The deadline for requesting a tour is 15th of the month prior to your date. For example, if you would like a tour in May, the deadline would be April 15.

Docents of the UC Botanical Garden will tailor tours to fit the needs, interests, and age or grade level of your group. Tours provide a fun, educational activity for summer day camps and youth groups, as well as students. Some tours accommodate a limited number of classes at one time. Children’s tours match California State Education Standards. Teacher materials are available with some tours and will be included with your confirmation and invoice.

Scheduling a K-12 Garden Tour

All docent-led tours must be scheduled by the 15th of the month prior to your desired date.

Children’s tours require sufficient adult chaperones to ensure students are supervised by an adult at all times. Adult chaperones are provided free admission for docent-led tours. We require the following ratios for number of adult chaperones to students:

  • 1 chaperone per 4 pre-K students
  • 1 per 5 grades K-3 students
  • 1 per 6 grades 4-8 students
  • 1 per 8 high school students

Tours are given rain or shine. Come prepared for the weather and areas of rough terrain. Free ponchos are available for tour groups to use and keep.

Read about the tour topics available below, then fill out this form to submit an inquiry for scheduling a tour.

Plants of the World Adult or Family Tour
Explore the Garden’s incredible diversity of plants from six continents, including environments as diverse as deserts, redwood forests, and wetlands. Plants are arranged naturalistically in the Garden according to region of origin – Asia, Australasia, California, Eastern North America, Mediterranean, Mexico/Central America, Deserts of the Americas, South America, and Southern Africa – allowing visitors to travel the world of plants. Each tour features the Garden’s seasonal highlights and unique collections.

Tours are generally 1 hour and are provided in small groups. Trained docents tailor tours to accommodate visitors with limited mobility. For adult or family tours, we provide one docent for every 10 people. Youth tours are usually grouped with one docent for every 5 participants depending on age. Tours are given rain or shine. Come prepared for the weather and areas of rough terrain.

Tour Fees

$8 Youth (ages 7-17)
$20 adult
$17 seniors
Minimum fee of $100 per group.
Tour fees include Garden admission.

To Schedule
Please fill out the request form here to request a Plants of the World adult tour by the 15th of the month prior to your desired tour date. Tours are confirmed upon receipt of an email from the Tour Coordinator.

Tour Topics and Information

Children’s Tours


Plant Wonders: a Sensory Walk
Use all five senses to experience nature in the Garden. Touch, look, listen, smell, and taste as you investigate plants from around the world. Learn about roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, and the life cycles of plants.

*For Pre-K Tours, all children must be at least 4 years of age at the time of the tour.


Discovering Flowers and Plants
Develop your powers of observation as you explore plant communities from around the world. Why are there so many kinds of plants? How do their differences help them survive in their diverse environments? Discover the purpose of a flower – what the flower attracts, how, and why.

Seasonal Theme options for Discovering Flowers and Plants

Pollinators in the Garden (Best in spring and summer)
The bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds you can observe in the Garden are just some of the world’s 200,000 species of pollinators. Discover how insects, birds, bats, and wind are essential in the life cycles of many plants and crops.

Plant Travelers (Best in fall)
Can plants really travel? Marvel at botanical fruit and seed adaptations, such as slingshots, parachutes, hitchhikers, helicopters and other mechanisms, that propel plant seeds around the Garden.

Extreme Environments: Rainforests to Deserts (Year-round; Best rainy winter month option) Not currently available.
How have plants adapted to environments with extreme amounts of sunlight or water? Explore the plant communities of three unique glass houses: the Arid House, with one of the largest collections of cacti and succulents in the country; the Orchid, Fern and Carnivorous Plant House; and the Tropical House, where you feel as though you’re in a rainforest. The experience includes some plant favorites such as chocolate, cinnamon, coffee, and vanilla. This is a mostly indoor tour.

Ethnobotany: People Using Plants Around the World (Includes exhibit in March.) Not currently available.
Humans depend on the use of plants to survive, prosper, and enrich our lives. Explore the Garden’s herb and crop gardens, desert and rainforest collections, and California plant communities to discover the everyday uses of plants by different peoples and cultures. In March, visit the Garden’s special Fiber & Dye exhibit to view the beautiful spectrum of color from plants and the natural history of clothing, paper and other fiber uses.

Patterns in Nature: Math in the Garden
Look closely at nature – trees, leaves, cones, cacti, ferns, flowers, honeycomb, and more. Discover geometric shapes, angles, symmetry, and patterns, even fractals and Fibonacci numbers! Learn how nature’s mathematical designs and patterns are adaptations helping plants to survive.

Trees in the Garden
How are trees different from other plants? How do they adapt to their environments, make food from sunlight, grow, and reproduce? In what ways are they essential to life on our planet? Visit trees from around the world, including the kinds of trees that lived when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and examples of the world’s tallest and most massive trees.

GRADES 3 & UP / 75-90 MIN

California Ecosystems and Habitats
Visit the Garden’s outstanding collection of California native plants. Explore plant communities including alpine fellfield, chaparral, coastal dune, desert, pine-oak woodland, pygmy forest, redwood forest, serpentine, and vernal pool. Compare the characteristics that allow plants to thrive in the Golden State’s unique ecosystems.

California Natives: Plants and People
Explore the creative ways California Indians have used plants in their everyday lives for food, shelter, clothing, tools, fiber, medicine, even music, toys and games. Which parts of the plant were used – roots, stems, leaves, seeds, bark – and why? We’ll examine California’s native plants and replicas of Indian artifacts to discover the plant knowledge, customs, and skills of California’s earliest peoples.

Evolution: Plants through Time
Journey through time from a barren earth 4.5 billion years ago to the astounding diversity of plants and animals today. Examine fossil evidence and discover plants in our collection that are relicts of ancient plants. See the kinds of plants dinosaurs might have eaten. Learn how plants have adapted over millions of years to a changing earth and climate, and have made it possible for other species to evolve.

Water Ecology: Exploring Ponds and Creeks (Not available in winter.)
Explore the Garden’s water habitats from gently flowing creeks to still ponds. Dip nets and examine plants, insects, microorganisms and seasonal creatures such as newts and tadpoles. How are pond and creek ecosystems different? Learn about photosynthesis, decomposers, and the importance of protecting these fragile environments.

Adult & Family Group Tours

Plants of the World tours for adults include signature stops at iconic plants or collections in the Garden as well as highlights of seasonal interest. Due to Covid-19 precautions, docents do not include glass houses on tours. Please fill out the request form here.

Plants of the World 
Explore the Garden’s incredible diversity of plants from six continents, including environments as diverse as deserts, tropical forests, redwood forests, and wetlands.

Accessibility Accommodations on Tours

The Garden is located in a canyon with a variety of elevations and terrain, including paved and gravel paths. We can plan tour routes to accommodate the mobility needs of tour participants. Please let the Tour Coordinator know if any of your participants will need accommodations.