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 Edit Content
AHDB advice sheets

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

AHDB Crop Walkers App

App version of the Horticulture Crop Walkers Guides for diagnosis and monitoring

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 Encyclopedia of Pests

AHDB Encyclopedia of Pests and Natural Enemies in field crops

AHDB Horticulture

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


Animal and Plant Health Agency - UK Government plant health controls and reporting of pests and diseases; information on certification schemes

APS advice pages

American Phytopathological Society directory of very comprehensive plant disease information pages


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

BBSRC food security news

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 - news, events, and scientific publications related to plant pathology including new disease reports

CABI Plantwise

CABI Plantwise is an international organisation dedicated to reducing crop loss

CABI Plantwise field guide

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

CABI Plantwise knowledge bank

Comprehensive resource with searchable knowledge bank and diagnostic tool

CABI Plantwise pest alerts

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

CABI Plantwise Toolkit

Plant disease advisory and diagnostic resources with UK and international capacity


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

DAERA Plant and Tree Health

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland Government guidance for pests and diseases, pesticides, plant passporting, imports and exports, surveys and compliance

DEFRA factsheets

Detailed information pages on notifiable and non-notifiable pests and diseases

DEFRA reporting

UK-wide contact information for reporting notifiable diseases to authorities

DEFRA smarter rules for safer food

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

EPPO Don't Risk It 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 biosecurity posters

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

FERA commercial biosecurity protocols

2012 publication with detailed guidance Nurseries, Retailers and Landscapers - Biosecurity Best Practice Protocols 

FERA diagnostics

Fera provides diagnostic services for plant diseases including viruses

FERA parks and gardens biosecurity protocols

2012 publication with detailed guidance: Parks and Gardens - Biosecurity Best Practice Protocols

Floral Daily

Comprehensive crop protection webpages for horticulture

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

The Health and Safety Executive Chemicals Regulation Division is responsible for regulation of chemicals such as biocides and pesticides in the UK.

HSE codes of practice

Government codes of practice for using plant protection products

HSE pesticides

Comprehensive information on the use and regulation of pesticides including the register of authorised pesticides from within the UK Health and Safety Executive Chemical Regulations Division


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 diagnostics

Clinic with 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 risks from plant pests and pathogens, and can be searched by host as well as pest


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 Health Solutions

Commercial provider of plant health research and diagnostic services for crops and horticulture

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 - DAERA

Government guidance on issuing plant passports in Northern Ireland

Plant passporting - DEFRA

Government guidance on issuing plant passports in England and Wales

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

Government guidance on issuing plant passports in Scotland 


An app for identification and treatment of plant diseases

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

RHS diagnostics

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

Rothamsted Research

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


A division of the Scottish Government providing scientific services and advice in support of agriculture and the wider environment, including plant pests and diseases, crop protection, and diagnostic services

SASA diagnostics

SASA provides diagnostic services in Scotland including of viruses and insect pests

Scottish Government leaflet

Scottish Government's 2011 'Plants get ill too' leaflet for download

Scottish Government pesticides guidance

Government guidance on the use of plant protection products in Scotland

Scottish Government pesticides restrictions

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

Scottish Government Plant Health

Overview of Scottish Government plant health policy, strategy and guidance

Scottish Government Plant Health Strategy

The Scottish Plant Health Strategy

SEARS biosecurity guidance

Scotland’s Environmental and Rural Services comprehensive biosecurity guidance

Stockbridge Technology Centre

Commercial diagnostic services for crop plants

Stockbridge Technology Centre

Provides diagnostic services for the horticultural industries


Useful 'Pests and Diseases' section in the Knowledgebase

The National Libraries for Agri-Food (NLAF)

Formerly known as Food and Farming Futures.  News and information for farming and food production. Useful 'browse' feature for searching pest and disease control items. 

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 biosecurity strategy

Policy paper (2014) with overview of the measures that UK administrations are implementing to improve plant biosecurity

UK Government topical issues

UK Government updated news on issues relating to plant health

UK Government tree pest and disease guidance

UK Government Find a Specific Pest or Disease provides detailed information on priority tree pests either present in Great Britain or posing the greatest threat of entering

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