What's Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?): A Visual Guide to Easy Diagnosis and Organic Remedies
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What's Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?): A Visual Guide to Easy Diagnosis and Organic Remedies

by David Deardorff, Kathryn Wadsworth
     
 

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With the first book in the What's Wrong series, you can recognize what’s plaguing your plant and then implement an appropriate cure—without resorting to toxic chemicals.

Overview

With the first book in the What's Wrong series, you can recognize what’s plaguing your plant and then implement an appropriate cure—without resorting to toxic chemicals.

Editorial Reviews

Garden of Possibilities
“You’ll have experts waiting on your book shelf to help you. Because if you haven’t asked yourself ‘what’s wrong with that plant’ yet, you will one day.”
Mr. McGregor's Daughter Blog
"I wish I had [this book] sooner, so I could have prevented the spread of fungus. This is a valuable reference for gardeners of virtually any skill level and experience."
May Dreams Gardens Blog
"Where does this book belong on my bookshelf? Front and center."
Oklahoma Gardening Examiner
"What’s Wrong With My Plant is a wonderful book for the gardener facing his/her first garden problems. It's also a handy reference guide for experienced gardeners."
American Gardener
"This is a massive undertaking, covering virtually every problem a gardener might come across. Because it’s easy to use, well written, and well illustrated, What’s Wrong With My Plant?...is an important reference that will help gardeners successfully diagnose their own plant problems and make educated decisions about how to solve them."
Marin Independent Journal
"A valuable resource for all gardeners."
The Ledger
"Its 500 color photos and 600 line drawings facilitate fast identification of diseases, pests and other problems. … And, equally important, this comprehensive text explains how to use environmentally friendly remedies to restore plant health."
From the Publisher
“This attractive, comprehensive, authoritative and easy-to-use guide, allowing gardeners to diagnose and organically treat a wide range of plant problems, is a worthy purchase.” —Library Journal

“This is one of the best books I’ve seen for guiding the gardener through the maze of maladies that can visit garden plants. . . . This book is a valuable tool and long overdue.” —The Washington Post

“Bases its tutelage on progressive drawings that will help puzzled gardeners diagnose the troubles. Another plus: Suggested remedies are organic.” —Chicago Tribune

“A handy reference book for figuring out how to help your plants stay healthy.” —Garden Gate

“Almost as good as having your own consulting plant doc at hand.” —Plant Talk

“An essential book for anyone who gardens.” —Garden Design Online

“An answered prayer for all gardeners.” —Real Dirt

“It’s like having a Master Gardener at your beck and call, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, any season of the year.” —About.com

“A great resource for gardeners at any skill level.” —San Jose Mercury News

“The idea behind What’s Wrong With My Plant? is so obvious that I almost gave myself a head slap for not thinking of it first. . . . A phenomenal resource for the serious gardener as well as for hobby gardeners who just want to know why some flowers wilt and die.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“It was with great joy and relief that I opened an envelope. . . with What’s Wrong With My Plant? My excitement heightened when I saw that authors David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth had approached the subject organically.” —Oregon Live

“A combination of drawings, photos and easy to understand advice on organic methods for diagnosing and treating a whole host of plant issues.” —Stonington-Mystic Patch

“Whether your garden consists of herbs on a kitchen windowsill, a vegetable garden, an elaborate backyard border, or a container on a patio, What’s Wrong With My Plant? is an indispensable resource. If you can see it, you can fix it. Curing a sick plant just doesn’t get any easier.” —Growing a Greener World
The Tampa Tribune
What’s Wrong With My Plant? has trouble-shooting flow-charts and solutions aplenty.”
Washington Post
"This is one of the best books I've seen for guiding the gardener through the maze of maladies that can visit garden plants. ... This book is a valuable tool and long overdue."
New York Times Book Review

"Many gardeners find it hard to ask for help. The excellent (and sturdy) What's Wrong with My Plant? ... will be indispensable to them, and to the rest of us as well. The information is concise: “A borer’s hole and frass (poop) are obvious on this asparagus stem.” (Thank you very much.) The illustrations are clear, the remedies organic. I promise you, things will go wrong. Be prepared."

Garden Gate
"It’s a handy reference book for figuring out how to help your plants stay healthy."
About.com
“It’s like having a Master Gardener at your beck and call, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, any season of the year.”
Warwick Beacon

"David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth have produced one of the best and most easily used keys to diagnosing a wide range of plant problems … makes a great gift for any gardener."

Times-Picayune
“This is a book that will grow dog-eared and dingy from use, yet remain on gardeners’ shelves for years to come.”
Chronicle Herald
“This is the smartest, best-thought-out book on diagnosing plant problems (and how to solve them) that I have seen in all my years as a gardener.”
Garden Design Online

"An essential book for anyone who gardens."

Plant Talk blog
"[The book] is almost as good as having your own consulting plant doc at hand."
— Valerie Easton
The Southside Times
“This is a welcome reference book for any gardener, one to keep front and center on your bookcase so that when problems show up, you’ll be able to avoid your worst plant nightmares and continue to have a garden as your own paradise.”
Real Dirt blog
“[This book] is an answered prayer for all gardeners.”
Dominique Browning
…excellent and sturdy…the information is concise…The illustrations are clear, the remedies organic.
—The New York Times
Library Journal
Plant pathologist Deardorff and naturalist Wadsworth have created a book to diagnose and organically treat plant problems, whether related to cultivation, pests, or disease. The first section of the book is divided by plant part, from whole plant to leaves to flowers to fruits to stems to seeds. Gardeners use the symptoms present in their plant—or specific part of the plant—to answer a series of questions, arranged in flow charts and illustrated with color drawings, which lead them to a diagnosis of the problem. The entry then refers the gardener to the pages for solutions and, if available, a photograph of a plant with that problem. The authors stress providing the proper growing conditions for plants as well as preventative measures to avoid issues. However, if an insect/disease problem does occur, they offer solutions in Part 2—first changes in growing conditions, then biological/chemical products, all approved for organic gardening. Part 3 includes photographs of common troubles. VERDICT This attractive, comprehensive, authoritative, and easy-to-use guide, allowing gardeners to diagnose and organically treat a wide range of plant problems, is a worthy purchase.—Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove Lib., IL
Garden of Possibilities blog

