Despite all of the care given, your plants may get sick for various reasons. The plant symptoms that you observe may be the result of many things. Accurate identification of the problem is the first step in developing an effective management plan to handle the issue. Many plant problems have similar symptoms, and as a result it can be difficult to diagnose plant problems with printed references or web-based information. Even an experienced diagnostician in a plant diagnostic clinic will often find it very difficult to confidently diagnose a plant problem from a photo or physical sample without first examining the sample under a microscope or using other sophisticated testing methods.
The University of Missouri plant diagnostic clinic is a resource anyone can use to get plant problems identified or confirmed. The diagnostic clinic charges fees for submitted samples, but sample submission can be cheap insurance for plant problem diagnosis when compared to the expense, wasted time, potential human health or environmental damage that can occur as a result of inaccurate diagnosis and control measures. Many valuable plants can easily be lost as a result when an inaccurate plant diagnosis is provided. The incorrect diagnosis of plant problems can expose a plant grower to many dangers such as financial loss or result in a loss of the business or lawsuit. Thus, when there is uncertainty about a problem with a plant, it is recommended that the grower submit a sample to a diagnostic clinic to correctly identify the cause of the problem.
By sending a quality sample along with a completed form you can be assured the clinic staff will have the material and background information necessary to make a quick and accurate diagnosis. The clinic handles all types of sample material ranging from home lawns, tree samples, vegetables, fruits, and flower gardens, houseplants, as well as commercial agronomic and horticultural crops. In addition to identifying the problem, the diagnostic clinic provides research-based management recommendations in a written report that can be mailed, emailed or faxed.