Plant Disease Clinic

The Plant Disease Clinic is a service and education function of the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology and provides clinical diagnoses of plant diseases for approximately 2,000 samples submitted annually by Pennsylvania agricultural producers, urban gardeners, and homeowners.

The Plant Disease Clinic is a free service for Pennsylvania residents. If you are located outside of Pennsylvania, you can visit the National Plant Diagnostic Network website to find a diagnostic lab in your state.

Mailing Samples

  1. Please read instructions for selecting and sending specimens. If you are not sure what type of sample to collect, contact the Clinic at or 814-865-2204.
  2. Include a copy of your completed Specimen Information Form with your sample.
  3. Ship samples via U.S. Mail, FedEx, or UPS. Samples shipped via FedEx or UPS are delivered directly to Buckhout Lab. Samples shipped via U.S. Mail are delivered to the University mail distribution center first and may take extra time to be delivered to the lab.

Digital sample submissions

We also accept digital sample submissions. Photos can accompany a physical sample being sent to the clinic or submitted independently without a physical sample.

To submit a digital sample: 

  1. Download and complete the Specimen Information Form. Save the completed form as a new file.
  2. Email the completed form along with several photos of your plant problem to
  3. Please provide photos of the site and in-focus, close-ups of the plant part(s) affected.

Dropping off a sample at the Lab

  1. We no longer have a drop-off bin outside of the building
  2. Samples can be delivered to the Plant Disease Clinic in 220 Buckhout Lab between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for holidays.

Golf course turfgrass samples

Turfgrass samples from commercial golf courses can be submitted to the Penn State Turfgrass Pest Diagnostic Lab.

Nematode identification

The Penn State Nematode Diagnostics Lab offers nematode identification services for both plant and soil samples.

Soil or plant nutrient/pH analysis

Samples for nutrient or pH analysis can be submitted to the Penn State Agricultural Analytical Services Lab

Insect identification

If you suspect an insect problem on your plants or have an insect you want identified, samples can be submitted to the Penn State Insect Identification Lab in the Department of Entomology