Lee County Extension
Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic

Ask the Expert Lee County IFAS Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic
3410 Palm Beach Blvd, Ft. Myers, FL 33916

Manned by:

Master Gardeners
  Direct Phone:      239-533-7505
  Email: EServicesGardener@leegov.com


Horticulture Specialist 
    Peggy Cruz
  Direct Phone:                  239-533-7504

The Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic's Desk is manned by volunteer Master Gardeners and a Horticulture Specialist, who are able answer your horticulture and environmental questions.

OFFICE HOURS:  Monday-Friday 9am-12pm
                                and 1pm-4pm

Office Closed for Observance of Federal Holidays

Monday Jan 2 2017 New Years Day
Monday Jan 16 2017 Martin Luther King Day
Monday May 29, 2017 Memorial Day
Monday July 4, 2017 Independence Day
Monday Sept. 4, 2017 Labor Day
Friday Nov. 10, 2017 Veteran's Day
Thursday/Friday Nov. 23-24, 2016 Thanksgiving
FridayMonday Dec. 25, 2016 Christmas Day

For plant disease/problem diagnosis: If possible provide a sample showing both diseased and healthy tissue on the same sample. Samples should have stems or branches 6” long or longer. Please provide a fresh sample.  If a sample needs to be sent to the University of Florida Diagnostic Lab, the fee is $40 per sample.

For plant identification: Provide as many parts of the plant including (if possible): flowers, fruit, leaves. Provide a 6”-12” or larger freshly collected sample. If we are not able to identify your sample in our office we will send it to the University of Florida Herbarium at no charge to our customer.

For insects: Collect one or more complete insect specimen(s) and place in a container or plastic bag. With the use of a microscope we can display the enlarged insect on a computer screen to help us with identification. If you are unable to bring insects samples to our office, you can send undamaged (live or dead) insects in a crush-proof container such as a pill bottle or film canister taping the top onto the container.  Mail them in a padded envelope or box with a brief note explaining where you found the insects.  Do not tape insects to paper or place them loose in envelopes.  Insect fragments or crushed insect samples are almost impossible to identify.  If we are unable to make a positive identification of the insect in our office we will send a sample to the University of Florida Entomology Department at no charge to our customer.

Soil testing: Soil and water testing are preformed in our office. Soil pH and water salinity are tested once weekly. A one cup sample of soil or water is needed for each test. Please bring your sample(s) in a disposable container. You may drop off 1-6 samples, but no more than 6. Clearly mark each sample location so you will know where the sample came from in your landscape. Example, sample A, sample B, sample C etc. The sample needs to be received at our office by 5:00pm on Wednesday to be tested for that week.  Soil and water test results will be available after 9am the next day.  Please fill out only one form for the sample(s) you are dropping off for testing.  If a more extensive test is needed the University of Florida will perform a more analytical test for a minimal fee. 

IFAS Analytical Services Laboratories Extension Soil Testing Laboratory - Landscape and Vegetable Gardens

IFAS Analytical Services Laboratories Extension Soil Testing Laboratory - Water Test Information Sheet

Garden Tours: Butterfly, Herb, Palm and Plumeria.  Personally guided garden tours are given every Tuesday morning by Master Gardeners tending the Butterfly, Herb, Palm and Plumeria gardens. The Master Gardeners are here from 10am until noon working in the gardens. For large groups please contact the PIDC Desk to schedule a tour.

Citrus Home Advisors Program:
Oranges, grapefruits, limes and lemons are important fruit trees for most of southwest Florida.

Along with lawns and palms, the care of citrus trees dominates many of the questions coming across the PIDC Desk. For this reason, we’ve given Master Gardeners additional intensive training to become Citrus Home Advisors.

A Citrus Home Advisor can come to your yard, identify your citrus problem and write a prescription for your citrus problem.

Consider your Citrus Home Advisor your citrus doctor who makes yard calls.

To scheduled your citrus home visit, call the Extension Office at (239) 533-7504 or (239) 533-7505 or email your request along with your name, address, phone number and email address to:  citrusadvisors@leegov.com.  We need about two weeks notice to arrange the date of a visit. 

Frequently asked questions:

Tropical Fruits Calendar

Vegetable Gardening:                            

Vegetable Gardening Guide             
Tomatoes In the Florida Garden         
Seeding the Garden                                

Vegetables To Plant in South Florida

Lawns:           St. Augustine grass           
                        Establishing a Lawn         

Citrus:           Varieties for the Home Landscape
                       Citrus Problems                       
                       Citrus Fungal Diseases                        
                       Citrus Greening  

Palms:           Ornamental Palms for South Florida 
                       Lee County Extension Palm Garden
                       Care and Maintenance                           
              Common Palm Disorders and Diseases
              Common Palm Disorders and Diseases - 1

University of Florida IFAS Extension            


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