Why Is My Grass Turning White?: Causes and Solution

If you’ve noticed that your once lush green lawn is turning white, you may be wondering ‘why is my grass turning white?  and how do I stop it from turning white?

White grass in your lawn can indicate several issues like fungal diseases, chemical harm, or lack of nutrients. In this detailed guide, we’ll look at why your grass might be turning white and offer solutions to revive its green color. Let’s start fixing your lawn!


Why Is My Grass Turning White?
Why Is My Grass Turning White?


Why Is My Grass Turning White?

When it comes to white grass, there are several possible causes. Let’s take a closer look at the most common causes and their characteristics.


1. The Unintended Consequence of Herbicide: 

Herbicides, like those with mesotrione (found in products like Tenacity), can make turf grass turn white. Mesotrione works by stopping weed leaves from making chlorophyll and doing photosynthesis.

But it can also make grass blades in the treated area get white tips. If applied correctly and given enough time, the grass should get better, or you can cut off the white tips.


2. Nutrient Overload

Too much fertilizer can also make grass turn white. Fertilizers with lots of nitrogen can make fungi like powdery mildew grow. Some fertilizers even have herbicides like mesotrione, which can cause white discoloration.

Over-fertilizing can also burn grassroots and make the blades turn yellow, brown, or white. It’s important to use fertilizers correctly to avoid giving the grass too many nutrients.


Powdery Mildew: The White Dust

Grass can turn white due to powdery mildew, a fungal disease caused by different fungi, like Erysiphe graminis. It looks like a fine white powder or chalk on the grass blades.

As the fungus spreads, it covers more of the lawn, making it look powdery white. Powdery mildew affects not just turf grass but also ornamental shrubs, flowers, vegetables, and houseplants.


The Gray Patches

Gray leaf spot, caused by the fungus Pyricularia grisea, is a fungal disease that can turn your lawn white. It’s not as common as powdery mildew or fusarium patch disease but can still be a problem.

It creates light spots on grass blades, which get more noticeable as the disease gets worse. This fungus mostly affects St. Augustine grass but can also affect other types of grass. It likes places that are damp and warm at night.


Pink Patch Disease

Fusarium patch disease, also called pink snow mold, is another reason grass can turn white. This fungal infection, caused by Microdochium nivale, usually makes grass blades turn yellow but can also make them look white or pink because of the fungus.

It often shows up when snow melts in early spring, but snow isn’t needed for it to occur. It can be hard to control this disease, so spotting it early and treating it is important.


Read also: How To Slow Grass Growth


How to Get Rid of White Grass: Solutions

Now that we’ve identified the common causes of white grass, let’s explore the steps you can take to restore your lawn’s green color. The solutions may vary depending on the underlying cause, so you need to know the specific reason why your grass is turning white and choose the best approach to use.  You can try any of the following:


1. Let the Grass have enough Sunlight

Having enough sunlight is important for a healthy, green lawn. More sunlight can stop fungi from growing and help with photosynthesis, but it’s not always easy. Also, trim big trees and bushes that shade your lawn to let more sunlight in.

You can also move things like patio umbrellas to let more sun reach your grass. If your lawn has problems because it doesn’t get enough sunlight and you can’t change that, you can consider planting more grass that can handle shade. This way, your lawn can stay healthy and green even with less sunlight.


2. You can adjust the Soil pH

If your grass is white or light green, it might be because of a lack of iron, which can happen in soil that’s too alkaline. Test your soil to check its pH level and find out what pH your grass needs.

If your soil is too alkaline, you can adjust it a bit using sulfur or aluminum sulfate. But be careful, because changing the pH too much can harm your lawn. Keep in mind that these fixes might take time to work.

Grass that’s affected by fungi or lacking nutrients will need time to grow back. Be patient and take good care of your lawn for long-term health and a green look.


3.  Use a Slow Nitrogen Fertilizer

Another thing you can do is to use a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer when fertilizing your lawn to avoid root burn and too much fungal growth.

Slow-release formulas release nutrients slowly over time, giving your grass a steady supply without overloading it. But even with these fertilizers, it’s important to use the right amount and make sure the soil is moist enough to prevent burn.

Water your lawn as needed for your grass type, considering any rain. This helps the roots soak up the nutrients well and avoids stress from too much fertilizer.


4. Get Rid of Thatch on the lawn

If a fungal disease like powdery mildew or fusarium patch is turning your grass white, getting rid of debris can be a good step. Thatch, which is a layer of dead grass on the soil’s surface, can hold fungal spores and let them survive to attack your lawn.

Removing the extra thatch makes it harder for fungi to grow and improves your lawn’s health. You can remove thatch using a manual or power rake.

For bigger areas, use a vertical mower or verticutter. But be careful when removing thatch from grass that spreads using stolons, as doing it wrong can damage the grass. It’s usually best to remove thatch once a year, but don’t take out the whole layer to protect the grassroots.


5. Use a Fungicide

If your lawn has a stubborn fungal infection causing white grass, you might need to use chemical fungicides. But first, make sure a fungus is really causing the discoloration.

If you’re not sure, ask a local Extension Office or landscaping pro for help. Try non-chemical methods before using fungicides, as they can harm the environment. Once you know which fungus is causing the problem, choose a fungicide made to kill that fungus.

Most fungi that make grass white can be killed with standard fungicides. Follow the directions carefully, and use more than one treatment if needed. Only use fungicides if nothing else works.


Read also: How To Kill Water Grass In Lawn



If your grass turns white, it can be worrying, but you can fix it with the right steps. Finding out why it’s happening, like fungal diseases, chemicals, or not enough nutrients, is important for treating it right.

By using fungicides, removing thatch,  giving your grass more sunlight, using fertilizers that gradually release nitrogen, and adjusting soil pH, you can get rid of white grass and have a healthy lawn.

Just remember, keeping a nice lawn means taking care of it regularly. Watch for problems, do good lawn care, and fix issues quickly to keep your grass green and healthy.


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