Fairy Rings

fairy rings in turfgrass

Top photo: Lester E. Dickens, Bugwood.org.
Lower photo: William M. Brown Jr., Bugwood.org

by Lexi Dean, Animal Science major

Ever notice those green and brown rings on the turf at a gold course or in your back yard? Those are Fairy Rings. Have no clue what Fairy Rings are? I didn’t either until I did some research.

What are Fairy Rings? Fairy Rings are a type of fungi. There are nearly sixty different species of basidiomycete fungi have been implicated in fairy ring occurrence

Identifying Fairy Rings

-Fairy Rings are those green or brown rings that are often spotted on golf courses and lawns

-Fairy Rings mostly occur during the spring and summer months

-Fairy Rings symptoms may include a ring of mushrooms

  • Fairy Rings work by preventing water from reaching the roots. When water doesn’t reach the roots the plant goes into a drought stress.
  • Fairy Rings are capable of releasing spores into the wind
  • The fungus feeds on organic mater
  • Fertilization may mask dark green fairy rings by stimulating growth in the rest of the grass
  • Mushrooms may or may not develop after a period of heavy rainfall or irrigation
  • Fairy Rings have been deemed the reason why for local dry spots on golf courses
  • Fairy Rings can cause the wilting and death of many plants


  • Fairy rings are hard to control with fungicides because the soil in the infected area is almost resistant to water
  • Fertilizing the land a lot will help to mask the appearance of the dark green growth
  • Mowing regularly helps remove mushrooms and other signs of Fairy Rings
    • vertical mowing and topdressing to reduce thatch and removal of tree stumps and roots ()
  • Aeration and drenching the soil with a wetting agent
  • Core aerification with the rotation of multiple fungicides may also help
  • Remove the sod infected and replace with new

Works Cited

“Fairy Rings.” Texas Plant Disease Handbook. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 June 2017.  (Content edited by Young Ki Jo, Texas A&M)

This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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