Lawn Disease – St. Augustine Decline

(Panicum Mosaic Virus)

St. Augustine Decline is a lawn disease caused by the Panicum Mosaic Virus. In the U.S., St. Augustine Decline is only found in certain areas along the Gulf Coast where non-resistant turfgrass varieties are present. Lawn damage caused by the Panicum Mosaic Virus can occur year-round in these areas.      

Identifying St. Augustine Decline-

St. Augustine Decline initially appears as chlorotic mottling or stippling in your lawn. These symptoms may resemble iron or zinc deficiencies, mite damage or downy mildew infection. Chlorosis becomes uniform over the infected area, and the turf becomes less vigorous and stolon growth slows dramatically. The longer the turf is infected, the more severe the symptoms become. Roughly three years after initial symptoms are observed – and with additional stresses – the entire infected area of your lawn may be killed.

There is no chemical prevention for the St. Augustine Decline. Resistant varieties of turfgrass are the only means of control. During early stages of infection, the turfgrass will still respond to fertilizer applications until the severity increases. The Texas common variety of St. Augustinegrass is very susceptible; Floratam, Bitterblue and Raleigh varieties are resistant.

Conditions for St. Augustine Decline Infection -

St. Augustine Decline can only lead to an infection in your lawn if all of the following conditions are present:

1. Pathogen – St. Augustine Decline (Panicum Mosaic Virus)

2. Host – St. Augustinegrass and centipedegrass

3. Environment – Areas where non-resistant varieties of St. Augustinegrass are present

St. Augustine Decline Control -

Cultural disease control practices create favorable conditions for a healthy lawn, and often create unfavorable conditions for the growth of St. Augustine Decline. Cultural practices performed by the homeowner can lessen the chance of extensive damage from St. Augustine Decline. Scotts LawnService can help determine a plan for preventing and controlling St. Augustine Decline in your lawn.

For St. Augustine Decline control and treatment, Scotts recommends the following cultural control tips:

  • Plant varieties of turfgrass that are resistant to the St. Augustine Decline
  • Clean mowing equipment with a 10% bleach solution to prevent the spread of the virus
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 St. Augustine Decline control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.