Plant Diagnosis and Specimens
Gardening Tips for successful
and beautiful Landscapes and Gardens
Getting the right diagnosis for
your ailing plant requires some careful observations on your part as well as
providing a specimen that will give diagnostician enough to go on. It is
strongly recommended that you complete the “Diagnosis Submission Form” before
bringing or sending your specimen into the store for observation. Please read
the “Guidelines for Collecting Plant Samples” to help assure that you receive
the most accurate diagnosis.
GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING SPECIMENS FOR DIAGNOSIS
Please read and follow these instructions before
Collecting Plant Samples
as much information regarding the specimen as possible. Filling out a
"Plant Specimen Submission" form will help assure a better and
more complete diagnosis.
the plant material (variety), the current size (when applicable), and
indicate the percentage of the plant affected with this symptom.
when the symptoms first started and whether or not the symptoms are
continuing to develop or spread.
all cultural practices such as irrigation frequency (days per week), rate (type
of emitter and minutes per watering).
any/all chemical applications (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.)
and when applied.
your fertilizer regime.
to give an estimate of the weather conditions preceding and during symptom
the type of environment in which the plant is growing (lawn, flower bed,
pot, house, etc.). A photograph of the plant in its environment, when
available, can be extremely helpful to the diagnostician.
whether the landscape has been altered in the area of the plant. If so; When?
the sun/shade conditions for the plant (morning sun, all day sun, deep
plant sample material showing the symptoms. If possible, it is best to
send/bring several samples showing various stages of the problem. Early
stages of symptom development are especially important.
samples of all plant parts, including roots whenever possible. Aboveground
symptoms may be caused by root or stem diseases; thus examining all parts
can be essential for an accurate diagnosis.
several affected portions of the plant. Remember to include the margin of
disease on stem and branch samples.
you suspect disease, send a sample from dying or wilted branches with yellow
leaves. Remember, do not send dead wood. Place several branch
sections 1/4-1" in diameter and approximately 6" in length in a
plastic bag. This will prevent the sample from drying in transit.
samples should be taken from the edge of the affected area and include
both dying and healthy plants. Do not send a section of only dead grass.
Send several 3" x 3" squares of sod including as much soil
beneath the grass as exists. Wrap the sample in a thin layer of damp (not
wet) paper toweling, then wrap in dry newspaper.
specimens such as fruit, mushrooms, or other fungal fruiting bodies should
be as firm as possible and show both early and intermediate symptoms. Wrap
specimens separately in dry paper toweling or dry newspaper. Do not put
in plastic. Pack specimens so they are not crushed during shipping.
sending a complete plant, dig the plants (do not pull them) out of the
soil. Pulling plants out of the soil will generally break off the roots,
especially if they are rotten. Retain a small amount of soil around the
roots. Do not wash roots. Keep the roots and soil separate from the
aboveground parts of the plant by placing them in a plastic bag and
sealing them off with a rubber band.
© 2009, Star Nursery, Inc. Copy
Provided courtesy of Star Nursery www.StarNursery.com