Bucks County Horticulture Hotline

Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Bucks County are available during garden season to answer your home gardening questions. This is a free service for Bucks County residents!

2017 Hotline Hours & Contact Info

March 27—October 27, 2017
Monday—Friday, 9:00am12:00pm

Call us, email us, write to us or visit us in person!

Phone: 215-345-3283
Email: BucksHotline@ag.psu.edu
Location: Penn State Extension Bucks County
Neshaminy Manor Center Health Building
1282 Almshouse Road
Doylestown, PA 18901

Submitting Plant or Insect Samples

Plant disease or insect samples can be brought in or mailed to the office for examination. Our resources include the Penn State Insect Identification lab and the Penn State Plant Disease Clinic.

Guidelines for submitting a plant or insect sample:


Place fresh, green plant samples in clear, sealed zip-lock or plastic bags. (Brown, dried-out samples are not as useful.) If possible include any pest insects along with the plant. Please include enough plant material to see full damage, including both healthy and affected tissue. Include a note inside the bag or affixed to the bag with your name, address, telephone number and email address.


Place individual pest insect samples in clear, sealed containers filled with rubbing alcohol (like a jelly jar). Affix your contact info to the sample including your name, address, telephone number and email address.

If you don’t have a sample, digital photos are very helpful. Include a sharp close-up shot of the problem, a distance shot of the entire site and any other details you have. Photos can be emailed to us at BucksHotline@psu.edu

Plant Problem Diagnosis

These are the types of questions we're likely to ask about your plant problem, but please don’t be intimidated. You don’t need to know all the answers.  We’re here to help you!

The “Patient”

  • Species? Symptoms? Age? Previous occurrence?
  • Percentage of plant affected? Percentage of all plants affected?
  • Pattern of damage?

Site Considerations:

  • Soil type? Compass direction? Sun/shade? Wet / dry? Windy / sheltered?
  • Buildings / obstructions? Utilities / septic?
  • Road spray / pollution/ winter salt treatment?

Human Influence:

  • Construction nearby? Have you treated?
  • Watering? Planting? Spacing? Pruning?
  • Mulching? Influences from neighboring properties?

Biotic Factors:

  • Evidence of insects?  Evidence of disease?
  • Evidence of rodents, mammals, birds, pets?