Agar diffusion techniques are used widely to assay plant extracts for antimicrobial activity, but there are problems associated with this technique. A micro-dilution technique was developed using 96-well microplates and tetrazolium salts to indicate bacterial growth. p-Iodonitrotetrazolium violet [0.2 mg/ml] gave better results than tetrazolium red or thiazolyl blue. The method is quick, worked well with Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli and with non-aqueous extracts from many different plants. The method gave reproducible results; required only 10-25 microliters of extract to determine minimal inhibitory concentrations, distinguished between microcidal and microstatic effects, and provided a permanent record of the results. Using S. aureus, and a Combretum molle extract, the technique was 32 times more sensitive than agar diffusion techniques and was not sensitive to culture age of the test organism up to 24 hours. The S. aureus culture could be stored up to 10 days in a cold room with little effect on the assay results. This method was useful in screening plants for antimicrobial activity and for the bioassay-guided isolation of antimicrobial compounds from plants. MIC values determined for sulfisoxazole, norfloxacin, gentamicin, and nitrofuratoin were similar to values indicated in the literature but values obtained with trimethroprim and ampicillin were higher with some bacteria.