Lawn Disease – Spring Dead Spot

(Ophiosphaerella spp.)

Spring Dead Spot is a turfgrass disease caused by various fungi in the Ophiosphaerella genus. Spring Dead Spot commonly affects bermudagrass in the southern United States, with damage typically occurring from spring through early summer.      

Identifying Spring Dead Spot -

Spring Dead Spot is characterized by circular patches that appear as bleached, straw-colored spots that can be several feet in diameter. The roots will also turn dark brown to black. Lawns infected with Spring Dead Spot show symptoms as the turfgrass disease emerges from dormancy in the late spring. There are numerous pathogens that can cause Spring Dead Spot.

Lawn Disease - Spring Dead Spot
Lawn Disease - Spring Dead Spot

Conditions for Spring Dead Spot Infection -

Spring Dead Spot can only lead to an infection in your lawn if all of the following conditions are present:
1. Pathogen – Various fungi in the Ophiosphaerella genus

2. Host – Bermudagrass

3. Environment – Cool, wet soils with poor drainage and temperatures less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit

Spring Dead Spot Control -

Cultural disease control practices create favorable conditions for a healthy lawn, and often create unfavorable conditions for the growth of Spring Dead Spot. Environmental conditions cannot be changed, but cultural practices performed by the homeowner can be modified to lessen the chance of extensive damage from Spring Dead Spot. Scotts LawnService can help determine a plan for preventing and controlling Spring Dead Spot in your lawn.

For Spring Dead Spot control and treatment, Scotts LawnService recommends the following cultural control tips:

  • Too much nitrogen late in the season may increase the severity of an infection
  • Apply moderate to high levels of phosphorous, potash and micronutrients
  • Increase the drainage of the turf and reduce the amount of thatch with core aeration
  • Convert to hybrid varieties of Bermudagrass to increase winter hardiness

Scotts LawnService has professional products that can prevent and control lawn diseases when cultural control practices are not effective.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Spring Dead Spot control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.