Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Is Wrong With My Plant?

2012 has been the year for difficult weather!  An absurdly warm winter, followed by a cool spring and then a scary-hot summer has really taken its toll around here, and in lots of other areas around the country.

If your stressed plants are showing signs of disease or damage, you might like to know about a book that will help you diagnose the problem:

What's Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?) by David Deardorff, Ph.D., and Kathryn Wadsworth.

The book is divided into three sections; the first is composed of nine keys.  You choose a key based on which part of your plant is affected, and then answer the first set of questions which then leads you to another set of questions until you reach a diagnosis.

You could skip straight to the pictures in the third section, but since maladies can look very similar, you'll want to use the keys for accuracy, and then use the photo section to confirm your diagnosis.

After you know the disease, fungus, insect, virus, cultural or other problem, the middle section of the book will fill you in on how to treat it organically, beginning with the most innocuous methods of control, and progressing to more rigorous treatments.

At 451 pages, What's Wrong With My Plant? has some heft to it; there is lots of great information here.  I have diagnosed several problems in my garden, from leaf hoppers on a veronica (they make the leaves look speckled with white) to bladder gall mites on a maple (looks like little brown sticks standing up on the leaves).  It is suprisingly satisfying to work through the book's system to a solution that's feasible for you.

Every gardener will wonder at one time or another, "What is wrong with my plant?"  With this book, you'll be able to answer that for yourself.


There is still time to win a copy as part of the Timber Press Garden Problem Solver contest.  (Grand Prize = new iPad!)  Or, you can go ahead and purchase a copy.

A copy of this book was my only compensation for reviewing it.


  1. What a great resource! I definitely plan to add this to my library. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Have read great reviews of this book before. Think it would be a great addition to a gardener's library.

  3. Thank you! I added this to my wish list along with the "what's wrong with my vegetable garden?"

  4. I think this is the book for me. Until this year I haven't had too much wrong, but something is up this year and I'm struggling with multiple things it seems (though I suspect the biggest culprit is ultra high heat and humidity, and no rain to speak of)

    1. Hey, Thanks for stopping by, Jess...I'm glad to know there's still someone out there reading!

  5. I'm going to add this book to my reference library. Maybe one day I will write a book entitled: "What in the world was I thinking when I planted this!?"

  6. This looks like a book I need!!! THANKS for reviewing it. I need to add it to my book list. :o)