Collect and Submit a Plant Sample to the UPPDL

Herbaceous plants

Send an entire plant if possible. Include leaves stems and roots of the infected plants. Do not pull the plant out of the ground! It is best if you dig out the plant. Leave the soil on the roots of the plant intact. Include more than one specimen plant that is exhibiting symptoms if possible. Send specimens that are partially infected and showing initial stages of the disease. Do not send dead plants, we will be unable to diagnose any problems. If possible, send a healthy plant for comparison.


Collect a 4″ by 4″ section with a 4″ layer of soil beneath the sod. The sample should be taken from the margin of the affected area which includes diseased and healthy grass. Photos are helpful in determining the possible cause.


For wilting or dieback, include branches and a root sample (smaller roots from the location of the problem). Branches should be 12″ in length and 0.5″ to 1″ in diameter. Collect the sample from limbs showing yellowing leaves. Do not send dead wood. Photos are helpful in evaluating the possible cause.

Fruits and Vegetables

Again, various stages of disease development is ideal. Please send samples that are firm and not deteriorated.

Packing Specimens for Shipment

  • Herbaceous Plants – Place the root system with soil in a loosely sealed plastic bag. Wrap the upper portion of the plant in newspaper and place in a padded box
  • Turf grass – Place the turf in a sealed plastic bag and place in a padded cardboard box
  • Trees – Place both tree branches and roots in plastic bags and place in a padded cardboard box.
  • Fruits and vegetables  – Wrap each sample individually in paper towels or newspaper and seal in a plastic bag. Place in a padded box.

Be sure to enclose payment for each sample (i.e., two separate samples that require basic services = $20.00, etc.).  During hot summer months, overnight or 2-day shipping will ensure fast delivery of a quality sample. Samples stuck on delivery trucks in extreme heat may not be good for diagnosis.