“You’ll have experts waiting on your book shelf to help you. Because if you haven’t asked yourself ‘what’s wrong with that plant’ yet, you will one day.”
Stonington-Mystic Patch

"Many gardeners find it hard to ask for help. The excellent (and sturdy) What's Wrong with My Plant? ... will be indispensable to them, and to the rest of us as well. The information is concise: “A borer’s hole and frass (poop) are obvious on this asparagus stem.” (Thank you very much.) The illustrations are clear, the remedies organic. I promise you, things will go wrong. Be prepared."

Muskogee Phoenix

The book is a combination of drawings, photos and easy to understand advice on organic methods for diagnosing and treating a whole host of plants issues.
May Dreams Gardens Blog - Valerie Easton

"What’s Wrong With My Plant is a wonderful book for the gardener facing his/her first garden problems. It's also a handy reference guide for experienced gardeners."
Mr. McGregor's Daughter Blog - Deborah Roberts

"I wish I had [this book] sooner, so I could have prevented the spread of fungus. This is a valuable reference for gardeners of virtually any skill level and experience."
May Dreams Gardens Blog - Molly Day

"Where does this book belong on my bookshelf? Front and center."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881929614
Publisher:
Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
12/02/2009
Pages:
452
Sales rank:
222,079
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Introduction
Whether your garden consists of herbs on a kitchen window sill or a densely planted parking strip, a terraced half-acre in Maine or containers on a lanai in Hawaii, it contributes to the well-being of life on earth. Plants are the basic building material for the community of life. All the creatures in our gardens, backyards, balconies, or patios, including us, depend completely on plants because none of us can make energy, we can only consume it.
    
Those of us who love plants may eventually develop close relationships with them. They have subtle and intriguing ways to communicate with us. Healthy green leaves let us know that the plant is growing well, manufacturing food from the sun’s energy. Yellowing leaves with dark lesions tell us the plant is in trouble. Flowers that are ragged and full of holes let us know something is eating them. All these symptoms, things you can easily observe with your own eyes without a microscope, are the ways in which a plant communicates its health, happiness, or distress.
    
“What’s wrong with my plant?” is the question we hear most from plant owners in distress. This book will help you answer that question, as well as the second most frequently asked question, “How do I fix my plant—without using toxic chemicals?” What’s Wrong With My Plant? provides a unique step-by-step method to diagnose and treat diseases, disorders, and pests of the plants entrusted to your care. Be your own plant doctor. No Ph.D. required.
    
In Part 1, organized by plant part, we present easy-to-follow, illustrated flow charts that lead to a diagnosis, the specific cause of the symptoms you are seeing. We developed the flow charts from years of working with distraught gardeners and plant owners who brought us samples of their problem plants. We found ourselves asking the same questions repeatedly—how much sun is the plant getting each day? how often do you water? have you seen pests? With David’s background in plant pathology and botany, we soon realized we could arrange these questions in dichotomous pairs. In the flow charts, we present these questions, step by step, to filter all the many possibilities down to only one, the diagnosis (sooty mold, for example).
    
In Part 2, organized by general type of cause (fungi, in Chapter 9, to continue the example), we recommend safe, organic solutions and discuss both the destructive and benign aspects of the culprit. Sample photographs of common problems appear in Part 3.
    
Using the diagnostic flow charts, you can find out what ails sick plants by observing symptoms. No need to collect bugs or get lost in reference books trying to identify plant species or pathogens. All you need to do is look at the roots, stems, or leaves, note the symptom, and follow the illustrated flow charts to a solution.

Above all, do no harm. Before leaping to the conclusion that your plant is dying and then reaching for a toxic chemical to treat it, examine the plant. Whether it is potted up on the sill above your kitchen sink, in a container on the deck, or out in the garden, decide which part of your plant shows symptoms. Then turn to the flow charts in Part 1 for the plant part that exhibits symptoms. Follow the flow charts to identify the problem. Answer the questions. Whenever the answer is yes, follow that arrow or turn to the page listed under the question. When you encounter a diagnosis, turn to the page(s) indicated, for solutions in Part 2 and photographs in Part 3.
 

Meet the Author

David Deardorff, botanist and expert plant pathologist, loves to write and lecture about how to grow healthier plants. As a research biologist David has lived and gardened in many environments, from the desert southwest to the maritime northwest to the tropics. David earned his Ph.D. in botany from the University of Washington. He coordinated plant pathology research at the University of Hawaii and served as faculty advisor to the Master Gardener Program at Washington State University. He also co-founded Plants of the Southwest in Santa Fe, one of the first native plant nurseries in the country. He has served as Research Director at Island Biotropix, an orchid nursery and tissue culture laboratory which he co-owned with partner and co-author Kathryn Wadsworth.

Kathryn Wadsworth, writer, photographer, and naturalist, enjoys sharing the wonders of the natural world with others. While leading eco-tours around the world she has studied plant life and explored natural history from Australia to Alaska. In graduate school Kathryn studied film-making and communications at the University of New Mexico, where she made documentary films on a wide variety of topics ranging from the California Gray Whale to the impact of mining on the Navajo Nation. She has owned and operated a film production company, and with her partner and co-author David Deardorff, an orchid nursery, and a tissue culture laboratory.

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