Knowledge Bank - Horticulture

The purpose of this page is to signpost plant health information from across sectors that is relevant to gardens, landscaping and cut flowers.

About This Page

Plant health information in these pages is aimed at practitioners in gardens, landscaping and the cutflower industry, and associated enterprises such as nurseries. In addition, smaller scale food production operations such as market gardens and allotments will also find these pages useful. Much information is available online and in print to help identify disease symptoms, the organisms that cause them, and to provide guidance on management and biosecurity. Here we have collected sources we judge to be generally reliable for information on these topics. You can use the Resource Type button to filter, search by keyword, or scroll through all together. The information on these webpages concerns the many common pathogens that are regularly encountered in horticultural settings and also invasive non-native species (INNS) or those which have recently become problematic, possibly due to climate change. See Getting Started for good places to begin in identifying both common and INN organisms.

Getting Started

There are several good resources for identifying disease causing organisms such as the AHDB Encyclopedia of Pests and Natural Enemies, AHDB Crop Walkers Guides and CABI Plantwise Diagnostic Field Guide. Detailed information on most disease causing organisms can also be found on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank Database (Plantwise fact sheets). For INNS the Pest Risk Analyses issued by DEFRA are very useful for individual organisms. There are many websites which provide searchable information to help identify disease causing organisms and also provide information on management and these are listed under Treatment and Management or Field Guides and Self Diagnostics. If you need help identifying insects you could contact the RHS, Royal Entomological Society or SASA. Regular newsletters, periodicals and discussion fora are listed under Newsletters. Whether the organisms are INNS or common pests and diseases, be sure to practice good biosecurity.

Reporting Notifiable Pests

Most pests encountered will not be notifiable but if you think you may have encountered a notifiable pest it is important that you report it quickly. In Scotland notify the Horticulture and Marketing Unit at SASA. Outwith Scotland, consult the Plant Health Information Portal for other UK reporting contacts.

Resource Details
AHDB advice sheets

Information sheets for pests and diseases of allium, cane fruitcarrots/parsnips and brasscias (pests and diseases)


Horticulture Crop Walkers Guide app

AHDB Crop Walkers Guides

Crop walkers guides showing disease symptoms for many horticultural and agricultural crops are available by searching for 'guide' on the AHDB website

AHDB Horticulture

Information on diseases in the horticulture sector with a knowledge hub and cross sector advice

AHDB publication

AHDB Encyclopedia of Pests and Natural Enemies in field crops


Animal and Plant Health Agency - Plant health controls and reporting pests and diseases, information on certification schemes

APS advice page

American Phytopathological Society - Links to very comprehensive web pages for diseases caused by plant pathogens


Provides crop protection courses and has role in the training and certification for pesticides and fertilisers

BBC gardening advice

Archived pages with some good advice on a range of pests and diseases


Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - current crop protection issues  and research in food security news


British Crop Protection Council - UK Pesticides Guide Online, subscription guides to the pesticides and biocontrol agents registered for use in the UK


British Society for Plant Pathology - new disease reports and publication of scientific journals


CABI provies comprehensive cross sector information including plant health via the Plantwise portal

CABI - diagnostics

Fungal and bacterial identification services at CABI


Chartered Institute of Horticulture - provides current disease and biosecurity guidance in its 'News' section


Plant and Tree Health information from Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland. 

DEFRA - pest and disease factsheets

Fact sheets on notifiable and non-notifiable pests and diseases

DEFRA - reporting a pest or disease

Contact information for reporting notifiable diseases to authorities

DEFRA - smarter rules for safer food

SRSF - a package of EU regulations to protect against plant and animal pests and pathogens

DEFRA fact sheet

Pesticides - Code of practice for using plant protection products

EPPO communication kits

Downloadable posters from the EPPO Don't Risk It biosecurity campaign for plant movement with travel

Farmers Weekly

Weekly magazine and website with 'Know How' section with crop protection information

FERA - diagnostics

Providing cross sector diagnostic services including for viruses

FERA online publication

Nurseries, Retailers and Landscapers - Biosecurity Best Practice Protocols

FERA poster

Turning over a clean leaf - guidance in the forms of posters for biosecurity in woodlands and forests, parks and gardens, nurseries and gardens centres, and the countryside

Floral Daily

Comprehensive crop protection webpages for horticulture

Food and Farming Futures

News and information for farming and food production. Useful 'browse' feature for searching pest and disease control items.

