University of Maryland Extension

The University of Maryland Plant Diagnostic Laboratory



Due to the University of Maryland College Park response to COVID-19, the UMD Plant Diagnostic Laboratory is not able to receive plant samples at this time.  Buildings on campus are locked, and packages sent through carriers such as UPS, Fed Ex and USPS will not be delivered to the lab. If you are a commercial client (such as a grower, green industry professional, agribusiness or extension professional) and need plant diagnostic services, please DO NOT send samples to the campus lab. Contact me via email ( with photos of the plants in question, and I will do my best to answer your concerns.  Photos for diagnosis should include at least one overall picture of the site or crop, as well as close-ups of the plants and symptoms in question. Please make sure the photos are in focus for the best chance of diagnosing plant problems. Include a description of the problem, as well as any spray applications made in the past 4 weeks. 
Home gardeners can submit photos and gardening questions to the UMD Home and Garden Information Center website

We will update this announcement if there is a change in this procedure. Thank you for your patience as we deal with this unprecedented situation. 

-Karen Rane, Director, UMD Plant Diagnostic Laboratory


The Plant Diagnostic Laboratory provides plant problem diagnosis for all crops. Most diagnoses are based on microscopic examination of the specimen and visual identification or culture of plant pathogens such as fungi, bacteria and nematodes. Identifications of plants, insects and mites attacking plants are also performed. Some specimens are referred to specialists in other departments or other institutions for diagnosis.

Since 2002, the lab has also been an active participant in the National Plant Diagnostic Network, which links together land-grant university plant diagnostic laboratories for the purpose of rapid detection of exotic and invasive plant pest species which pose a threat to US agriculture. Laboratory staff also conduct educational programs on plant pathology topics for various audiences, and prepare fact sheets and other materials related to plant disease management.

Plant Diagnostic Laboratory
Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.