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Grow Help Australia service

COVID-19 and Grow Help Australia service update

We anticipate that Grow Help will remain open indefinitely. However, there may be delays in testing and completing reports. We will do everything we can to get results to you promptly.

Email growhelp@daf.qld.gov.au for further information.

Our service

Grow Help Australia provides:

  • tests for the presence of pests and pathogens of plants
  • limited tests of seeds—fungal pathogens only
  • tests of growing media, soil and water for limited pathogen groups (e.g. Phytophthora)
  • plant pathogen testing to support accreditation schemes and export requirements.

Our process

This information explains the process of how to submit a sample for testing to Grow Help Australia.

We often take 2–3 weeks to complete your sample (although we make every effort to complete them quickly), but whenever possible we will provide you with preliminary results. We will keep all information confidential.

At the end of the testing process, you will receive:

  • a final written report that includes test results
  • interpretations and diagnosis
  • practical advice (wherever possible) on how to remedy any issues identified through the testing results.

Also, we provide online resources that may assist you to determine if your crop is being affected by a pest or disease, and whether it's worthwhile submitting a sample to confirm what is, or is not, affecting the crop.

Read about how to submit a sample for testing.

Reporting problems that may be new to Australia

If you suspect your plants may have a problem with a pest or disease that hasn't been reported in Australia:

  • send images of the problem to growhelp@daf.qld.gov.au
  • outline what you believe is causing the problem
  • outline a history of the plant symptoms
  • or
  • phone the exotic plant pest hotline on 1800 084 881
  • read more information and contacts for reporting suspect plant pests on the Plant Health Australia website.

Other tests NOT offered by Grow Help Australia

Testing plants for chemicals

Grow Help Australia does not test plants for the presence of chemicals. For example, we don't test for:

  • herbicides
  • insecticides
  • other products
  • nutrient analysis.

Private laboratories will complete this testing. You can find their details by searching online for 'pesticide testing laboratory Australia'. Some of these businesses may also complete nutrient analysis of plant material to identify if plants are suffering from a deficiency or toxicity.

Genetic testing of plants

Grow Help Australia does not test plant material to identify the species present. For example, we don't:

  • identify weed seeds present in a seed batch
  • determine the variety of the plant
  • identify what species of roots is present.

Private laboratories can provide these services. Search online for their details using the term 'laboratory Australia' and also include the following or similar search terms:

  • seed testing
  • plant identification
  • root testing.