3Why is my grass different shades of green is a common query among turf owners all over the world. We have compiled a comprehensive list of why this might be happening with your grass.

Reasons of Different Shades of Green Grass

Most of these reasons are quite common and can be fixed easily. Try reading this list to find out which one of these reasons seems to be the cause in your particular case. 

Why Is My Grass Different Shades Of Green?

Your grass might be different shades of green due to improper lighting, pest attacks, or different types of diseases. Similarly, nitrogen deficiency, chemical burns, and improper watering are also common but often overlooked reasons why you might be facing this problem.

– Improper Light Conditions

If the light conditions of your grass type are not being fulfilled to its fullest, you will see it developing uneven coloring all over the grass lawn.

Usually, where the light needs of the grass are not being fulfilled, the grass will be darker in color. On the other hand, if too much light falls on the grass with low light needs, the grass will become yellow or lighter in color. 

Most grass types love to grow in full sunlight for most of the day. Even grass varieties such as perennial ryegrass and tall fescue that are known as shade-loving prefer growing under the bright sun.

Improper Light Conditions Affects Grass

Before planting any grass:

  1. Look up its light requirements and see if your lawn or turf receives the required light.
  2. If the grass has already been planted, look for ways to improve its light access.
  3. Try trimming down thick trees blocking the light from reaching the grass.

See if there are certain areas in the lawn and turf where adequate light is not reaching the grass. In these areas, overseed a shade-intolerant grass with a shade tolerant one. Again, the two types of grass will be different in this case, but both will be healthy at least.

– Aphids And Other Pests

Lawn grasses often get infested by sap-sucking pests such as aphids, mealybugs, or scales. Aphids are the most common among these, puncturing grass blades to eat the sap flowing through their veins.

Over time, the grass loses most of its nutrition to these aphids and turns yellow. The grass patches where the densest pest colonies are present get affected more than the rest.

If your grass is turning yellow despite good lawn care, then aphids should be your prime suspect. Look under the grass blades carefully and see if you can spot these oval-shaped insects scurrying about. Often they are light green in color and camouflage well within the grass.

The good thing is that aphids can be easily removed from the grass. If you don’t want to go for a chemical pesticide, then a neem oil foliar spray once a week for one month will suffice. A foliar spray can be made from one teaspoon of neem oil mixed with one gallon of water.

– Nitrogen Deficiency

Nitrogen is the most important soil nutrient that grass and other plants need to grow and spread. Nitrogen deficiency manifests as the grass becoming lighter in shade than it originally was. 

Only soil testing can confirm whether the soil is suffering from nitrogen deficiency. Grab a sample of your soil and send it to a nearby lab to see if it lacks nitrogen.

Nitrogen Deficiency Can Make Grass Yellow

Home testing kits are also available that you can order online at reasonable prices.

Nitrogen deficiency can easily be treated by applying good-quality grass fertilizer to the lawn. Regular fertilizer should be a regular part of your lawn care regime. Take care only to fertilize grass when it is undergoing an active growth phase.

– Yellow Patch Disease

It is also known as the cool-season brown patch disease or the low-temperature brown patch disease. This is because it affects mostly cool-season grass species such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, etc. The time during which these grasses are most susceptible to yellow patches is during winters under snow covers.

It is caused by a fungus and is characterized by large patches of light brown or yellow grass all over the lawn or the turf. These patches will become noticeable once the snow melts in late or early winter. Individual patches may be as large as three feet in diameter or barely a few inches small.

The affected grass patches look esthetically unpleasant and comprise diseased and weakened grass. Always spray preventative antifungals before snow season for expensive cool-season green grasses in golf courses.

After symptoms appear, you can spray the affected patches with a good antifungal. The condition of the yellowed patches will begin to improve by itself as the weather becomes hotter.

– Water Standing In The Lawn

If you have a problem with water standing on the lawn for long periods, then different patches will assume different shades. What happens is that standing water predisposes the grass roots to rot, and they quickly succumb to fungal infections.

If water has been standing on your lawn for a while now, you must check if the soil drains properly. You should always rake up the soil before sowing new grass seeds. Over time soil becomes compacted, especially if it is composed mainly of clay.

Water Standing in the Lawn Grass

You must keep aerating your soil constantly while the grass is planted. An aerating roller will help you drain water from the soil better. Before the next growth season of the grass, we suggest you uproot the old grass and till your soil to add some sand to it.

In root rot, your grass will develop a yellow or a pale green color. Grass blades become swollen and feel mushy when touched. Once developed, it will take several rounds of spraying a potent antifungal agent to save the real grass from dying.


