If you have plants, you will more than likely experience some issues with them. We have compiled over 200 common plant-related issues that we come across at the Kemper Center for Home Gardening based on what home gardeners experience. Many of these issues can be experienced worldwide, but are created with the Midwest in mind. In our resource guides, we have followed an integrated pest management approach where simple, safe, and less invasive strategies are listed first. Recommendations using chemical pesticides, though not excluded in an integrated pest management approach, generally appear lower down in the list of recommended strategies. Strictly organic strategies are pointed out. This is the same approach we use with visitors to our walk-in Plant Doctor service located in the Kemper Center for Home Gardening as well as with callers to our phone-in Horticultural Answer Service. 






Common signs of issues:


  • Large amounts of plant material are chewed or completely eaten off
  • Bark can be noticeably damaged
  • Animal droppings are found



  • Leaf spotting, discoloration, or even warping of plant material
  • Presence of fungi
  • Noticeable odd spots
  • Can spread to similar plants



  • Small holes, pieces of foliage eaten
  • Irregular holes in bark or stems
  • Noticeable presence of insects 
  • Foliage discoloration


Environmental Issues

  • Issues seem to arise from improper care, weather conditions, or construction
  • The issue does not spread but may be found on other plants in the garden


  • Plants that are in a space where they are not desired
  • Typically smaller plants that show up unexpectedly
  • Can spread very easily


Insects, Pests, & Problems List