Help Desk

The VCE Loudoun Master Gardener Volunteers are here to help you with your landscape questions. Is something eating your hostas? Does your tree look sick? When is the best time to fertilize your lawn? Are you interested in constructing a compost pile? Is a strange weed overrunning your vegetable bed? We’re here to advise and help!

Contacting the Help Desk

  1. The most readily available way for the Loudoun community to contact us for help with a plant/insect problem is electronically by email to Please include following information for us to better serve you:
    • Type and age of plant
    • Specific problem
    • History of problem
    • Location of plant – sun/shade
    • Detail any watering habits, fertilizer, insecticide applications
    • Include a minimum of 3 photos: plant part affected, good part of the plant, and where it is planted. See photo tips, available at Guidance for Submitting Good Digital Photos.
    • Please allow 3 to 5 days for a response.
  2. We are also available at the physical Help Desk from March through November between 10:00 a.m. and noon on Mondays and the 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesday during those months.
    • During these times, you can call and speak directly with a Help Desk volunteer or stop in and visit the VCE Extension Office Help Desk with a plant sample. If you are running late to meet the 10 to noon timeframe, please call ahead to let us know you are coming.
    • If calling outside those staffed hours, please leave a voicemail and a volunteer will return your call on the next staffed day. Please note this may be the following week.
    • The Extension office is located at 750 Miller Drive, SE, Suite F-3, Leesburg, VA. 20175. The Help Desk sits within the office. Phone 703-771-5150.

Upcoming VCE Loudoun Events and Soil Test Kits are available in the Extension Office lobby from 8:30 to 5PM, Monday through Friday excluding county holidays.

Garden Clinics

The VCE Loudoun Master Gardeners also conduct Garden Clinics at three locations from May through October.

  • Leesburg Farmers Market – Virginia Village Shopping Center, Catoctin Circle SE. – Saturdays, 8AM to noon.
  • Sterling, Lowe’s at Dulles Crossing Plaza – Saturdays, 9AM to 1PM.
  • Purcellville, Southern States, 261 N 21st St – Saturdays, 9AM to 1PM.

Leesburg, Demonstration Garden, Ida Lee – Master Gardeners are at the garden every Tuesday and Thursday, 9-noon during the garden season (April through October) weather permitting.  Stop by to ask a question or two!

Help Us Help You

Here are a few tips to help us provide you with the right information:

  • If you need a plant identified, please bring in a sample large enough to determine the size and growth habit. Please bring in an entire stem or branch, not just a leaf.
  • If you suspect insect or disease, please bring in a sample showing both the problem area and some healthy growth (if any). Again an entire branch or stem will help us determine what is going on. We would appreciate that your sample be in a bag so as not to potentially contaminate the office.
  • Clear digital photos are great for email identification, but please keep the size reasonable to reduce download time.

We may have to do some research to come up with the right answer to your problem. If necessary we will contact you usually within 1-2 days.