Diseases ›

Pythium Blight

Symptoms

In cool-season turf, Pythium blight first appears as small, sunken, circular patches up to 1 foot in diameter during hot, humid weather. In warm-season turf such as bermudagrass putting greens, Pythium blight first appears as small black or purple spots that can expand into larger irregular areas, especially during prolonged periods of humid, rainy, and/or cloudy weather anytime of the year. These symptoms can easily be mistaken for leaf spot, so be certain you obtain an accurate diagnosis. Leaves within affected areas are matted, orange or dark gray in color, and greasy in appearance. Gray, cottony mycelium may be seen in the infected areas when the leaves are wet or humidity is high. The disease spreads rapidly along drainage patterns and can be tracked by equipment. This disease can cause widespread damage to a turf stand very quickly when conditions are favorable for development.

Development Factors

Pythium blight may develop when night temperatures exceed 65°F in cool-season turf (50°F for warm-season turf) and leaves are continually wet for 12 to 14 hours for several consecutive nights. For this reason, severe Pythium blight epidemics in cool-season turf are commonly observed the morning after a late afternoon or early evening thunderstorm in the summer. Daytime temperatures above 85°F also encourage Pythium blight development in cool-season turf, possibly due to increased stress. Excessive soil moisture and succulent foliar growth also favor disease development.

Perennial ryegrass and annual bluegrass are most prone to Pythium blight and can sustain significant damage in 2 to 3 days when conditions are favorable. Creeping bentgrass and tall fescue are more resistant to the disease, but can be severely affected if conditions are conducive for prolonged periods. Bermudagrass putting greens are susceptible to Pythium blight during extended periods of humid, rainy, and or cloudy weather most anytime of the year when temperatures are above 50°F.

Cultural Control

Reduce prolonged leaf wetness by watering in the early morning hours, before sunrise. Use the Turf Irrigation Management System available on TurfFiles to schedule irrigation based on weather conditions and turf needs. Avoid excessive rates of nitrogen to prevent lush, succulent foliar growth, which is very susceptible to Pythium blight. Cool-season turfgrasses should not be fertilized with more than 0.25 lb N per 1000 ft when conditions favor Pythium blight activity. Avoid establishing turf in low-lying areas that will collect water. If necessary, install subsurface drainage to prevent wet soil conditions. Relieve compaction and maintain soil drainage through hollow tine aerification, and topdress golf course putting greens regularly to minimize thatch accumulations.

Do not mow or irrigate when Pythium mycelium is present on the foliage to minimize spread of the pathogen. Collect and promptly dispose of clippings from infected areas and ensure that mowing equipment is washed before going to an uninfected area.

Chemical Control

Due to the potential for rapid development of this disease, high value areas and susceptible grasses should be protected with a preventive fungicide program. Applications should be initiated when night temperatures consistently exceed 65°F for cool-season turf (50°F for warm-season turf) and repeated on 14 to 21 day intervals as directed on the fungicide label when conditions are favorable for Pythium blight development.

Fungicide and Formulation1
Amount of Formulation2
Application Interval3
Efficacy Rating
Resistance Risk
Fungicide and Formulation1

azoxystrobin
(Heritage, Strobe)
(Heritage TL)
(Heritage G)
(Strobe L)

Amount of Formulation2


0.4
2
2 to 4 lbs
0.38 to 0.77

Application Interval3


10 to 14
10 to 14
10 to 14
10 to 14

Efficacy Rating

++



Resistance Risk

High



Fungicide and Formulation1

azoxystrobin + acibenzolar-S-methyl (Heritage Action)*

Amount of Formulation2

0.2 to 0.4

Application Interval3

10 to 14

Efficacy Rating

++

Resistance Risk

High

Fungicide and Formulation1

azoxystrobin + propiconazole (Headway)
ME
G

Amount of Formulation2


3
2 to 4 lbs

Application Interval3


10 to 14
14 to 28

Efficacy Rating

++

Resistance Risk

High

Fungicide and Formulation1

azoxystrobin + tebuconazole (Strobe T)*

Amount of Formulation2

0.75 to 1.5

Application Interval3

10 to 21

Efficacy Rating

++

Resistance Risk

High

Fungicide and Formulation1

chloroneb
(Teremec SP)*
(Teremec F)*

Amount of Formulation2


4
7

Application Interval3


5 to 7
5 to 7

Efficacy Rating

+

Resistance Risk

Low

Fungicide and Formulation1

chlorothalonil + fluoxastrobin (Fame C)*

Amount of Formulation2

3 to 5.9

Application Interval3

7 to 14

Efficacy Rating

++

Resistance Risk

Medium

Fungicide and Formulation1

cyazofamid (Segway)*

Amount of Formulation2

0.45 to 0.9

Application Interval3

14 to 21

Efficacy Rating

++++

Resistance Risk

High

Fungicide and Formulation1

ethazole
(Koban)*
(Terrazole)*

Amount of Formulation2


2 to 4.5
2 to 4

Application Interval3


10
10 to 14

Efficacy Rating

+

Resistance Risk

Low

Fungicide and Formulation1

fluopicolide + propamocarb (Stellar)

Amount of Formulation2

1.2

Application Interval3

14

Efficacy Rating

++++

Resistance Risk

Medium

Fungicide and Formulation1

fluoxastrobin (Fame)

