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Submit a Sample to the Diagnostic Clinic

The Henrico Extension Diagnostic Clinic provides identification and management solutions for Plant Disease, Turfgrass Disease, Plant/Weed Species, and Insect/Mite Species (including arachnids).

The clinic operates throughout the year to provide services to individuals, consultants, and commercial producers.


This service is free to Henrico residents.  However, if a client requests a sample to be submitted to the Virginia Tech Plant Disease Clinic, there is a $35.00 fee. 

How to Receive this Service  

If possible, we encourage submission of a digital sample first.  If the problem can be accurately diagnosed from images, you will receive a quicker answer without having to send a sample, so it may be beneficial to first submit a digital sample.

If a physical sample is subsequently requested details on the type of physical sample needed will be provided to you.

Digital samples may be submitted online at Ask Extension

Physical Samples can be brought to the Henrico Extension Office at 8600 Dixon Powers Drive, Henrico, VA 23228. The Extension Office is located on the top floor of the Human Services Building.   

General Tips for Collecting a Sample

  • Collect a fresh sample: Collect a sample on the day you are submitting it to our office.  Don't leave samples in vehicles overnight. Intense heat or cold will destroy the sample. Bring samples in a zipper-style plastic bag. 
  • Submit samples that are not in transition: Show symptoms of dying. Diagnosis is difficult to impossible with dead or dried plants.
  • Send in a sufficient sample: Whole plants, including roots, are more desirable than individual leaves or branches, whenever possible.
  • Submit a sample of the soil if possible: Keep soil off foliage by wrapping the root ball in plastic, aluminum foil, or submitting in a separate bag from the plant tissue.
  • Submit photos of the sample online: Ask Extension

Trees and Shrubs

Collect a 12"-24" long branch with leaves attached. Samples should show transition from healthy to affected foliage.

For Weed/Plant Identification

A single leaf or grass blade is not sufficient. We would need a live and dead tissue sample if possible. This means we need "good" tissue next to the problem, "going" tissue that is undergoing the problem, and "gone" tissue that recently died. Include as many parts of the plant as possible, including:

  • Flowers
  • Fruits
  • Leaves
  • Plant
  • Roots
  • Twigs

Turf Samples

We would need a 4"x6" round disc or square of turf including a 2"-3" of root which shows transition from healthy to affected turf. Wrap the roots with aluminum foil to keep soil intact and prevent contaminating blades. and place in the appropriate size carton or shoebox. 

Insect Identification

Include multiple bugs, not just one, to ensure a good sample. Single specimens are not always complete. Insects are hard to identify when parts are missing.  Please have insect whole and not mushed. Must be in a enclosed bag or container. 

Foliage or Leaf 

Please put foliage or leaves in a plastic bag or container, as this will help keep them fresh so we can identify them. Do not bring in paper bags, or dried or shriveled leaves. Boxwoods must be doubled bagged.