Henrico County Master Gardeners operate a diagnostic service for solving plant pest and disease problems. Plant samples may also be submitted for simple identification.
The service is offered during the growing season:
April thru October
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday
1. Collect and Pack Sample
- For plant disease/problem diagnosis: Provide a sample showing both diseased and healthy tissue. Samples should have stems or branches at least 6″ long. Include a small handful of roots if the plant can spare them. Pack the sample material in sealed, clear plastic bag(s), if possible.
- For simple plant identification: Provide as many parts of the plant as possible – the entire plant if it is small enough. Include stems, leaves, flowers, and berries/fruit (if available). Pack the sample material in sealed, clear plastic bag(s), if possible.
- For Insects: Collect one or more complete insect specimens and place them in a sturdy plastic container, such as old pill bottle, with diluted rubbing alcohol. Soak insects overnight to preserve them, then drain off ALL the alcohol and seal. Do this BEFORE you bring in the sample.
Complete the Diagnostic Form to the best of your ability (Download Form here). It includes your contact information and simple questions and answers for either Plant or Insect.
3. Receive Results
Your sample will be analyzed at the Lab and a detailed diagnosis with recommendations will be emailed or mailed to you. This may take 2 – 4 weeks, depending on the time of year and the backlog of requests.