Having plant problems? What to know before you shop for a cure
If something is going wrong in your garden, there may or may not be a product available that treats it. A customer came in the other day and wanted to know what to do about a certain plant that is supposed to be evergreen turning brown in some areas. This could be a sign of a pest or disease, but it could also be a symptom of an environmental issue such as salt exposure, pollution, lack of water or sun scald, just to name a few examples. The cure may not be a product, it may be a different cultural practice. A little research before you go shopping might help you save some money or make better purchases.
If you don’t know exactly what the problem is, I suggest that you try an images search in your favorite search engine and try searches like “Diseases of Name of Plant”, “Name of Plant Pest Symptoms” or “Name of Plant Blight”. You may see an image that looks like the condition you are dealing with. Go to that web page and see if there is enough information to diagnose the issue.
Missouri Botanical Garden can help identify your problem in four ways.
- Consult their online library of Common Garden Pests and Problems.
- Send them an email with an attached photo requesting identification.
- Call the Horticulture Answer Service at (314) 577-5143.
- Bring a sample to the Kemper Center Plant Doctors at Missouri Botanical Garden. On this web page are guidelines about what to bring and forms to print out to bring with you.
If you’re not sure what kind of plant you have, they can help with that too!