How to Treat Brown Patch Fungus

Have you wondered why you sometimes see brown patches in grass at your Central Florida home?

In lawn care, Brown Patch is one of the fungal diseases that infects warm season grasses, especially Zoysia and St Augustine varieties. Other names for this disease are “Large Patch” and “Rhizoctonia”.

This is a fall/winter disease that affects different types of grass and will usually occur between the months of November through March, when temperatures in the Orlando, FL area are below 80 degrees. Excessive irrigation, rainfall, or extended periods of high humidity with the leaves being continuously wet for more than 48 hours can trigger brown patch disease.

The disease infects the part of the leaf closest to the soil, eventually killing the leaf.  A dark rot appears at the base of the leaf and the leaf can be easily pulled off the stem. The base of a leaf will usually have a rotted odor. The roots of the grass are NOT in affected by brown patch disease and will recover very well when temperatures warm up and grass is actively growing.

How to Get Rid of Brown Patch Fungus 

For brown patch fungus treatment, the first line of defense starts with lawn fertilization.
You’ll want to avoid quick release nitrogen just prior and during these periods. Instead, you’ll want to use “Slow Release” nitrogen fertilizers. Also, irrigate only when needed and do so in the early morning before the sun comes up.

Since mowers can spread this disease, mow these areas last and wash off clippings from the mower after and/or before mowing again or before mowing another lawn.

There are a number of Fungicides that work well to kill brown patch fungus. Be sure to read the label for proper site and application information as well as restrictions. The diseased grass will be slow to recover since it occurs when the grass is normally not growing fast or at all. The fungicides only stop the disease from spreading; they do not promote new grass growth.

If you’d like help developing healthy grass for your Orlando area lawn, contact the experts at Termite Lawn & Pest. Click the “Want More Information” button below, and we will be in touch shortly.

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