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Sick Plant Diagnosis

Are your plants looking sick? Do you have spots, growths or lesions on the leaves, stems or roots? Do you have new dead or wilting branches on your shrubs, trees or favorite tomato plant?

Then you need to take a sample for accurate disease diagnosis. The following plant parts should be collected:

Leaf Samples

  • Select leaves ranging from healthy to affected.
  • Place leaves flat in between paper or heavy cardboard to transport.
leaf sample

Fleshy plant parts

  • Collect samples that don’t have rot that is too advanced. Wrap in newspaper.
fleshy plant part

Cankers on branches or stems

  • Select recently produced cankers. Submit the whole cankered portion where possible; preferably with healthy wood above and below the canker.
canker on stem

Wilts, decline

  • Whole plant if possible, dig don’t pull roots.
  • Or, cut out affected areas that show symptoms from healthy to affected, wrap in newspaper.
whole plant

To help the diagnostician a good sample is a priority. Also, if you can, snap a digital image of the plant in the field or landscape. A picture is worth a thousand words and dead plants tell no tales