Master Gardener Help Desk Request

Master Gardener Help Desk Request

This help desk is a service provided by the Livingston, McLean, and Woodford County Master Gardener program. Whether you need help with plant ID, disease management, or general advice on care for your plant, our volunteers will find the right sources to provide a research-based answer. The right answer tomorrow is better than our best guess today.

From March through October: Messages are checked daily.

From October through March: messages are checked weekly.

For urgent needs, call our office at 309-663-8306.





required6. I prefer to be contacted by:

answer must be an email address


answer must be phone number with area code like 217-333-1000



In the box below, describe the plant, problem, insect, or other inquiry. Please provide as much of the following information as you can.


For plant ID: Height, width, age (if known), where it grows (physical location, sun or shade), type and color of flowers, when it blooms, photos showing leaf shape and/or branches showing buds, as well as wide shots showing the size and shape of the plant.


For plant problems: Name of plant, type (e.g. annual, perennial, shrub, tree, fruit-bearing, vegetable, turf/grass, indoor plant), age of plant, where it grows (physical location, sun or shade), how long since you noticed the problem, photos of symptoms, both close-up and wide shots of whole plant. (Note: while some plant diseases are identifiable by photograph, the only way to recieve a fully reliable diagnosis is by submitting samples to the University of Illinois Plant Clinic).


For insects: Size, color, number of legs (four, six, eight, or more) and wings (two or four), where it was found, quantity found. Do you want advice on control measures? Or just ID?

Photo Upload

Please upload pictures that show the plant, insect, or problem. For plant identification, please provide a photo of the whole plant, a photo of leaves attached to the stem, and flowers if blooming. 


Please be sure that the photo clearly shows the issue at hand. Close-ups are helpful. Wide shots showing the plant size/shape and immediate surroundings can be helpful too. If you can scale the photos by placing a ruler or common object near the plant, that is helpful as well.




required Include your email address in your submission to:

  • Get a copy of your answers

Thank you for submitting your inquiry to the McLean County Master Gardeners. A Master Gardener volunteer will follow-up once research is complete.