Microdochium Patch (a.k.a. Pink Snow Mold)

Pathogen Microdochium nivale (fungus)

Hosts – all turfgrasses (primarily cool-season turfgrasses)



Microdochium patch develops with or without snow cover. The disease appears in roughly circular patches from 2 inches to 1 foot in diameter that are white or light tan in color. A ring of salmon or pink-colored growth is present on the outer edge of patches when the disease is actively developing. The infected leaves within the patches are usually collapsed and matted down upon themselves.

Disease activity is most severe when snow falls on unfrozen ground; however, activity can occur without snow cover during cool (less than 60°F (16°C)) wet weather. Excessive foliar growth and thatch buildup are the most important factors encouraging development. Restricted air movement, poor soil drainage, inadequate levels of potassium, and heavy traffic can also enhance the disease. The disease may also develop under tree leaves that remain on the turf for long periods during cold, wet weather.

Cultural Control

Do not apply nitrogen when cold weather is expected or before the first expected prolonged snow cover. Continue mowing in the fall until foliar growth stops completely. These steps will prevent a buildup of lush foliage that is highly prone to Microdochium patch.

Improve surface drainage, control traffic patterns, reduce thatch accumulations, and aerify regularly in areas that have been severely affected by the disease in the past. Prune trees and remove unwanted vegetation that impedes air movement. Frequently remove leaves and other debris during autumn and winter from turf that is not covered with snow.

In regions where heavy snow is anticipated, take steps to minimize the duration of snow cover. Erect snow fences or plant landscape plants in strategic locations to prevent excess snow accumulation. Prevent traffic on snow-covered turf, as compacted snow will melt more slowly and increase damage from Microdochium patch.

Chemical Control
Fungicides are effective for control of Microdochium patch. In the case prolonged snow, apply fungicides before snow cover to prevent disease development. Mapping and spot-treatment of areas where Microdochium patch is most severe can significantly reduce fungicide expenditures. In regions where prolonged snow cover does not occur, apply fungicides when symptoms of Microdochium patch are first observed.

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)

azoxystrobin + propiconazole

10 to 28



fluopyram + trifloxystrobin

10 to 28

flutolanil + thiophanate-methyl

14 to 21






14 to 28

pyraclostrobin + fluxapyroxad

14 to 28


14 to 28



trifloxystrobin + triadimefon



14 to 28


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