Guidelines for digital submissions to PIDC

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way the world works and the dedicated staff at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are no exception.  

The Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic (PIDC) is giving diagnosis of plant problems through emailed digital submissions. If you would like to submit a digital submission to the PIDC, 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. If you cannot submit photos or videos through email, please text (515) 520-2440 and you will be given further instructions.

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.   



Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on April 24, 2020. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.