Help Line/Help Desk


The Help Line/Help Desk is a vital part of the VCE Master Gardener Program assisting, when possible, the professional staff in providing information to the public regarding  a huge variety of plant-related questions. Staffed by the local Master Gardener Volunteers during the growing season (April to October), the Desk is located in the VCE office on the second floor of the Rockbridge County Office Building on Main Street. Individual Master Gardeners usually volunteer for a two hour period in either the morning or afternoon one day a week.

The Master Gardener Volunteers perform a variety of activities including taking calls from the Public with plant-related questions, distributing soil sample kits, preparing Plant Disease Diagnosis Requests which are forwarded to Virginia Tech for review, and responding to the Public with results.


The Help desk has an extensive reference library to help diagnose plant problems.  In addition we can use the resources of Virginia Tech in identifying plant problems and diseases.  We are available to help you with your gardening questions. You may call us at (540) 463-4734, fill in the form below, or email us at

Rockbridge Master Gardeners has developed an online library of common plants that may be available at nurseries and garden centers. To access this library click on the "Plant Library" box below.  Prices listed are from our most recent Plant Sale and do not reflect pricing at nurseries and garden centers.


Question of the Month

Virginia Tech publications:  

American Horticultural Society:


Missouri Botanic Garden:    

United States Botanic Garden:

Chicago Botanic Garden:    

Favorite Gardening Links

Help Line Submission

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Q: When should I prune my roses?

A: Early spring is the best time to perform major rose pruning although dead/diseased wood can be removed at any time. Advice from the Shenandoah Rose Society recommends waiting till after April 1st to prune, ensuring that late winter cold-snaps will not harm emerging foliage.  Since local weather conditions vary, another guide is to prune when the forsythia blooms in your area.  For more information: