When you think of the color of grass, you think of a bright medium to dark green that makes your lawn pop. But, what happens when other colors start appearing throughout your lawn? What does that mean?

Different colors among your lawn can tell you if your lawn is:

  1. Sick from mold, bacteria, or fungi.
  2. Needs more or less water and nutrients.
  3. “Medicine” for those pesky insects eating the roots.
  4. Stressed out from back and forth weather conditions.

Several colors you may observe are orange, tan, brown, yellow, and purple.


If you observe the grass blades in your lawn turning a rust color of orange, this is due to a fungal disease. Fungus, like rust disease, can be harmful to your lawn if left untreated. Rust disease starts off as small yellow spots on blades of grass. As it progresses, the spotted areas produce an orange or white powdery substance that quickly spreads to other blades of grass by animals or people walking on the infected area. This can also be caused by the blades rubbing against each other. This fungal disease can eventually cause extensive damage or kill your lawn if immediate and proper treatment is ignored.


Several reasons your lawn may start becoming tan are: lack of nutrients and water, going into dormancy, or it’s getting sunburnt. Yes, you read that correctly: your lawn can get a sunburn. A sunburn for a lawn can be harmful if it hasn’t gone into a summertime dormancy. Grass is capable of not only going into a winter dormancy when it gets cold, it can also go into a summer dormancy when things get too hot and drought conditions are favorable. When grass goes into dormancy it turns tan in color and slows its growth. Once things cool off, usually around September, or warms up in the beginning of spring, it will begin greening up as it comes out of dormancy. At this time, feeding your lawn with fertilizer and water will help strengthen it.

When grass roots are deprived of food and drink, like other living things, it begins to wither away. In this case, your grass is letting you know by turning tan that it needs nutrients and water. A fertilizer treatment and deep watering will bring the green out.


A brown lawn is a definite sign of an unhealthy lawn. This can be caused from grub worm damage, army worm damage, fungi, bacteria, or drought conditions. If your lawn is experiencing drought conditions do not water unless you decide to continue watering throughout the drought. Warm season grass like Bermuda, St. Augustine and centipede grass are capable of going into summer dormancy that will come back out as temperatures cool down and grass is fed and watered.

Insect damage from grub worms, army worms, and other lawn damaging bugs should be treated with proper lawn insect chemicals specified for that particular insect so as to not damage the lawn further.

Bacteria, mold and fungi can be caused from overwatering, built up snow/ice or wet lawn debris and should be treated as soon as possible so as to not spread further throughout the lawn. Seek a professional for proper diagnosis and treatment plans.


Depending on the shade of yellow will determine the diagnosis. A bright yellow is a sign of a nutrient deficiency. This also will keep your grass from growing properly. It will become stunted.

A dull yellow with brittle (dying) grass blades is a result of lack of water. This is often seen during drought-like conditions. If you are in a drought, let the grass go into a natural dormancy and resume watering when conditions are right. If not in a drought, deep water 2-3 times per week until the lawn greens up, then water according to your grass type.


Purple grass blades are not uncommon after a rough winter and early spring when temperatures fluctuate. As grass comes out of a winter dormancy it will begin greening. If a sudden cold snap happens after temperatures have begun warming, the grass becomes confused and stops growing and retracts back into a dormant state. Then as temperatures warm up again, the grass becomes stressed from going back and forth causing the blades to appear purple. As much as it confuses us, it confuses the grass also. Should it wake up or not? It’s important to watch as weather warms up that the purple blades don’t show signs of fungi or mold due to the stress it just went through.

To ensure proper diagnosis and treatment is applied to your lawn, contact Safe Earth Pest Control. We have specialized technicians and treatment plans for all your pest control and lawn needs. 214-321-2847