Large Patch

Pathogen Rhizoctonia solani i (fungus)

Hosts – bermudagrass, centipedegrass, seashore paspalum, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass


Large patch was formerly called brown patch, the same disease that affects cool-season grasses during hot weather. Other than the fact that they affect different grasses, there are several important differences between brown patch and large patch that necessitated a name change: they occur at different times of the year, produce distinct symptoms, are caused by different strains of the fungus Rhizoctonia solani, and require very different control strategies.

Large patch begins to develop when soil temperatures decline to 70°F (21°C) in the fall, but the symptoms do not necessarily appear at this time. The symptoms of large patch are most evident during periods of cool, wet weather in the fall and spring. In many cases, symptoms may not become evident until early spring when the warm season grasses are greening up.

Large patch is favored by excessive nitrogen in the fall and spring, poor soil drainage, over-irrigation, excessive thatch accumulations, and low mowing heights. Centipedegrass and seashore paspalum are most susceptible to large patch, followed by zoysiagrass, and then St. Augustinegrass. Bermudagrass, rarely affected by large patch, recovers very quickly when the disease does occur.

Cultural Control

Establishment of a disease-resistant turfgrass species is the most effective means for management of large patch. Bermudagrass rarely sustains significant damage from large patch, and grows of out the symptoms quickly when the disease does occur. In contrast, centipedegrass, seashore paspalum, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass often sustain serious damage and recovery can take several weeks or months.

Do not apply nitrogen to warm-season grasses in the fall and spring. These grasses are growing slowly during this time and do not require a significant amount of this nutrient. In general, nitrogen should not be applied to the warm-season grasses within 6 weeks before dormancy in the fall or within 3 weeks after green-up begins in the spring. Warm-season grasses vary in their fertility requirements, so refer to local university recommendations for more specific recommendations for timing and rates.

Avoid establishing warm-season grasses in low lying areas that remain saturated for extended periods of time from surface runoff. If this is unavoidable, install subsurface drainage to remove excess water from the soil. Irrigate only as needed to prevent severe drought stress in the fall and spring. Control traffic patterns to prevent severe compaction, and aerify as needed to maintain soil drainage and aeration. Mow at recommended heights, and power rake or vertical mow as needed to control thatch accumulations.

Chemical Control
Fungicides are available for large patch control, but must be applied on a preventative basis. For centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass, applications should be initiated when soil temperatures decline to 80°F (27°C) for 5 or more consecutive days. For zoysiagrass, applications should be initiated in the fall when soil temperatures decline to 70°F (21°C) for 5 or more consecutive days. Two well-timed applications may provide season-long control of large patch in many situations. In severely affected sites, repeat applications should be made on 4 to 6-week intervals as long as soil temperatures remain above 50°F (10°C) in the fall. Fungicides should be applied in a water carrier volume of at least 2 gal per 1,000 square ft, higher water volumes (3+ gal/1,000 sq ft) or post-application irrigation of 1/8″ will likely improve efficacy. Mapping of affected areas in the spring for spot-treatment in the fall can substantially reduce fungicide expenditures.

Fungicides are often available in different formulations. Most of the time they are formulated to be applied through a sprayer, however there are some granular versions available that are applied through a rotary spreader. When in doubt, you can hire a landscape professional to make these applications because they are licensed and trained on how to best apply these products.

Fungicide Active Ingredient

Application Interval (Days)


14 to 28

azoxystrobin + propiconazole

14 to 28


14 to 28


14 to 28






14 to 28




14 to 28

pyraclostrobin + fluxapyroxad

14 to 28

pyraclostrobin + triticonazole

14 to 28




14 to 28


Contact Us

444 E. Roosevelt Rd., Suite 346 | Lombard, IL 60148

© The Lawn Institute 2021 | site by Generate Design