Posts Tagged ‘indentifying insects and plant disease’


How to Prepare and Submit Data for Plant Diagnosis

September 23, 2010

For insect and disease diagnosis, yesterday’s article mentioned two referrals:  California Pest Prevention Services and your local Master Gardeners Association. It’s important that you give as much information as possible when seeking their assistance. Below is an overview of what type of questions you can expect to answer.

The current form at the California Pest Prevention Services office asks for the following information:

  • Plant distribution (limited, scattered or widespread)
  • Plant parts affected, such as bark blossoms, seeds, tubers, etc. (seventeen choices given)
  • Plant symptoms 

Basic questions your local Master Gardeners may ask.

  • Description of problem
  • Name of problematic plant/tree*
  • Watering method (how frequent and duration)
  • Location (north, south, east, west)
  • Applications of fertilizer, pesticides, amendments, etc.
  • A description of the surrounding area of the plant/tree, i.e. neighboring vegetation, slopes, animals, drainage.

Further information that Master Gardeners may need could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Perennial, evergreen, annual or deciduous
  • Age of plant/tree
  • Number of plants affected with same problem
  • Planted in the ground or a container (what type of container and duration)
  • Sun/shade exposure (how many hours, morning or afternoon)

Of course, both organizations will need your name, location, and county. The environment, conditions, and care involving a plant are important factors in diagnosing a problem. So be ready to give as much information as possible.

As stated below, provide a good sample. The sample should be fresh, placed between two sheets of newspaper or paper towels in a baggie.


*If you don’t know the name, they can help identify the plant. Provide a good sample (leaf, stem, and flower) and a photo of the plant/tree.




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