How to Identify the Cause of Plant Problems:
1. Identify the symptoms (spots on leaves, wilting, etc.).
2. Determine if there is a pattern. (Just the lower leaves? All plants? Certain plants in a certain area?)
3. Trace the history (weather conditions, use of fertilizers, when conditions appeared).
4. Examine for insects or disease (in roots, fruits, etc).
5. Consider what environmental factors other than pests or disease might be the issue (soil, nutrients, pesticides, weather).
6. Then, consult resources for specific pests and diseases; compare symptoms. Note: Bacterial disease and viruses can only be confirmed by lab tests; call or send a sample to UConn Home and Garden Center (see their Web site for instructions).