Guidelines for Submitting to the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic

June 17, 2020 3:58 PM
Blog Post

The growing season is in full swing, and as Iowa growers and gardeners move along toward the Fourth of July, it is important to remember that the COVID-19 precautions continue to alter operations at the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic (PIDC).

The PIDC continues to provide diagnosis of plant problems through emailed digital submissions and we still must be contacted before sending in a physical submission so we can ensure we get any plant samples into our cooler as soon as possible, samples that are left at room temperature or higher deteriorate quickly.

In addition, our building remains locked, so we can only accept in-person sample drop offs if you arrange ahead of time to have someone meet you.  We maintain social distancing during drop-offs. 

If you would like to submit a digital submission to the PIDC or have questions about submitting, send it to along with photos or video of the plant problem, while keeping to the following guidelines to help with the proper diagnosis.

It is important to include all relevant information along with photos or video of the problem. Put the nature of the problem in the email subject line and include:

  • Contact information: name, email and/or phone and county.
  • Name of plant: along with variety (if known). This is especially important for vegetables, fruit and some ornamentals.
  • Management descriptions: Practices for watering, fertilizing, chemical application as well as environmental conditions.

Please include clear photos, attached to the email—not in email body—and include the general landscape, spacing to other plants and structures like buildings, as well as close-ups of the problem. View more digital photography guidelines in detail here.

Trouble getting that photo or video from your phone to an email? Below are links to steps for Apple and Android phones:

Photos should be in a .jpg or .tiff format. If you need to share a photo from a cloud service, please verify the proper permissions are in place.

The PIDC is a joint effort between Iowa State University Extension and the Plant Pathology, Entomology, Horticulture and Agronomy departments at Iowa State. Our mission is to promote plant health and the economic success of plant-related enterprises through diagnostic information and ecologically sound plant disease and insect management information.

We appreciate your inquiries and we will continue to provide quality diagnosis to the best of our abilities.   



Laura Jesse Iles Director, North Central IPM Center

Dr Laura Jesse Iles directs the North Central IPM Center.   Dr. Iles has earned B.S. (Animal Ecology), M.S. (Entomology), and Ph.D. (Co-major in Entomology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) degrees, all from Iowa State University.  In addit...