Pythium December 2012


 Pythium can be very destructive as seen on these bent grass golf greens


This is ashort post that you may hva eseen published on wesite as well.


Pythium is one of the most destrcuctive diseases of turf.  There are mnay species of pythium but the ones commonly found in Australia are pythium blight and


All turf species are affected but predominately fine cut turf of bent and couch grass. Pythium appears as circular spots during warm to hot humid weather. Spots appear as brown to bronze in colour. Pythium causes a wide range of damage including root and leaf blight. Outbreaks are most severe following warm nights coupled with humid days. Pythium is also very active during the seeding process as frequent watering is taking place, creating a humid and wet environment. Pythium can spread a number of ways including:

  • mowers
  • traffic
  • water- especially if water is from a dam or effluent as spores can be present.
  • poor drainage
  • low soil pH is ideal environment for Pythium along with high pH can lead to other disease issues
  • high soil nitrogen levels.

Pythium is always living in the soil and needs the right conditions to cause problems. Water logged greens are a perfect environment for Pythium. You can see Pythium as patterns in greens that follow the drainage lines. Equipment use also spreads the disease.

If you have a short root system with compacted soil and poor drainage, your turf will need extra light watering to keep it alive. This will increase Pythium pressure, due to plant wetness. On the other hand, deep infrequent watering can increase Pythium pressure as well as the roots and the soil are being completely soaked which is conducive to Pythium outbreaks. Very hard to win in this situation. That is why it is important to maintain healthy turf and to use specific Pythium fungicides on a preventative basis.

If you do have an outbreak with any disease, not just Pythium reduce the use of PGR’s until you get recovery. Also look at at tank mixing your fungicide as other diseases maybe present. An Ippon & Proplant tank mix is very effective here.

A hot summer can lead to an increase in Pythium as well – from over watering and a constant need to water

Cultural Controls of Pythium:

  • Avoid too much N
  • Keep plants healthy as possible with using root stimulants.
  • Avoid mowing in moist hot weather
  • Raise mowing heights
  • Avoid verti cutting, top dressing if greens are infected  as it puts more stress on the plant
  • Reduce leaf wetness
  • Increase air flow and sunlight to Pythium prone areas


Our Chemical control Solution

  • Proplant 45mL-65mL per 100m2 – apply with suficient water for good coverage. Water in 2-5mm. Proplant is a systemic fungicide that mnoves in an upwards direction and has both prevtantive and curative properties.