Pythium spp.


Other common names:

See below.



Pythium is a foliar, leaf and/or root disease. The disease is often seen when conditions are right and temperatures are between 17.5 and 28 degrees Celsius. Bransgrove (2006) highlights that Pythium is a water mould which is favoured by high soil moisture and that a number of Pythium species cause turf diseases, including:


Damping Off

This is usually a seedling disease, but can be seen on mature turfgrass. Affected seedlings are water soaked, stunted, become wilted, weathered and die. The disease is promoted by warm, humid conditions in conjunction with wet soil.

Root and Crown Rot

The roots and crown are affected. Root and crown rot can become a problem where excessive moisture is kept in the soil profile due to poor drainage.

Pythium Blight

This is a leaf infection that creates water-soaked looking patches - leaves in the patch ma stick together and white mycelium (fungal strands) may be seen in the morning or in periods of high humidity. The infection and destruction process can be fast (such as overnight).


Susceptible Turf:

Warm-and cool-season turfgrasses.


Control options:

  • Pesticides: See available tabs below for registered products. Use as per label instructions.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Use a combination of approaches listed on this page.
  • Cultural:
    • Provide adequate subsoil drainage within the rootzone.
    • Avoid overwatering and irrigation in the afternoon or late evening.
    • Control thatch within the turfgrass to an acceptable level.
    • Do not over fertilise with nitrogen.
  • Mechanical: Nil.



Bransgrove, K. (2006) Soil Borne Turfgrasses Diseases in Healthy Soil for Great Turf, Queensland Government, Cleveland, pp. 85.



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Control Options

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