive. Water your bermuda grass lawn deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth and avoid creating conditions that promote disease.

Mowing your lawn at the correct height is another crucial factor in preventing fungal infections. Set your mower blades to the recommended height for bermuda grass, which is typically around 1 to 1.5 inches. Mowing too short can weaken the grass and make it more susceptible to disease.

Additionally, maintaining proper soil conditions through regular fertilization is essential for a healthy bermuda grass lawn. Conduct a soil test to determine any nutrient deficiencies or pH imbalances that need to be addressed. By providing your lawn with the essential nutrients it needs, you can enhance its natural resistance to fungal diseases.

Lastly, it’s important to address any existing diseases or pests in your lawn promptly. Monitor your bermuda grass regularly and take immediate action if you notice any signs of fungal disease. Consider consulting with a professional gardener or lawn care specialist for appropriate treatment options.

By following these preventive measures and practicing good lawn care techniques, you can protect your bermuda grass lawn from fungal diseases and enjoy a beautiful, healthy outdoor space throughout the year.

How Can I Prevent Bermuda Grass Fungus in My Lawn?

To combat dollar spot fungus in your Bermuda grass lawn, you can start by improving air circulation and reducing excess moisture. Avoid evening watering and mow the lawn at the proper height. Use fungicide if necessary and ensure proper soil drainage. Regularly overseeding can also help prevent fungus.


Maintaining a healthy and vibrant bermuda grass lawn requires proactive prevention and control measures against fungal diseases. By practicing good lawn care techniques, such as proper watering, mowing, and fertilization, addressing soil conditions, and considering the use of fungicides, you can protect your bermuda grass from common fungal diseases.

Regular monitoring of your lawn’s health is essential for early detection and prompt treatment of any fungal diseases. Keep an eye out for any signs of discoloration, patches, or unusual growth patterns. If you suspect a problem, consult with lawn care professionals who can provide expert advice and treatment options.

Remember that prevention is better than cure when it comes to fungal diseases in your bermuda grass lawn. Implementing preventive measures, such as maintaining proper soil fertility, removing excessive thatch, and practicing good irrigation techniques, can greatly reduce the risk of fungal infections.

With the right care and attention, your bermuda grass lawn will stay green, lush, and healthy throughout the seasons. Invest in regular lawn care and take proactive steps to prevent and control fungal diseases, and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful outdoor space that you can enjoy year-round.

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