– Burns By Chemicals

The most common reason grass gets chemically burned is by overuse of chemical fertilizers. You will see patches of different shades erupt all over the turf. Overusing a nitrogen-rich fertilizer will cause some patches to turn dark green while the rest of the grass stays the same.

That is why we recommend you only fertilize once every four to six weeks and always dilute the fertilizer before feeding it to the grass. Also, never use fertilizer once the grass has begun its period of dormancy, naturally or due to drought. 

Sometimes, chemical spillovers occur in the grass by accident. Some common household items used in gardening that might get spilled are baking soda, vinegar, and bleach. They can cause corrosive damage to the grass and produce burnt patches of different grass colors.

The only thing you can do in case of spillover is to act quickly. Leave whatever you are doing and flush the soil with as much water as possible. 

– Different Grass Types Growing Together

If your grass seems to have different shades of green and looks uneven yet healthy, then maybe more than two grass types have been mixed. This could be intentional because mixing two or more grass seeds decreases any chance of seed failure.

It also makes for a more lush and healthy-looking lawn because both grass types overcome the deficiencies of each other. Of course, not all grass types are compatible with each other.

Different Grass Types Growing Together in Lawn

It would be best if you always did some research to find out which grass types are compatible with each other.

Having a lawn with a mixture of light green and dark green grass is the only downside to this technique. However, as long as the grass is healthy, these differing shades look wonderful and add personality to your lawn.

– Infrequent Watering

Grass should not be cut too low because this affects its root system. Most grass types should not be mowed lower than three inches in height. Grass blades shorter than two inches are rarely a good option.

With low grass blades, insufficient food is photosynthesized to sustain the proper growth of roots and leaves. This then affects the water and nutrient-obtaining ability of the grass as a whole.

A few types of grass can tolerate being mowed too low. However, we suggest you keep your turf grass at three inches minimum to keep it lush.

If you mow your green grass too low, you might see it developing discolored patches. You can try to help it grow by watering and fertilizing it regularly. This would prevent the grass from dying and losing its color.

– Drought And Improper Watering

Drought is the most common cause behind healthy grass turning shades of green, yellow, or brown. These days you will find drought-resistant varieties of most grasses that can survive several weeks of long droughts.

Improper Watering Affects Grass

These varieties become dormant and turn lime green or brown during this time. You can tell the grass is still alive because it will resist being pulled up from the soil through its roots.

After the drought period, most of these drought-tolerant varieties easily revert to their green color when frequent watering is re-established.

– It Might Be Dog Urine

If you own a dog and see small areas of grass turning darker every few days, you need not look any farther. It is time to keep the dog out of the lawn for good. Dog urine is strongly concentrated with high urea levels and a rich nitrogen source.

In most cases, it can also cause burns to the grass, turning it into a lighter shade of green or even good yellow. If you discover your dog peeing anywhere, wash that part off with a lot of water. 

The simplest solution to keep any dog out of the lawn or from coming near your grass is to soak some cotton balls in cayenne pepper or vinegar. Leave these balls along your designated boundary in a row. The dogs strongly oppose the smell of these chemicals and will not even come near the grass anymore.

– PH Imbalance

pH imbalance is a less common reason why grass of a single type develops different shades in the lawn. Soil testing kits are available online and in gardening stores, and you can order them at pretty reasonable prices.

Checking pH of the Soil for Grass

Another thing you can do is to search online to see if any laboratory in your area offers soil testing facilities for a more professional opinion. Once the results come out, all you have to do is to look for fertilizer or a soil amendment that fixes your soil’s particular deficiencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

– How Do I Make My Grass All The Same Color?

To make your grass all the same color, you need to get rid of anything that might be causing discolored patches. In case of a weed attack, you should apply week killers to the real grass and not just the affected patches. Make sure that the real grass gets water and light evenly.

– Why is my grass turning purple?

Your grass is probably turning purple due to heat stress. There are, of course, ornamental grasses that are supposed to be purple but something like Fescue is not one of them! Purple grass should be considered a red flag that your lawn is waving.

It is a sign of heat stress due to temperatures being to high. You can’t do anything about the air’s temperature but you can water the grass much more frequently to take the edge off.


In this article, we discussed why grass does not appear to be a uniform color of green.

  • The most common reason the grass is uneven in color is that different areas are exposed to the light of different intensities.
  • Have your turf soil tested to see if nitrogen deficiency might be responsible for a lighter shade of grass.
  • Dog urine is very rich in nitrogen and causes the grass to turn much darker and might even burn it.
  • If you have been growing more than one grass species together, the grass will be different colored.

Have you been worrying about your grass looking uneven in color lately? After reading our guide, you can find out what is going on with your grass and correct it if necessary.

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