Grass colors and their meaning

Everyone knows that grass is green, but did you know that your grass can change slightly in color throughout the year? The color of the grass depends on the environmental conditions: how much sun and rain it receives and what the soil is like. Most subtle color changes are harmless, but if your lawn appears to be drastically changing color, it could be a sign of an underlying problem. Here are some colors your lawn may have and what they mean.

Dark green

Dark green grass is a sign that you are producing a lot of chlorophyll; this is a sign of a healthy plant. It has enough nutrition to produce chlorophyll and thrive. Your lawn may turn a darker green in the spring and summer when you have a lot of sun, especially if you’ve fertilized in the spring. Make sure your lawn has enough water and you should have a lush green garden all summer long.


Yellowish grass doesn’t produce much chlorophyll because it doesn’t get enough of the proper nutrients from the soil. You may need to use a fertilizer to restore the green color. The best time to fertilize is during spring and fall, as this gives the grass time to absorb nutrients before its main growth and “sleep” phases. If the fertilizer doesn’t work, your lawn may have a disease.


A red tint to your lawn can mean a number of things. Sometimes it’s just a sign that the herb doesn’t produce much chlorophyll. If your lawn turns red during the fall and winter, wait for the warm weather to return because this could fix the problem. Some herbs, like ryegrass, have a natural reddish hue, so check what species your plant is. Red can also be a sign that the plant is under stress; This could be due to environmental conditions or it could be due to disease.


The orange color is normally produced by fungi that live on the grass plant. Rust disease, for example, leaves orange spores that are shed if you rub the grass between your fingers. They are harmful and can kill weeds, but they usually don’t kill everything. If you have rust disease, you will need to treat your lawn to minimize damage.

Tan color

By the time the lawn tans, it will undoubtedly be dead. The tanned grass was burned and dried in the sun, withered due to lack of water, or was cut too harshly and succumbed to damage. If you’ve tended to your lawn and it’s still dead, you’ve probably been the victim of a disease.

You should always try to make sure your lawn has a healthy growing environment, as this can stop or reverse the color changes you see. Make sure your lawn is getting enough water and nutrients, and make sure you mow properly. A stressed lawn is prone to weakness and this is when negative (albeit reversible) changes can occur. If nothing works, then you should assume that your lawn has a disease and look instead.

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