If Your Grass is Turning White, This is What it Means

If it looks like someone has sprinkled your lawn with flour or baby powder, chances are good that your lawn has a common disease called powdery mildew.

If you look closely, you may first see white powdery spores appearing on the leaf blades. As the disease progresses, a large part of the lawn can turn dusty white. Don't confuse powdery mildew with snow mold.

Both can look white on grass, but the white color of snow mold is more of a web on the grass and not a white coating on the leaf blades.

Don't be afraid: powdery mildew disease (also known as white grass) won't permanently damage your lawn. But it can take away from your lawn that attractive green glow that every lawn owner looks for.

What Causes White Grass?

Powdery mildew appears in moist shady areas of the lawn. It usually appears around trees, buildings, and fences. Poor air circulation can also be the cause.

Mold can appear in the spring and remain a nuisance in the summer. It prefers cool, cloudy conditions and loves high humidity.

The severity of the outbreak depends a lot on the climatic conditions that favor its growth. By the way, these are the things you shouldn't do on the lawn.

Older lawns are more susceptible to powdery mildew than newer ones. If your lawn consists of Kentucky bluegrass of the common type and fine fescue or bermudagrass that are 20 years old or older, you are more likely to develop powdery mildew.

How can I fix this?

Anything you can do to increase the amount of sunlight reaching your lawn will help. Try to remove low tree limbs or remove them altogether if possible.

  • Increased air circulation in heavily shaded areas will also help. Thinning shrubs, trimming trees, or installing fences that can "breathe" are all steps you can take to keep the air moving.


  • Nitrogen fertilizer promotes powdery mildew activity, so reduce the amount you apply to your lawn.


  • Don't water your lawn at night. It is best to water your lawn in the early hours of the morning.


  • When replanting lawns, use powdery mildew resistant grasses such as shade-tolerant Kentucky bluegrasses, enhanced fine fescue, fine-textured perennial ryegrass, tall grass fescue, and bermudagrass.


  • Consult your county or university lawn extension services for further assistance in choosing the right disease-resistant grass seed varieties for your area.

We hope you enjoy this video about powdery mildew fungus in the lawn:

Source: The Lawn Care Nut

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