As a part of the new close changes that are forthcoming we are allowed to add some custom close reasons.

However, the only custom reasons we are allowed are for "Off Topic" questions. I'd like to propose that we declare diagnosis and ID questions that do not include a photo to be off topic so that we can add this particular reason as a custom close reason.

This is good for a number of reasons.

  • It give a clear indication of why a question is closed, and how to get it reopened (add a picture).
  • It provides a clear and consistent closures reason (against a variety of closure reasons, including NC, TL and NARQ).
  • It provides free license to unabashedly close these questions. Right now they are often getting left open in an unanswerable state.

So let's go ahead and just declare these off topic and when new close reasons are added we can go ahead and add one indicating that the answer needs a picture and linking to some instructions on how to add one if you don't have the proper reputation requirements.

2 Answers 2


The changes have just gone live, so we need to get working on this. Below is a first attempt at the text for this custom close reason. Any suggestions for improvement are welcome. A concern I have is that the linked questions aren't really formatted as FAQs and don't give the general advice that a newcomer might need to understand this site and how to ask a good question; should we create new Q&As specifically for linking from this close message?

This question is on hold while enough information is added to it to allow it to be answered properly. Please see How to ask plant identification questions for guidance on how to ask this type of question, and How to Upload pics on an existing post for help in posting photographs.


I'm all for this. A diagnosis without a picture is like a book without words.

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