Planting the Future
Planting the Future logo
Throughout 2014, St. Louis is celebrating its 250th anniversary. In this spirit, the Garden is looking ahead to the next 250 years and assembling a yearlong celebration designed to inspire creativity among residents and visitors alike!
Planting the Future in St. Louis

In the Garden

In the Community
Child harvesting sweet potato
Sunflower+ field

The Sweet Potato Project

The Sunflower+ Project

The Sweet Potato Project teaches inner-city “at-risk” youth alternative and progressive ways to produce and distribute locally grown products as well as sustainable business and entrepreneurial skills that can change their lives and enhance their careers.

In collaboration with the North Area Community Development Corporation, the Garden sponsors the Sweet Potato Project and hosts a dedicated section of the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening where sweet potatoes are grown for the project.

Learn more

The Sunflower+ Project: StL is one of 4 winners of the St. Louis Sustainable Land Lab Design Competition, created to test experimental uses for vacant land in the city of St. Louis.

The team is lead by Richard Reilly of the Missouri Botanical Garden's EarthWays Center and Don Koster of Washington University's Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts.

Learn more
Create. Connect. Grow.

Making things creates connections to more than just the materials; it connects people and ideas. There’s no feeling like that of owning or gifting something you created, especially when you know that that item is truly one of a kind. Discover the wonder that comes with making something and to connect with nature and others who share your passion for learning.

Check out a few DIY ideas below or sign up for one of our classes.

How To Use Plant Cuttings as Gifts

plant cuttings as gifts

Giving a gift from your garden is a creative way to share your love for plants and create a lasting memory. You can help your loved ones by giving them cuttings from your existing plants or collect seeds for them to grow. Have fun with the presentation and wrapping, and remember to personalize it to give it a special touch.

Favorite plant
Pruners or scissors
Rooting hormone
Potting mix
Ribbon or fabric


Pull a stem from your plant. Cuttings should be between 4” and 6” or they won’t root well.




Cut just below where the leaf attaches to the stem (node). Remove any flowers and lower leaves from the stem, leaving two or three leaves at the top.



Apply the rooting hormone to the tip of the stem. Avoid contaminating the entire hormone mix by pouring some on the cap.



Fill the container with potting mix and moisten it with water.




Make a hole in the mix wide enough to fit the stem. Stick the cutting in the hole being careful not to rub off the rooting hormone.



Firm the soil around the cutting.




Once the cuttings are rooted, decorate container with ribbon or fabric.



Learn more about making more plants from cuttings

How to Use Seeds as Gifts

plant cuttings as gifts

Giving a gift from your garden is a creative way to share your love for plants and create a lasting memory. You can help your loved ones by giving them cuttings from your existing plants or collect seeds for them to grow. Have fun with the presentation and wrapping, and remember to personalize it to give it a special touch.

Seeds (variety)
Glass vials


Collect seeds from some of your favorite plants in your garden. You can also buy seed packets and mix and match for everyone on your list. Some of the easiest seeds to grow are beans, tomato, and dill.



Place them in the glass vials and make sure they’re tightly secured to avoid any seeds spilling out or any moisture seeping in.



Use the string to tie the label around each vial.




Personalize each label. Have fun with the message: “Plant me!” “I’ve bean thinking about you!” or our favorite “Planting the future!”



Learn more about starting plants from seeds

How To Build a "Worm" Compost Bin

How to: Build a "Worm" Compost Bin

Materials needed:

  • A dark (black, blue, dark green, etc.) 8-10 gallon plastic storage box with a lid
  • Drill for making drainage and ventilation holes
  • A piece of window screen large enough to cover bottom of the bin
  • Newspaper or old copy paper and cardboard
  • About 1/4 to 1lb of red wrigglers
  • Top-soil (make sure there’s no fertilizer or other chemical additives to the mix)
  • An air tight container to collect food scraps

Drill 5–10 holes at the bottom of the bin and a few small holes on the sides.

Cover the bottom of the bin with window screen.

Place 3–4 inches of moist, shredded newspaper and soggy cardboard at the bottom of the bin.

Add a handful of dirt and the worms.

Cover with another layer of the moist newspaper bedding and place your bin in a well-ventilated area with a tray for drainage.

