Florida Keys Plant Clinics

Beneficial lady beetle larva feeding on whiteflies
Beneficial lady beetle larva feeding on whiteflies. Credit: L. Buss, UF/IFAS

Each month, UF/IFAS, Monroe County Extension Service, hosts numerous plant clinics throughout the Florida Keys. This is an opportunity for residents to bring in plant or insect samples for identification, ask questions about plant selection, what vegetables to grow here in zone 11, talk with Master Gardner volunteers about proper planting practices, or discuss any plant-related question.

Accurate Identification

By having the problem accurately identified, you can help answer questions like:

Is this a plant pest?
Does this need to be controlled?
What are the safest products available?

Often times when our office is contacted about a problem, control measures have already been taken and failed. This contributes to the overuse of pesticides and can be harmful to beneficial insects and the environment. In fact, according to an EPA 2017 report, U.S. pesticide sales totaled nearly $9 billion in 2012.

So, by utilizing this free service, you can help reduce pesticide use in the landscape, encourage beneficial insect populations, and learn other pest management strategies.

Best Practices
False blister beetle, can be a nuisance when in homes.
False blister beetle, not considered a pest but can be a nuisance when in homes. Credit: L. Buss, UF/IFAS

If you are coming to the plant clinic and bringing plant or insect samples, please have them sealed in a plastic bag or an appropriate container.

Be prepared to answer questions about the cultural practices on how the plant has been grown: how long ago was it planted, overall appearance of the plant, when were symptoms first noticed, has fertilizer or any chemicals been applied, and are there other plants exhibiting similar symptoms, etc.?

Photos are always helpful, especially if you cannot bring a sample. Take photos of the overall plant and close-ups of the problem. Make sure pictures are clear and in focus.

Plant Clinic Dates

Plant clinics times are different depending on location and exclude holidays. Please check with our office for any date changes if the plant clinic falls on a holiday week.

Upper Keys Murray Nelson Government Center
1st Wednesday of the month, 9AM to 12PM

Garden Club of the Upper Keys
3rd Tuesday of the month, 9AM to 11AM

Island Home Nursery
4th Thursday of the month, 10AM to 1PM

Middle Keys Home Depot, Marathon
3rd Saturday of the month, 9AM to 12PM

Grimal Grove
Every Saturday, 9AM to 12PM

Lower Keys  Key West Garden Club
1st Thursday of the month, 11AM to 1PM

Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden
3rd Saturday of the month, 9AM to 12PM


For any additional questions, you can contact our office at (305) 292-4501 or monroe@ifas.ufl.edu.

Banner image: Robber fly. Robber flies are excellent predators and can attack other flies, grasshoppers and wasps.


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Posted: November 19, 2019

Category: Agriculture, Events, Home Landscapes, NATURAL RESOURCES
Tags: Florida Friendly Landscaping, Florida Keys, Gardening, Insect Identification, Insects, Plant Clinics, Plant Identification, Plant Problems, Right Place Right Plant

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