Signs of Stress in Hybrid Bermuda Grass

Though hardy, hybrid Bermuda grass like the Champion and Midfield varieties can still get stressed just like standard turfgrass. A large majority of lawn grass diseases--75 to 85 percent, according to the University of California-Davis--can be avoided by keeping your grass from being stressed. Common sources of stress include drought, poor fertilization and excessive mowing. Water at the first signs of stress, fertilize properly with a standard lawn fertilize, and avoid mowing more than one-third of the total grass' height at once.

Changing Color

Hybrid Bermuda grass that's under stress will change color. First, the normally green hue of the grass will become a blue-gray color. If the stress is not alleviated, the grass will turn brown and enter dormancy.


To cope with stress, the grass tries to conserve moisture and nutrients by reducing its foliar surfaces. Though young Bermuda grass leaves are already folded in appearance, even mature leaves will fold lengthwise and curl in on themselves when the turf is stressed.

Surface Depressions

Hybrid Bermuda grass grows densely and, if it's healthy, will spring back when pushed down. Stressed Bermuda grass will not spring back as readily. When mowing the grass or walking on the turf, stressed lawns will retain the depressed lawn mower tracks or footprints.

Bare Patches

Bermuda grass is prized because it forms dense carpeting that keeps weeds and other plants at bay. Stressed hybrid Bermuda grass will not be able to sustain this coverage and bare patches will begin to appear as the turf's growth levels drop. Side effects include a resurgence in weeds in the lawn.

Keywords: hybrid bermudagrass troubleshooting, bermudagrass stress signs, lawn stress symptoms

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.