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2015 Horticulture Events

EcOhio Native Plant Sale!

July 11
9am – 1pm

Visit the Zoo’s EcOhio Farm and Wetland in Warren County this star-studded weekend. Learn about the land’s history and take a piece of it home with our Native Plant Sale. EcOhio offers a 24-acre reclaimed wetland, a 100-acre organic farm, newly established honeybee hives, and an abundance of wildlife.  The 24-acre wetland has become home or a stopover point for hundreds of birds and other wildlife. The 15  new beehives are home to thousands of honeybees that will help pollinate the entire ecosystem. Join Zoo staff and master gardeners  on Saturday, July 11th from 9am until 1pm to explore the property. We’ll share how this unique ecosystem is all connected, and how you can recreate it in your own backyard with our Native Plant Sale.

This free event offers –

  • Native Plant Sale – Native plants, including ones that you see throughout the EcOhio ecosystem, will be for sale. Cash, check, and credit card will be accepted.
  • Guided Hikes – Join Zoo Staff as we tour the wetland. Learn about the plants, wildlife, and future plans for the wetland. There are no real or paved trails, so come prepared with sturdy shoes, sunscreen, long pants, bug spray, and binoculars. Hikes will occur as there is interest from guests, and availability of staff.
  • Native Animal Appearances – At 10am, meet and greet with some of the wildlife that might call EcOhio home such as a box turtle, a black rat snake or a corn snake!
  • Pollen Nation – Learn about this brand new group and what they have been doing to support pollinator conservation. Observe honeybees up close through an observation frame, and learn how these busy creatures keep us, and their hives, fed.

See the farm, hike the wetland, and learn about the Zoo’s future plans for this thriving oasis in the middle of the suburbs. Purchase native plants to begin an oasis of your own. Join us for this drop in All-Star Event!

EcOhio is located at 2210 Mason-Montgomery Road, Lebanon, OH 45036.

*Please note this is a working farm and ecosystem. Bathrooms may not be available.

Horticulture in Cincinnati Expo

hortincincinnatiJuly 21, 2015
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Cincinnati’s rich horticultural heritage will be over-viewed in a talk by Zoo Horticulturist Scott Beuerlein. This will be followed by presentations by representatives of the major public garden institutions, who will inform us on their current status and future plans. Institutions will include:

  • CZBG, Steve Foltz, Director of Horticulture
  • Bennett Dowling of the Civic Garden Center
  • BCA, Kris Stone, Director
  • Spring Grove, Brian Heinz, Horticulture Supervisor
  • Cincinnati Parks, Speaker to Be Named
  • Cincinnati Horticultural Society (Cincinnati Flower Show), Frank Welsh, Chairman
  • Great Parks of Hamilton County, Jerry Frankenhoff, Landscape Manager
  • Rowe Arboretum, Chris Daeger, Director
  • Gardens of Greater Cincinnati, Kris Stone, Chair of Committee

Garden Club/Plant Society Night

August 18, 2015

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Garden club and Plant Society members are invited to join us for a special evening tour of the Zoo’s gardens and a presentation by Steve Foltz, Director of Horticulture that will bring you up to date on the many beautiful and interesting things that are happening at the Botanical Garden & Zoo!

Plant Trials Day

August 27, 2015

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This will be the fifth annual Plant Trials Day, and we have an incredible line up of plant speakers to mark the occasion!

  • Carol Reese, University of Tennessee Ornamental Horticulture Specialist, Author, and Speaker
  • Paul Cappiello, Director Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, Author, and Speaker
  • Rick Crowder, Owner HawksridgeNursery, Plant Breeder, Explorer, Introducer
  • Patrick Kelsch, Morton Arboretum and Mole for CZBG
  • Chris Baker, Owner Baker’s Acres, Author, and Speaker
  • Steve Foltz, Director, CZBG
  • Scott Beuerlein, Horticulturist, CZBG

Twilight Garden Tour 2

gardentourSeptember 10, 2015 (rain date 9/24)

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The gardens at the Zoo never look better than on a beautiful summer evening. Join us for a rare opportunity to enjoy the Botanical Garden when the crowds have left, the day has cooled, and the light is just right. The Botanical Garden & Zoo Horticulture Team will be on hand to point out exciting things and answer questions. The Watering Hole restaurant will be selling snacks and drinks.

International Plant Propagators Society

September 25-27, 2015

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The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is honored to host one of the world’s most prestigious societies of plant experts and plant introducers, who will gather in Cincinnati for their Eastern Region meetings. Incredible tours and talks. Recommended for green industry professionals and very serious gardeners. Registration through IPPS, member and non-member pricing.

  • 9-25: Full day Pre-Conference Tour to Decker Nursery, OSU Germplasm Institute, Franklin Park Conservatory, and Acorn Farms
  • 9-26: Full day of presentations at Netherland Hilton, Cincinnati
  • 9-27: Conference Tour, CZBG, Spring Grove, Smale Park, Natorp Nursery

Midwest Invasive Plant Network Meeting

September 29, 2015

Following the IPPS/MIPN joint conference, the members of MIPN will be hosted for their own meeting at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Some of the region’s best experts on invasive plants will present on a range of topical issues.  Registration by invitation via MIPN.

