Identify plant health problems
If you suspect an exotic plant pest or disease, phone the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.
To assist you in identifying plant health problems, review our identification guides:
Access credible sources
Australian Government, state governments, industry and USA university extension services should be trusted more than home garden forums. Fact sheets and websites that provide scientific references are generally more reliable than those without.
Many online resources exist that can assist you to determine if your plant has damage consistent with a pest or plant disease:
- Search the NGIQ Pest Identification Tool to see pests and diseases that may impact garden and horticultural crops and pests.
- The Queensland Herbarium may be able to assist with identifying plants (e.g. weeds, seeds and plant varieties).
- Access fact sheets and pest management plans from the Australian Plant Production Standard, or search the site by plant or disease name.
- Watch webinars from Greenlife Industry Australia.
- Search the eResearch Archive (eRA) to find scientific and research publications about specific crops or plants.
- Gardening Australia provides practical, realistic and credible horticultural and gardening advice.
Information for specific crops
- banana (sub-tropical)
- banana (tropical)
- brassica crops
- capsicum and chilli
- custard apple
- ornamental plants
- rice flower
- rockmelon and honeydew
- stone fruit (low chill)
- sweet corn
- sweet potato
- wine grape.
Improve your search results
- Start by using general terms and then make your search more specific as required.
- Use the genus name of the plant in question—add the species name if necessary, but this can limit the search too much.
- Include 'disease', 'pest' or 'disorder' in the search.
- Other phrases that can be useful to include are 'nutrient deficiency', 'non-pathogenic', 'best management growing' or 'production guide'.
- Include more specific symptoms if known, for example, 'root rot', 'leaf spot', 'wilt', 'canker', 'camellia disease', 'palm borer' or 'tomato root rot'.
Using images to diagnose
We do not encourage using pictures to accurately diagnose plant health problems. However, they may be useful as a general guide to indicate if pathogens may be involved.
Take care when completing image searches as these can be misleading. Always visit the site hosting the image to make sure that it is actually relevant and looks reliable.
- Last reviewed: 6 Apr 2023
- Last updated: 6 Apr 2023