Plant Diagnosis and
Gardening Tips for
successful and beautiful Landscapes and Gardens
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
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.
PLANT DIAGNOSIS REQUEST
Name:___________________________ Date:____/____/____ Phone
Variety:___________________________ Current Size:________________
since planted or transplanted:_________ Symptoms first
spreading? [ ] Morning Sun [ ] All Day Sun [
] Shade [ ]
Flower bed, Pot, House? _____________ Recent Landscape work? ______________
days per week __________________
emitter; Drip? [ ] gph? _____
[ ] gph? _____ Other:________
minutes:______ times per day:_____
of emitters _____ Location________
/ Canopy Coverage % _____
OVER rootball [ ] none [ ] inches/fraction
put an “X” for each emitter
of Insecticide:_______ what:_______ Last use of Fungicide:_______
any weed killer in the vicinity:_________ What:_____________ When:____________
use of weed killer:_______________ What:_____________ When:____________
observed in your landscape:___________________________________________________
When we do not receive complete information regarding your plant, we can not
make accurate diagnosis of what might be the problem. The fundamental issues
related to watering must be addressed no matter how certain you are that watering
is not the problem. Effective troubleshooting requires that we understand every
parameter regarding your plant. Often a plant has serious issues and is located
near to, and cared for exactly like a different plant that is doing fine. In
these cases it is not unusual that there are significant soil differences even
though the two plants are in close proximity. Please bear with us as we ask you
these many questions. It is only our hope and intent to discover ALL the problems and potential problems with your
YOUR PATIENCE WITH OUR
PROFESSIONAL CURIOSITY IS IMPORTANT AND APPRECIATED!
© 2006, Star Nursery, Inc. Copy
Provided courtesy of Star Nursery www.StarNursery.com