DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, NO SOIL, PLANT or INSECT SAMPLES WILL BE ACCEPTED IN OUR OFFICE. You may email your problem or concern to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include in your email, your name, phone number, detailed information and good quality pictures (close-up and of the whole issue) and a Master Gardener Volunteer will get back with you.
VCE Master Gardener Volunteers can assist in:
Diagnosing plant disease or insect problems
Identifying plants and weeds
Providing advice on lawn and plant care
Providing other Virginia Tech VCE research-based information and publications relating to landscape and gardening issues
Guidance for Submitting a Good Digital Submission to the Plant Disease Clinic
Although digital diagnosis is more difficult for disease samples than for insect or weed identification, we can often provide at least a preliminary diagnosis if we receive images of good quality. Smartphones generally take good images if you follow a few guidelines.
1. Submit only digital images that are clear and in focus.
2. Include ~3 to a maximum of 7 well-focused images that show:
a. the pattern of the problem in the location (e.g. field, orchard, nursery, landscape, garden)
b. the overall symptoms on the whole plant
c. a close-up of the symptoms on an affected plant, including images of both leaf surfaces if there are symptoms on leaves
3. Try to avoid strong shadows on the sample; outdoor images taken on a cloudy day are best. When taking pictures indoors, try to illuminate the plant from both sides to eliminate shadows in the photo and place on a neutral background.
Image Size/File Type
• All images must be in GIF, JPG, PNG, or PDF, but we prefer GIF or JPG.
• Do not send small-size images (e.g. < 500 pixels); ~2,000 pixels is great.