Feed worms once or twice a week with small chunks of food scraps.

Harvest the castings about two months later by stopping to add food scraps. Add fresh bedding and a handful of soil after harvesting.

Learn more ways to lead a sustainable lifestyle in our green living classes

How To Build a Salt Box

salt box

The small hive beetle is a pest that crawls up in the beehive and lays eggs in the wax. This not only affects the existing wax but also forces the bees to use more energy to build it and to hurdle the beetles out of the hive, which in turn affects the hive’s overall health and efficiency. The idea behind a “salt box” is that the small beetle larvae will be tricked into thinking that they can pupate in the top layer of soil or compost, but once they hit the pea rock and salt mixture, they can’t pupate and back up. This effectively eliminates a crucial stage in their life cycle and prevents them from returning to the beehive every year.

Materials Needed:

• Drill and screws
• Cutting saw
• Pressure-treated plywood:

3          2" x 6" x 8'
1          4' x 8' x ½"
2          4" x 4" x 8'
5          2" x 4" x 8'

• 14 bags (0.5 cu. ft.) of pea rock
• 2 bags (50 lbs.) of rock salt
• 3 cu. ft. of compost or topsoil


salt box step 1Cut the three boards (2" x 6" x 8') and drill around the base (4' x 8' x ½") to create the box.



salt box step 2Drill three half-inch holes at the bottom of the plywood base so water can drain.



salt box step 3

For the elevated stand’s legs, cut each of the two boards (4" x 4" x 8') in four equal pieces.



salt box step 4

Cut four of the five boards (2" x 4" x 8') to 6' long. Keep the remaining 2' pieces for leg support. Cut the last board (2" x 4" x 8') in equal pieces of 7" each and connect everything by drilling them between the two sets of legs.


salt box step 5

Place elevated stand in the box and fill it with the pea rock and rock salt. Cover with at least 1" of compost or topsoil.



salt box step 6

Place beehives on elevated stand.




You can also download the sketches used to build this salt box here and here.

How To Build a Butterfly Garden

butterfly gardening

Plant your garden in full sun
Plants, especially flowering plants, need sun to make food for themselves and nectar for butterflies. Butterflies also need sun to warm their bodies for flight.

Plant butterfly-attracting flowers
Butterflies are attracted to flowers with strong scents and bright colors where they drink sweet, energy-rich nectar. Select plants that are native to your area and they will attract local butterflies.

Include host plants in your garden
Butterflies lay their eggs on host plants that the emerging caterpillars will eat. The sight of a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis will more than make up for the chewed leaves.

Use colorful plants
Butterflies see more colors than humans do. They seem to prefer red, orange, yellow, purple and dark pink. A large, colorful garden is easy for butterflies to find and encourages them to stay longer.

Don't use chemical pesticides
Pesticides kill butterflies, caterpillars and other useful insects.  Try these methods instead: 

  • plant marigolds, petunias, mint and other herbs that naturally repel pests
  • encourage ladybugs and dragonflies to dine in your garden
  • wash pests away with insecticidal soap.

Learn about native butterflies
Each butterfly has a favorite nectar plant and needs a specific host plant where it will lay eggs.  Learn about local butterflies, so you can provide the right match of plants to make your garden a popular hangout.

Sit back and enjoy the butterflies
You've set the stage; now watch the show. You won't be disappointed.

Don't forget to visit the outdoor Butterfly Garden at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House to learn more about planting your own.

Host Plants & the Butterflies They Attract

Host Plant  Butterfly
Willow (Salix spp.) Red Spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis)
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)
Spice bush (Lindera benzoin) Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)
Hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata) Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
Senna (Cassia spp.) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Grow With Us!

Student trimming bonsai
From gardening practices to nature study and everything in between—the Garden offers a full range of classes for adults, families and children of all ages.

View a complete list of classes and register online today!


March 29 to January 5

Learn how plants, people, animals, and nature are all connected and discover fun ways to explore nature in your own backyards, parks, trails, and schoolyards.

Learn more
Upcoming Events

August 26, 2022
9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Missouri Botanical Garden
August 27, 2022
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Missouri Botanical Garden
August 28, 2022
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Missouri Botanical Garden