Monkey Grass Disease: Crown Rot Causes Yellow Leaves

Potted Monkey Grass With Discolored Leaves
monkey grass crown rot
(Image credit: Mary Ann Hansen, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,

For the most part, monkey grass, also known as lilyturf, is a hardy plant. It is frequently used in landscaping for borders and edging. Despite the fact that monkey grass is able to take a lot of abuse though, it is still susceptible to disease. One disease in particular is crown rot.

What is Monkey Grass Crown Rot?

Monkey grass crown rot, like any crown rot disease, is caused by a fungus that thrives in moist and warm conditions. Normally, this problem is found in warmer, more humid states, but it can occur in cooler areas as well.

Symptoms of Monkey Grass Crown Rot

The signs of monkey grass crown rot are a yellowing of the older leaves from the base of the plant. Eventually, the whole leaf will turn yellow from the bottom up. Younger leaves will turn brown before reaching maturity. You may also notice a white, thread-like substance in the soil around the plant. This is the fungus. There may be tiny white to reddish brown balls scattered around the base of the plant too. This is also the crown rot fungus.

Treatment for Monkey Grass Crown Rot

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for monkey grass crown rot. You should immediately remove any infected plants from the area and treat the area repeatedly with fungicide. Even with treatment, however, you may not be able to rid the area of the crown rot fungus and it may spread to other plants. Avoid planting anything new in the area that may also be susceptible to crown rot. There are over 200 plants that are susceptible to crown rot. Some of the more popular plants include:

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.