Amount of Formulation2

0.18 to 0.36

Application Interval3

7 to 14

Efficacy Rating

++

Resistance Risk

High

Fungicide and Formulation1

fluoxastrobin + tebuconazole (Fame T)*

Amount of Formulation2

0.45 to 0.9

Application Interval3

21

Efficacy Rating

++

Resistance Risk

High

Fungicide and Formulation1

fosetyl Al
(Signature, Fosetyl-Al)
(Signature Xtra Stressgard)*

Amount of Formulation2


4 to 8
2 to 6

Application Interval3


14 to 21
7 to 21

Efficacy Rating

+++

Resistance Risk

Low

Fungicide and Formulation1

mancozeb
(Fore)*
(Dithane)*

Amount of Formulation2


8
8

Application Interval3


5 to 14
10

Efficacy Rating

++

Resistance Risk

Low

Fungicide and Formulation1

mefenoxam
(Subdue)
(Subdue MAXX, Quell)
(Subdue G)
(Mefenoxam)

Amount of Formulation2


0.28 to 0.56
0.5 to 1
12.5 to 25
0.2 to 1

Application Interval3


10 to 21
10 to 21
10 to 14
10 to 21

Efficacy Rating

++++



Resistance Risk

High



Fungicide and Formulation1

potassium phosphite (Appear)

Amount of Formulation2

3 to 4
4 to 6

Application Interval3

7 to 14
14

Efficacy Rating

+++

Resistance Risk

Low

Fungicide and Formulation1

propamocarb (Banol)*

Amount of Formulation2

1.3 to 4

Application Interval3

7 to 21

Efficacy Rating

+++

Resistance Risk

Low

Fungicide and Formulation1

pyraclostrobin (Insignia)
WG
SC

Amount of Formulation2


0.9
0.7

Application Interval3


14 to 28
10 to 14

Efficacy Rating

++

Resistance Risk

High

Fungicide and Formulation1

pyraclostrobin + boscalid (Honor)*

Amount of Formulation2

1.1

Application Interval3

10 to 14

Efficacy Rating

++

Resistance Risk

Medium

Fungicide and Formulation1

pyraclostrobin + fluxapyroxad (Lexicon Intrinsic)

Amount of Formulation2

0.47

Application Interval3

14

Efficacy Rating

++

Resistance Risk

High

1 Other trade names with the same active ingredients are labeled for use on turfgrasses and can be used according to label directions.
2 Apply fungicides in 2 to 5 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet according to label directions. Use lower rates for preventive and higher rates for curative applications.
3 Use shorter intervals when conditions are very favorable for disease.
* Products marked with an asterisk are not labeled for home lawn use.

Efficacy Rating
++++ = excellent control when conditions are highly favorable for disease development
+++ = good control when disease pressure is high, excellent control when disease pressure is moderate
++ = good control when disease pressure is moderate, excellent control when disease pressure is low
+ = good control when disease pressure is low
? = not rated due to insufficient data

Resistance Risk
Low = Rotate to different chemical class after 3-4 applications; tank mixing not necessary
Medium = Rotate to different chemical class after 1-2 applications; tank-mixing with low or medium risk product recommended
High = Rotate to different chemical class after EVERY application; tank-mix with low or medium risk product for EVERY application
? = not rated due to insufficient data

Presentations

Publications

Species Data

Host species

bentgrass, bluegrasses, fescues, ryegrasses

pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting4 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting4 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting4 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting5 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting5 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting5 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting7 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting7 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting7 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting9 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting9 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting9 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms10 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms10 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms10 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms13 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms13 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms13 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf2 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf2 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf2 ltc
pythium blighttf2 ltc
pythium blighttf2 ltc
pythium blighttf2 ltc
pythium blighttf4 ltc
pythium blighttf4 ltc
pythium blighttf4 ltc
pythium blighttf ltc
pythium blighttf ltc
pythium blighttf ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf10 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf10 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf10 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf3 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf3 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf3 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf5 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf5 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf5 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf7 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf7 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf7 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf9 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf9 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf9 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf ltc
Months with symptoms

June to August

Stand symptoms

patches (4 to 12 inches), irregular distribution across turf stand

pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting9 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting9 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting9 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms10 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms10 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms10 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms11 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms11 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms11 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms13 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms13 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms13 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue standsymptoms ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf2 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf2 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf2 ltc
pythium blighttf2 ltc
pythium blighttf2 ltc
pythium blighttf2 ltc
pythium blighttf4 ltc
pythium blighttf4 ltc
pythium blighttf4 ltc
pythium blighttf ltc
pythium blighttf ltc
pythium blighttf ltc
pythium blight ltc
pythium blight ltc
pythium blight ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf10 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf10 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf10 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf ltc
Foliar symptoms location/shape

blighting of entire leaves

pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting4 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting4 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting4 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting5 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting5 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting5 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting7 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting7 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting7 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting8 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
Foliar symptoms color

tan, brown, black, gray, orange

pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting3 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting3 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting3 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting4 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting4 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting4 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting5 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting5 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting5 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting7 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting7 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting7 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting8 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting9 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting9 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue plantsymptoms blighting9 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
Root/Crown symptoms

none

Fungal Signs

mycelium or none

pythiumblight tallfescue signs mycelium2 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue signs mycelium2 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue signs mycelium2 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue signs mycelium3 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue signs mycelium3 ltc
pythiumblight tallfescue signs mycelium3 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight mycelium tf8 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf10 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf10 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf10 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf11 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf3 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf3 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf3 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf5 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf5 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf5 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf7 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf7 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf7 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf9 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf9 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf9 ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf ltc
pythium blight myceliumtf ltc