Identification and Diagnostic Services
Ada County Plant Diagnostic Clinic
Need some help with your urban landscape or garden? Visit our free Plant Diagnostic Clinic from May thru September. Our volunteer Idaho Master Gardeners will research and advise on yard and gardening questions, including insects, plant diseases and identification. Samples can still be submitted during off season. Drop off your sample and form at the office, and someone will get back to you.
You can also submit your gardening questions, plant problems, and plant and weed identifications by email or phone call. If you prefer email, please fill out the appropriate form, below, and email your form with pictures (if appropriate) to the Ada County Master Gardeners. Use the recommendations below.
- Include one close-up picture.
- Include one entire plant picture.
- Include one picture which shows the plant and the surrounding landscape.
- For insects, position a penny next to the insect to give us some scale.
- Take photo with indirect light when possible.
Submitting Samples for Problems or Identification
Bring a branch approximately 12-18" long showing the progression of the problem. If the problem is on the trunk, bring clear pictures. Fill out the Plant Problem Form (PDF). Please bring the completed form and your sample into the office. No fee.
Bring a 12" square section from the problem area (showing a portion of the healthy & unhealthy conditions), including 2-3" of soil. Fill out the Plant Problem Form (PDF). Please bring the completed form and your sample into the office. No fee.
Weeds and Other Plants
Bring whole plants with root system intact. Plants with flowers or seed heads are easier to identify. Fill out the Weed and Plant Identification Form (PDF). Please bring the appropriate completed form and your sample into the office. No fee.
Bring in a closed container. Avoid bringing in crushed insects. Fill out the Insect Identification Form (PDF). Please bring the completed form and your sample into the office. No fee.
Please use the Information Request Form (PDF) for all other questions or additional information not specific to the listed categories.
Cost of standard fertility test: $50
- Pick up a soil test kit at the UI Extension, Ada County office.
- Gather and prepare the soil sample according to the directions provided with the kits (PDF) and mail to the University of Idaho with your payment.
- When you receive your soil results, contact our office at 208‑287‑5900 and ask for Extension Educator Susan Bell to help interpret your results.
Download Acrobat Reader to open PDF files.
Forms on this page can also be found at the UI Extension, Ada County office.