Group in the Zimmerman Sensory GardenSome of the following questions and answers have been adapted from the American Horticulture Therapy Association.


What is Therapeutic Horticulture?

Therapeutic horticulture is the participation in horticultural activities facilitated by a registered horticultural therapist or other professionals with training in the use of horticulture as a therapeutic modality to support program goals. Therapeutic horticulture is the process through which participants enhance their well-being through active or passive involvement in plant and plant-related activities.

What are the settings and goals of Therapeutic Horticulture programs?

Therapeutic horticulture programs are found in a wide variety of healthcare, rehabilitative, and residential settings. The Missouri Botanical Garden can do programming at the Garden or at participating organization’s facilities. The components of therapeutic horticulture program are:

  • The engagement of a participant in active or passive horticultural-related activities.
  • The participant has an identified disability, illness, or life circumstance requiring services. 
  • The activity is facilitated by a registered horticultural therapist or other professional with training in horticulture.
  • The participation is in the context of the goals and mission of the organization.

Who can benefit from Therapeutic Horticulture?

Anyone and everyone can benefit from Therapeutic Horticulture! However, the maximize impact, staff at the Missouri Botanical Garden focus on serving groups rather than individuals. These are only some of the organizations with which we work:

How can my group or organization participate in the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Therapeutic Horticulture programs?

Senior Groups or Senior Living Facilities:

  • Please refer to Soule Senior Outreach for more information
  • If you have questions or would like to schedule a program, please call (314) 577-9506

Medical Communities and Social Service Agencies:

What are the costs of Therapeutic Horticulture programs?

  • Most programs cost $50/hour plus the cost of materials
  • Please refer to the Menu of Services for estimated material costs

What are some examples of Therapeutic Horticulture program activities?

  • Flower arranging
  • Planting and maintaining gardens
  • Nature printing
  • Various aromatherapy activities
  • Exploring and making herbal teas or herbal sachets
  • Nature journaling
  • Nature based meditation and mindfulness practices

Refer to the Menu of Services for further examples.

Therapeutic Horticultural Programs at the Garden are made possible
through contributions by:

Friends and family of Dr. Samuel D. Soule
Dr. Oscar and Barbara Soule
Edward Chase Garvey Memorial Foundation
E. Reuben and Gladys Flora Grant Charitable Trust
Mary Anne Lucas Fund
Van Evera Foundation
Maritz Corporation