Symptoms of melting-out resemble leaf spot symptoms and these two diseases are often grouped together. Melting out however is a cool-weather disease where leaf spot is a warm-weather disease. Symptoms first appear as black to purple spots on the leaf blades. Spots eventually move to the leaf sheaths, and the fungus invades the crowns and roots of the grass plant. The turf stand will appear yellow or blackish brown from a distance depending on the nitrogen level of the turf during infection.
Melting-out has two stages of disease development; one being in the early spring in cool, wet weather, which brings about spotting on the leaves of the turf. As cool, wet conditions persist, the crown and root rot stage of the disease follows, and infected turfgrass begins to thin and die. Fall infection should also be noted, but is rarely seen unless extended cool, wet weather occurs.