Horticultural Diseases and Pests - Alphabetically
Spring Dead Spot in Bermudagrass
Horticultural Diseases and Pests - by Host
Diseased areas are identified as circular dead patches of bermudagrass ranging from
3 inches to several feet in diameter. The circular areas can overlap to envelop a much
larger area. Weeds such as crabgrass may begin to grow in the dead areas. The causal
fungus of spring dead spot attacks the roots, crowns, stolons, and rhizomes of
susceptible bermudagrasses in the fall of the year and again in spring, even though
symptoms of infection cannot be seen from above. During these times, the fungus
spreads radially through the soil, producing circular patches of infected grass.
Infection in the fall is most devastating, since it is believed that the injury
caused by the fungus at this time predisposes the bermudagrass to winter-kill.
The dead plants do not green up in spring, producing the symptoms of the disease.
The dark hair-like filaments (runner hypae) of the causal fungus occasionally
can be seen on stolons, rhizomes, and roots in the spring of the year, both within
and slightly outside the dead patches of grass.
Managing for prevention and recoverySeverity of Spring Dead Spot can be reduced,
though not necessarily cured, through proper turfgrass management. The rapid rate of
spread of most bermudagrasses usually provides for complete recovery of the area if it
is properly managed.