Horticulture Questions Hot Line

The Horticulture hotline (HortLine) of the Penn State Extension Philadelphia Master Gardeners is a free service for residents of Philadelphia. Master Gardeners are ready to answer questions pertaining to the appropriate selection of vegetables, ornamental plants, pesticides, soil, plant identification, pruning, compost, mulch, insect control, plant diseases and more.

The HortLine can also answer questions about canning garden produce and food safety. If we cannot answer the question ourselves we will refer it to the Penn State University Hotline.

To contact the Philadelphia HortLine

  • E-mail PhiladelphiaMG@psu.edu  with "Hortline" in the subject line. Please give your question, name and contact phone number. You can include photos if you wish.
  • Or call 267-314-8711, or 215-471-2200 option#7 and leave a message on our voice mail system 

A Master Gardener will get back in touch with you shortly.

E-mail questions can be sent in at any time of year. HortLine voicemail is in operation from mid-March until the end of October. 


Penn State video on soil samples.

What happens to your soil at the Penn State Labs.

PDF, 30.0 KB

Recommendations for vegetable planting dates for Philadelphia.