Helpful Hints
(1) Bringing in specimens to Be Identified
(2) Obtaining a Soil Sample Kit

Feel free to e-mail the below-listed contacts for horticulture assistance. If you need a plant/insect diagnosis/identification, visit the office closest to you. Link to the "Contact Us" at top of this page for physical addresses and phone numbers of the east and west office locations.

Bringing in Specimens to Be Identified

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity.

  • Jim Moll - Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program Coordinator
  • It is impossible to identify a dead plant or to determine the cause of death.  The plant is easier to identify if the leaves are not wilted.  Upon cutting a plant specimen, please place the specimen in a plastic bag so the plant does not dry out.  Also, the sample should be large enough to include leaves, branches, flowers or fruit to help identify the plant or diagnose the problem.
  • If you are having trouble with your lawn, bring an 8" x 8" lawn specimen that has been dug 6"  deep (to get all the roots). Half of the specimen should be diseased and adjacent to the other half that which has not yet become diseased.
  • Write down any chemicals, sprays or fertilizers, giving the quantity and approximate date of applications for the last 6 months along with your watering methods.
  • Insect specimens should be placed live, if possible, in a small glass jar of rubbing alcohol; bring several specimens, if possible.

Obtaining a Soil Sample Kit

  • We do not test soils for pH; therefore, it is not necessary to bring soil sample(s) to the office. We do have soil kits in the office that include instructions on how to take the sample(s), bag(s) to contain the soil sample(s), but we no longer have the self-addressed box for mailing the sample(s).  There is no cost for the kit, but there is a $3 cost per sample for pH testing or $7 cost per sample for pH plus macronutrient testing; it is important that your check is made out to the University of Florida and mailed with the sample(s). NOTE:  if you do not make your check out to University of Florida, your sample(s) will be sent back.  You will receive the original report from the Soils Lab and Pasco Extension office will receive a copy of the report; if you are in further need of interpretation of the report, call the Pasco Extension office.
  •   It usually takes 10-14 days for a report to return to you.

    If it is too far for you to drive to our office in Dade City, you can print the forms out on the Internet, follow instructions on the form and mail the sample(s) using a small box and small paper bag(s) (do not use plastic). The amount of soil needed as a sample to mail is only one cup from the random samples you take from the area you are wanting the pH.  Your random samples of soil should be approximately 6" deep.  Mix in a container.  If you choose to pay for the $7.00 test, collect your soil with plastic utensil and place in plastic container and then place your 1-cup sample in a paper bag.  Select this link to choose the form right for you.   It is important to follow instructions as written.

The horticulture fact sheets that Extension offices disseminate to their customers can be obtained at the following University of Florida Web site:  Just enter your key subject word in the Google custom search box located on the Web page.