Read the Latest News

Contact Us

Sarah Fellerer
Program Coordinator, Master Gardeners/Master Naturalists
University of Illinois Extension
535 South Randall Road
St. Charles, IL 60174-1591
Phone: 630-584-6166
FAX: 630-584-4610

Master Gardeners – Kane County

Master Gardeners – Kane County

Master Gardener Help Desk

Help Desk hours:  Monday - Friday  10:00 am - 2:00 pm  

630-584-6166 ask for the Master Gardener

Email a Kane County Master Gardener at

The Master Gardener Help Desk is open weekdays, April through September and M-W-F in March and October.

Call or stop by, we are located at 535 S Randall Road in St. Charles.

The Kane County Master Gardener Help Desk is available to answer your gardening questions during the growing season, mid-March - October, other times of the year we have on-call help available, just leave a message and we'll call you back. Our volunteer Master Gardeners do the best they can to staff the help desk, there may be times when no one is available, please leave a message, we'll call you back.

Collecting Plant Samples

Bring in or email ( photos of the plant or insect. Be sure to include the surrounding environment.

If possible bring in the entire plant if appropriate, especially if it is a vegetable, annual or perennial flower.

Woody plant samples should be as large as practical. Collect samples from areas that are still alive and showing symptoms.

Do not collect dead plants. Often their tissues have been invaded by other fungi and bacteria and the original pathogen is no longer detectable.

Collect several plant specimens showing a range of symptoms. Collect both healthy and damaged plant parts.

Provide as much background and related information as possible. Make note of flooding, shade, environmental changes, pesticides used and fertilizer history. Watch for any observable patterns or uniformity.

It may be necessary to wait until the plant blooms for a botanical identification.

After collecting samples, do not expose them to direct sunlight. Keep them cool and do not allow them to dry out. Weeds tend to wilt quickly, consider placing them between two pieces of moist paper towel and bring them in as soon as possible.

Collecting Insect Samples

The best method is to bring in the entire insect in a small closed container.

High quality photos can be emailed. Please try to include a coin or other common object for scale. Multiple photographs of both sides of the insect are preferred.

Note where the insect was found and how many are present.

Master Gardeners

The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Program in Kane County is a volunteer program open to anyone with the desire and availability to share information with others about good landscape and gardening practices.

A primary objective of the Master Gardener Program is to develop and deliver educational programs, resources and events relating to horticulture to Kane County residents.

Volunteers participate in extensive training sessions conducted by University of Illinois Extension specialists and educators in horticulture, insects, diseases, grasses, woody and herbaceous ornamentals, and fruits and vegetables. In exchange for this challenging educational experience, Master Gardeners are required to volunteer 60 hours, primarily between April and October to share their new knowledge with the community. Fellow Master Gardeners are a dedicated group, and many chose to return year after year to share their knowledge with others.