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Odd Colored Lawns: Troubleshooting Guide

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Color can clue you into problems with your lawn. A healthy lawn should be an even deep green, with the shade of green depending upon the season and the specific variety of grasses. If any of the below colors appear, then you need to take steps to address the issue.


Yellow is the most common color you will find other than green. It typically indicates wither a nutrient deficiency or drought stress. A soil test can help determine if a shortage of nutrients, usually iron or nitrogen is the cause. If there is no deficiency but the weather has been dry, you can increase watering slightly to see if that greens the lawn up again.


A brown color means the grass is dead. Sometimes only the tips of the grass blades turn brown, while in other cases the grass may brown out entirely. Causes vary, but a common issue is drought stress or compacted soil, problems that sometimes occur together. Aerating the soil and watering sufficiently can prevent future browning, but you may need to overseed to replace the grass that already died. Insects, like grubs, can also lead to brown patches. The pests eat the grass roots, leaving the leaves alone to brown out and die. A grub treatment and overseeding will fix the problem.


A pink lawn is caused by a type of fungus. Sometimes the grass first turns yellow and then pink blotches appear on the blades, while in other cases there can be a pink coating covering a section of your lawn. Although unattractive, the fungus isn't particularly harmful. Aerating and fertilizing your lawn regularly can prevent the fungus from forming.


Not all types of grass are in danger of turning blue. Only bluegrass varieties will sometimes become quite blue if there is a problem. A high level of salts, usually from over-fertilizing, can cause the grass to become very blue before it begins to die out. Drought can have a similar effect on bluegrass. First test the soil and remedy any salt and nutrient issues, then increase irrigation to either flush out excess salts or counteract drought effects.

Bright Green

Sometimes grass can be too green. This problem often appears as a bright green and faster-growing margin of grass that surrounds a spot that is turning yellow or brown. The culprit is nitrogen burn. Excess nitrogen kills the grass in the main area of contact, but the grass surrounding the dead spot gets only enough of that excess nitrogen to turn extra green. Fertilizer spills and dog urine spots are the most likely cause.

Contact a lawn maintenance service for more help.