Cause of Fairy Rings and Simple Steps to Remove Them

Mushrooms on a stump.

Mushrooms on a stump.

Rings, or circles, of mushrooms in a field or a lawn are termed fairy rings. Mushrooms are not plants! Recently scientists discovered that mushrooms are more closely related to animals. Mushrooms are fungi and are usually put in a Kingdom of their own, apart from other plant and animal kingdoms. Mushrooms contain no chlorophyll and most are categories of the saprophyte family. Otherwise, they obtain their nutrition from metabolizing nonliving organic matter. This means they “eat” dead plants.

Fairy rings

Those rings of mushrooms are the fruit of a fungus. Additionally, they typically appear above ground. While as mycelia, the vegetative part of the plant will typically be under ground breaking down organic matter. Mycelium may also deplete soil nutrients and produce toxic levels of hydrogen cyanide. Likewise, the grass turns a different color where the mycelium is active as opposed to areas where it is not active. The organic matter that fairy rings break down is often old tree stumps, roots, logs, lumber, and other larger pieces of organic material in the soil below the lawn.

Possible outcomes

Consequently, as the organic matter decreases, the fairy ring disappears. If you are into nature, they are most helpful to have in your lawn or anywhere because they do break down elements and they are, by definition, natural. Although, this may take considerable time (it could be years) and the fairy ring will stick around until finished. If patience is not a virtue you’re known for, there are at least a couple of options.

  1. Embrace your organic side and live with them.
  2. Take action and kill the blasted fungus off.

Since the first step involves no action, go, find a comfortable place to enjoy good company and a tasty beverage. You’re done.

There is only one way to eliminate it. You have to get water through the filament mat. This method is based on research done by scientists at Washington State University and will take about a month of time and close attention to procedures. No shortcuts. [1]

The second option is involved. It will take dedication and perseverance. Ready? Here are some steps to remove fairy rings. [2]:

  1. Remove thatch
  2. Water your lawn (Aerate deeply inside the ring; 8-12 inches. Drown the area. Dish soap or wetting agent may help the water get into the soil. [3])
  3. Use natural compost
  4. Mow regularly (Keep the turf short and any mushrooms short)
  5. Aerate (see above)
  6. Try mixing the soil from other fairy rings. This is sometimes able to help. [4]




  1. ^ (2018). No quick fix to bust fairy rings. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018]. (go back  ↩)
  2. ^Fairy Ring Treatment & Control | Planet Natural. (2018). Retrieved from (go back  ↩)
  3. ^ (2018). No quick fix to bust fairy rings. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018]. (go back  ↩)
  4. ^Spring Green. (2018). Fairy Ring Disease | Spring-Green Lawn Care Guide. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018]. (go back  ↩)

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