Q: I think my rhododendron has root rot, but I got different opinions from a garden center and a plant-care company. Can I have the soil tested for the fungus that causes root rot before I spend a lot of money trying to make a hopelessly sick plant healthy?
— Victoria Kaplan, Akron
A: Rather than have the soil tested, I’d submit a plant sample for testing to make sure that’s what’s really wrong with your rhododendron. You can send a sample to Ohio State University’s C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic for a reliable diagnosis.
Information on submitting samples and a fee schedule are on the clinic’s website, http://ppdc.osu.edu. The clinic’s phone number is 614-292-5006.
Have a question about home maintenance, decorating or gardening? Akron Beacon Journal home writer Mary Beth Breckenridge will find answers for the queries that are chosen to appear in the paper. To submit a question, call her at 330-996-3756, or send email to email@example.com. Be sure to include your full name, your town and your phone number or email address.