Plant Diagnostics: The Step-by-Step Approach to Identifying Plant Problems

Got Plant Problems?

Want to get better at troubleshooting problems in your landscape and garden?

Plant Diagnostics: The Step-by-Step Approach to Identifying Plant Problems is an online asynchronous course designed to introduce you to the process of plant diagnostics.

Next Course: Winter 2025

Future course dates: Moderated course, February 1-April 30, 2025. Course access through December 31, 2025.

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Learn the process for identifying plant problems in your own trees, landscape and garden and be prepared for the next growing season! This course explains the basics of the plant diagnostic process in an easy-to-understand way.

At the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain the steps of the diagnostic process.
  • Identify appropriate resources to use in the diagnostic process.

After you’ve finished this course, we hope you feel empowered to attempt diagnostics with your own plants using the framework you’ll learn in this course, accessing the resources we’ll share with you, and using UW-Madison Division of Extension diagnostic services and labs for extra help when you need it.  

Course Snapshot

What: An online course where you move at your own pace through 13 modules with online videos, reading, and interactive exercises. Bonus: two live webinars, “Putting the Process into Practice: Real World Diagnostics,” led by Extension educators who practice plant diagnostics and “Meet the Labs!” presented by UW-Madison diagnostic lab directors. The webinars will be recorded.

How: This is an online course that uses Canvas (online classroom) and Zoom.

When: February 1-April 30, 2025. This is the moderated course timeframe, when the course will be monitored actively by staff and course questions will be answered. However, as a participant, you will have access to content through December 31, 2025. The course is designed with flexibility for the busy adult in mind. Go through the course at your own pace when you have time!

Who: This online course is open to the general public, Wisconsin Extension Master Gardeners, and commercial professionals. This course counts for 7.5 hours of continuing education for the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program.

Anticipated 2025 Cost:

  • General public and commercial professionals: Early Bird $99; Regular $109
  • Wisconsin Extension Master Gardeners: $49 (Must be current participants in the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program or enrolled in Onboarding 2025.)

Cancellation policy:

Course cancellations prior to the course start date receive a refund less $20 for processing.  No refunds or returns on or after the course start date (February 1, 2025), including for late registrations.

If you have individualized questions, reach out to us at:

Contacting Technical Support:

To reset or get help with your NetID username or password:
Contact the DoIT Help Desk by phone at 608-264-HELP (4357). Current hours can be found on the DoIT Help Desk website. You must contact DoIT via phone. They cannot provide login assistance via email or LiveChat. You must have access to the email address you used to sign up for the course in order to verify your identity and must identify yourself as a L3 learner with Extension.

For all other inquiries, including having the Get Started email resent to you, please send an email to and include this information:

  • Your first and last name
  • The email address used to sign up for the course
  • The name of the course you signed up for

Please allow up to 3 business days for a response.  

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