Specimen Collection

How to collect and submit plant and insect samples

Please submit one of the following forms when submitting general questions, plant samples for disease diagnosis, or identification:

General Questions form

Plant Diagnosis form

Plant or Insect Identification form

General Questions

  • Please provide us with two ways to respond to your questions, such as several phone numbers, e-mail address, or mailing address.
  • Please submit a General Questions form when sending insect specimens for identification.

Plant Diagnosis

  • Please collect fresh specimens. If you are unable to bring or mail us your sample immediately after collecting, place specimens in the refrigerator until you are able to submit.
  • Gather plant material samples that are healthy, declining, as well as infected.
  • Collect a substantial amount of plant material, preferably 6 to 12 inches in length.
  • If mailing your plant sample, please ship it in a plastic bag enclosed in a crushproof container. Please avoid mailing on Fridays or Saturdays to ensure samples remain fresh.
  • When filling out a Plant Diagnosis form, please provide as much information as possible, including where it is planted, light received, watering practices, chemical treatments given, age, and other important factors that may contribute to a diagnosis.

Plant Identification

  • Please collect fresh specimens. If you are unable to bring or mail us your sample immediately after collecting, place specimens in the refrigerator until you are able to submit.
  • Collect a substantial amount of plant material (preferably 6 to 12 inches) including flowers, buds and fruit, if available. Plant identification criteria are often located further down on a stem, not just the tip.
  • If mailing your plant sample, please place in a sealed plastic bag and ship it in a crushproof container. Please avoid mailing on Fridays or Saturdays to ensure samples remain fresh.
  • When filling out a Plant Identification form to include with submission, please provide as much information as possible, including where the plant specimen was collected, habit of growth, height, etc.

Insect Identification

  • When submitting insects for identification, please fill out a General Questions form, and indicate on the form where the insect was collected, on what plant you found the insect, indoors, outdoors, etc.
  • Submit your specimen in a crushproof container, preferably a clear container that you can see through.

Our diagnosis is only as good as your sample. Please follow our guidelines for collecting and submitting samples in order for us to provide you with accurate answers to your questions.