Fairy Ring


Fairy ring is caused by mushroom-forming fungi which form circular or semi-circular rings of highly variable size. Depending on the fungal species, different symptoms can appear, but typically are simply darker green rings that surround lighter turf. Rings of mushrooms can sometimes appear as well. Fairy ring is typically a less serious disease, and certain fairy ring mushrooms can actually benefit your lawn.

Susceptible species and favorable conditions

Susceptible species: All turfgrasses. 

Favorable conditions: Fairy rings can occur year-round. Dense thatch layers or topdressing with compost or other organic material that is not fully decomposed increases susceptibility to fairy ring outbreaks. Stress from inadequate fertilization and drought can increase the severity of an outbreak.  


Recommended cultural practices:

  • Application of light rates of nitrogen fertilizer can mask symptoms. 
  • Cultural practices that increase water and gas exchange in soils are important, such as frequent aeration.
  • Water deeply and thoroughly at the first sign of fairy ring.

Chemical control: Fungicide treatment for fairy rings is usually not recommended for residential lawns.  

Photo Credits
Clemson University – USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org

Lester E. Dickens, Bugwood.org