Got Nature? Blog

Purdue Plant Doctor website, Extension NewsWhitely County Posts: The recently launched Purdue Plant Doctor website at navigates like a smartphone app and can help growers identify and manage insect pests and diseases of trees, shrubs, and flowers. It will also help growers recognize “good bugs,” those beneficial insects that prey on harmful insect pests or serve as valuable pollinators. Helpful instructional videos provide supplemental content.

Purdue entomologist Cliff Sadof was a key contributor to this site. He said that identifying a plant problem is the first step to improving the health of plants in the landscape. “We created a series of short (5 to 7 min.) YouTube videos to help you learn or just brush up your plant diagnostic skills,” he said. “Each video guides you through the diagnostic process in real landscapes, reviews pest biology, and provides tips on management.” Videos finish with a demonstration of how to use the Purdue Plant Doctor to confirm your diagnosis and get current recommendations. Key moments tabs help you navigate through each video.

Users may watch these videos in English or Spanish from the “Quick Guides” available on the website or directly from YouTube. Some of the topics include:

  • Diagnosing Plant Problems with the Purdue Plant Doctor Web Page: Learn how to diagnose and manage pest and disease problems on ornamental plants and how to keep your plants healthy. The Plant Doctor Web page is a mobile-ready website that can improve communication between plant care professionals and their clientele. Spanish version is also available.
  • Beating Back Borers of Pines and Other Cone Bearing Trees with the Purdue Plant Doctor: Borers can be a real problem in landscapes that use pines and other evergreens to serve as a windbreak or a visual screen. Learn how to detect borer problems before they destroy your planting, and get tips on protecting these coniferous trees from borers. Spanish version is also available.
  • Managing Spider Mite Mayhem with the Purdue Plant Doctor: Spider mites may be small, but they can cause big problems. Learn how to detect mites before they harm plants, and what you can do to keep plants healthy before and after mites have been detected. Spanish version is also available.
  • All You Need to Know about Managing Scales and Mealybugs with the Purdue Plant Doctor: Drought and rising temperatures can make plants more susceptible to scale insects. Learn about the threats these insects pose to your plants and landscapes. Then find out how you can monitor them and improve your ability to keep your plants safe from harm. Spanish version is also available.
  • Taming Aphid Problems with the Purdue Plant Doctor: Aphid problems can turn your landscape into a sticky mess. Learn the threats they pose to your plants and how to detect and manage them. Spanish version is also available.
  • Managing Japanese Beetle with The Purdue Plant Doctor: Japanese beetles can wreak havoc in your landscape by consuming the flowers and leaves of your ornamental planting or by killing your turf. Learn why Japanese beetle traps can make Japanese beetle problems worse. Get the latest information about these beetles and how to control them. Spanish version is also available.
  • Managing Plant Galls with the Purdue Plant Doctor: Galled about Galls? Want to learn how to diagnose bumps on plants and how they affect plants? This video will discuss the causes of plant galls and what you need to do to keep your plants healthy. Spanish version is also available.

Too often when we see an insect, we automatically think it’s a pest. But that is not always the case. The Purdue Plant Doctor website will also help you recognize beneficial insects like ambush bugs, assassin bugs, ground beetles, soldier beetles, lacewings, and minute pirate bugs.

So, whether you are a homeowner or a landscape professional, the Purdue Plant Doctor can help you manage pests in landscapes and recognize the beneficial insects in landscapes.

More Resources:
Hardwoods of the Central Midwest, Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist
Tree Installation: Process and Practices, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Planting Your Tree Part 1: Choosing Your Tree, video, The Education Store
Tree Risk Management – The Education Store
Find an Arborist website, Trees are Good, International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)

John E. Woodmansee, Extension Educator – Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR)
Purdue Extension – Whitely County

Got Nature?