St. Augustine Grass Decline

December 13, 2013 | Grass, Lawn Care, Pests, posted by Sasha

Laying Sod

St. Augustine Decline is the name of a lawn disease caused by the panicum mosaic virus that plagues thousands of lawns in Texas every year. St. Augustine Decline is a true menace–it can ultimately require a person to uproot and replant an entire lawn.

Symptoms: Does Your Lawn Have St. Augustine Decline?

St. Augustine Decline can be confusing to property owners because it often appears like a nutrient deficiency or insect issue, however unbeknownst to them, it is actually a viral issue. If these symptoms do not go away or get worse, there is a possibility that it is St. Augustine Decline. These are some symptoms:

  • Spotty, yellowish blades. This is a sign of stress, called chlorosis, that is caused by the virus. Chlorosis can be caused by many other things such as mite damage or zinc deficiency, but if it is uniform over the lawn’s entirety, this is a sign of St. Augustine Decline.
  • Lawn becomes weak. Blades appear sickly and weak.
  • Stolon growth slows. Stolons are offshoots of growth from an individual blade. Stolon growth contributes to a thick, bountiful appearance.
  • Symptoms get worse and spread. If symptoms get worse, this is a sign that the problem is not a deficiency or infestation, but instead, a virus that cannot be stopped.

Treatment and Prevention

Because St. Augustine Decline is a viral disease, there is no true treatment for grass that has been infected by the virus. However measures can be taken to prevent the panicum mosaic virus from spreading to other areas of grass. To do this, clean your mowing equipment with a mild bleach solution (10%) to kill the virus on the surface and prevent its spread. Otherwise, once the disease has spread to the entirety of a lawn, it must be taken up and new, uninfected sod grass planted. For true prevention, choose a St. Augustine Decline resistant variety of grass, such as Raleigh St. Augustine.

Sod Grass Experts

To learn more about the threat of St. Augustine Decline attacking your lawn, feel free to call the sod grass experts at The Grass Outlet. We would love to help you to choose a virus resistant grass to use in your yard. Call us today!