At Daleys Turf we have had reports over the last few years of a problem with discolouration of lawn leaves; the leaves were actually turning white, as you can see from the photo.
One cause may be a tree called, Xanthostemon Chrysanthus or Golden Penda, a tree endemic to Queensland, since the discoloured lawn leaves were found around this plant. This plant can be spread to different areas of the yard by human or animal traffic, but generally it occurs directly opposite to the prevailing wind for that time of year or location.
Officially this occurrence is known as Allelopathy and is a biological phenomenon, in which one plant has beneficial or harmful effects on another plant by releasing chemicals from parts of the plant via:
- Root exudation
- Residue decomposition and other processes
Allelopathy is common with some species of trees and is used to suppress other plants in the surrounding area.
As far as we are aware this process will not kill your lawn. However, it will affect the effectiveness of the lawn’s photosynthesis process. Being a seasonal problem, the removal of the plant will fix the problem. If removal is not an option, heavily pruning of the plant before the flowering season may reduce the effects on your lawn.
We also suggest keeping your lawn well fertilised, so that when the flowering period is over, the lawn plants are in a much better position to bounce back and regain its health and vitality. When mowing use a catcher to decrease the likelihood of spreading the plant and limit traffic in the affected areas.
If your lawn is turning white, but you don’t have a Golden Penda in your area, you may need to look at some other possible causes. We have more information from customers informing us of different experiences, so Contact Us today.