Garden Forum

For nurseries and growers - with useful searchable news archive

Gardeners Corner

Website with forums with pest and disease information under 'Identification Area'


Useful Pest and disease information webpages and apps

Horticulture Week

Magazine and website with plant health plant health webpages and biosecurity information - by subscription

HSE - Chemicals Regulation Division

Health and Safety Executive - responsible for the regulation and compliance in chemicals such as biocides and pesticides.


Horticultural Trades Association - Information on relevant pests and diseases, and regulatory information, including plant health assurance scheme in development

Irish Gardeners

Website with forum pages including pests and diseases

ISPI advice page

International Society for Pest Information - Pest Information Wiki listing many plant pests and pathogens

National Allotment Society

Growing advice webpages with limited but useful pest and diseases section

National Gardening Association

Gardening discussion forums including one for pest and diseases


National Farmers Union (England and Wales) - reports on current Crop protection information


National Farmers Union of Scotland - crop protection and policy information for members


NIAB is a crop science organisation which carries out research into plant pathology and entomology

NIAB Diagnostic clinic

Provides disease diagnostic services for agriculture and horticulture

No Dig

Website with 'Gardening Problems' searchable forum archived pages

Organic Growers Alliance

Organic horticulture website with a forum with some information about pests and diseases

Pest Risk Register

A searchable or downloadable database which records and rates risks from plant pests and pathogens


Processors and Growers Research Organisation - monitoring and information on diseases and weeds affecting beans and peas

Plant Health Centre newsletter

The Plant Health Centre produces regular downloadable newsletters

Plant Healthy Self Assessment

Plant Healthy Self Assessment to help protect businesses and customers against the potential losses and disruption caused by plant pests and diseases, with a full plant health assurance scheme in development

Plant passporting - DEFRA

Information on plant passport content and format

Plant passporting - EU

New EU plant health rules with information on plant passporting

Plant passporting - HTA

Useful video on plant passporting in horticulture

Plant passporting - SASA

Guidance on plant passporting from SASA


An app for identification and treatment of plant diseases

Plantwise (CABI)

Comprehensive resource with searchable knowledge bank and diagnostic tool

Plantwise (CABI)

Plantwise Knowledge Bank Pest Alerts are emails containing recent literature reports for a specified area

Plantwise (CABI) - diagnostics

A service for plant disease diagnosis

Plantwise (CABI) online book

Plantwise Diagnostic Field Guide a good guide for learning how to carry out disease diagnosis caused by pests and pathogens

RHS - diagnostics

RHS members can send in diseased samples of plant materials for diagnosis

RHS advice page

Provides advice on biosecurity and on plant diseases

RHS advice search

Search pages with profiles and advice on plant diseases and disorders

Rothamsted Research

Non-profit research centre with crop protection section, that produces the free CROPROTECT app.


A division of the Scottish Government largely dealing with pests and diseases, and crop protection, and providing diagnostic services

SASA - diagnostics

Scottish Government provider of diagnostic services in Scotland including viruses and pests

Scottish Goverment guidance

Scottish Government website for plant health issues

Scottish Government guidance

Scottish Government 'Plants get ill too' leaflet

Scottish Government guidance

Scottish Government plant pests and diseases web pages provides cross sector advice on certain plant health threats

Scottish Government guidance

Guidance on the use of pesticides to reduce impact on the environment and comply with legislation

Scottish Government guidance

Statutory management requirements, providing guidance on the use of plant protection products

Scottish Government online publication

The Scottish Plant Health Strategy

SEARS fact sheet

Scotland’s Environmental and Rural Services fact sheet on biosecurity guidance

Stockbridge Technology Centre

Provides diagnostic services for the horticultural industries


Useful 'Pests and Diseases' section in the Knowledgebase

The Voluntary Initiative - IPM plan

Integrated Pest Management plan for all farm or nursery enterprises using professional pesticides

UK Government biosecurity advice

Biosecurity advice for trees from the UK Government and links to useful rescources, including the 'Keep it Clean' campaign

UK Government guidance

UK Government 'Find a specific Pest of Disease'  provides information on organisms either present in Great Britain or posing the greatest threat of entering, and lists by host or threat

UK Government guidance

UK Government updated website on topical issues relating to plant health

UK Government HSE Chemical Regulations Directorate

Comprehensive information on the use and regulation of pesticides and the pesticides register of UK authorised products

UK Government online publication

Outline of the measures that DEFRA and the devolved administrations are implementing to improve plant biosecurity

UK Plant Health Portal

The UK Government (DEFRA) Plant Health Portal is an online hub for plant health information, data and resources. It links to the Pest Risk Register which records and rates risks from plant pests and pathogens