South Africa Turf Disease Guide - Powdery Mildew

Disease and Insect Control
South Africa Turf Disease Guide - Powdery Mildew

Causal Agent:

Erysiphe graminis

Susceptible Turfgrass:

Bermudagrass, Fine-Leaf Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass


The disease first appears on the leaves as individual tufts of fine, white mycelium. The tufts enlarge and coalesce, causing the leaves to have a greyish-white or powdery appearance. Severely infected turf turns yellow, then tan and brown in colour. Stressed turf that is severely infected can die. Severely infected turf, especially in shaded areas, can become thinned.

Conditions Favouring Disease:

Powdery Mildew is favoured by humid, cloudy weather with temperatures between 15°C and 22°C. It occurs in areas under stress, with low light, and with high humidity. Powdery Mildew is also common in areas with poor air circulation, but does not require a film of water to infect turf.

Integrated Turf Management Tips:

  • Water as needed to avoid drought stress
  • Avoid levels of nitrogen and irrigation that produce lush leaf growth • Raise the mower height
  • Prune tree limbs to improve air circulation and the amount of sunlight • Convert to a polystand of shade-adapted turfgrass

For more informaton about Powdery Mildew visit Syngenta's horticulture website here.

Just tap the links below to read about other turf diseases. Or download the full free guide at the bottom.

  1. Anthracnose
  2. Brown Patch 
  3. Brown Ring Patch (Waitea Patch) 
  4. Dollar Spot 
  5. Fairy Ring 
  6. Superficial Fairy Ring 
  7. Grey Leaf Spot 
  8. Large Patch 
  9. Microdochium Patch 
  10. Powdery Mildew 
  11. Pythium Blight 
  12. Pythium Root Rot (Root Dysfunction) 
  13. Red Thread 
  14. Rhizoctonia Zeae (Rhizoctonia leaf and sheath spot) 
  15. Rusts: Crown, Leaf and Stem 
  16. Spring Dead Spot 
  17. Summer Patch 
  18. Take-all Patch  and
  19. Take-all Root Rot 

If you would like to have a complete copy with all the turf diseases, you can download it on the link below.

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Download the full guide here (14.41 MB).