Ohio Gardens Together

Registration will open September 1st
October 9, 2015

The Cincinnati Botanical Garden & Zoo will host a meeting of Ohio Gardens Together, a loose consortium of the region’s public gardens.  Steve Foltz will talk about the Zoo’s steadfast commitment to the “plant” side of botanical gardens (“If you plant it, they will come.”). In addition, other Zoo staff will discuss visitor engagement, and more. Folks will also enjoy a tour of the Botanical Garden & Zoo, including the nurseries, annuals trialing, native plant program, and CREW (Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife).  The meeting is open to people affiliated with public gardens.

Native Plant Program Fundraiser

November 13, 2015

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Our first ever Native Plant Program Fundraising Gala! Enjoy a short presentation by Hardy Eshbaugh,  Professor Emeritus of Botany, Miami University, then rub elbows with the other distinguished speakers for the next day symposium. Wine and delicious finger foods. Proceeds will support the innovative and important work of our Native Plant Program.

Native Plant Symposium

November 14, 2015

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Our fourth annual Native Plant Symposium could very well be our best! An incredible lineup of speakers will present on some very exciting topics relating to the growing world of native plants.

  • Mark Rose, Director of Flannery Fork Botanical Garden
  • Nancy Stranahan, Director of Arc of Appalachia
  • Hardy Eshbaugh, Professor Emeritus Botany, Miami University
  • Tom Hissong, Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm
  • Brian Jorg, Manager Native Plant Program CZBG
  • Steve Foltz, Director of Horticulture CZBG

Native Plant Fundraiser/Native Plant Symposium Combined Ticket


Purchase Tickets

Enjoy both the Native Plant Program Gala and the Native Plant Symposium and save a few dollars! We hope to see you at both!



Need a Speaker?

Need a speaker for your academic, Master Gardener, garden club, or other event? Contact us at for one of the zoo’s expert horticulturists to speak.

How Can I Help?

If you would like to offer ideas for horticultural events the zoo should hold, or if you would like to sponsor a zoo horticultural event, contact us at

General Events

Zoo Blooms

garden events 1The saturated colors and sun-catching glow of masses and masses of tulips in bloom is a truly spectacular experience. Zoo Blooms delivers not only the region’s largest tulip display, but also hundreds of trees and shrubs in full regalia. Magnolias, cherries, crabapples, serviceberries, viburnums, other bulbs, loads of perennials, and more all in their spring glory! Generally the best tulip display is around the middle of April, but the peak varies somewhat according to the weather. Each week all through spring the landscape continuously changes as the many plants of our extensive collection come into bloom. You need to visit several times to experience the fullness of the season!

Tunes and Blooms

garden events 5Every Thursday evening during April the Zoo hosts Tunes & Blooms. These are FREE concerts in the garden. Enjoy great local bands amongst gardens aglow with the blooms of 100,000 tulips and hundreds of other spring bloomers.

Tree Carnival

garden events 4A rising star in our line up of garden events, Tree Carnival is a fun and educational experience for the entire family. Kids can learn about trees, test their knowledge, earn their Tree Planting License, and take home a free tree! A party atmosphere. There’s even the famous Mr. Tree to hug!

Plant Sales

plantsale2We continually propagate many plants for our own use. Many are rare and unique plants that unavailable or hard to find on the market. Occasionally we hold plant sales and many gems can be purchased. For more information, email


garden2Schedule your own garden event at the zoo! Industry groups, Master Gardener groups, garden clubs, plant societies, private companies, families, and others frequently schedule their own garden tours and/or parties. You can too! Email us at to schedule a tour.

Native Plant Symposium

garden events 3The annual all day symposium about native plants. Great outside speakers along with the zoo’s Native Plant Program Manager, Brian Jorg.  CEUs available. Affordably priced. Includes lunch.

Plant Trials Day

annnualsThe Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden horticultural staff and volunteers, in conjunction with several other organizations, conducts plant trials on annuals, grasses, and perennials in accordance with regimented protocols. Such trials enable us to develop useful data for gardeners, other public gardens, plant producers, and others in the green community. For more information regarding our Plant Trials programs, please contact us at

Sustainable Landscapes Day

gogreenThe concepts of “going green” have come down on the green and building industries in a big way in recent years and a lot of argument over the meaning of sustainability and the means of achieving it has ensued. This program is designed to sort out fact from fiction regarding such issues as soils, irrigation, and the very best low input plants for landscape applications. CEUs available. Affordably priced. Includes lunch.

Home Landscapes Lecture Series

flowerA late winter ten week series of lectures regarding all aspects of landscaping for the homeowner by one of the region’s top horticulturists and the zoo’s Director of Horticulture, Steve Foltz. If you are planning on garden renovation or a new installation in your landscape these classes provide great insight on design, preparation and plant selection with emphasis on plants that do best in the Tri-state area. A different aspect of landscaping is covered each week such as perennial design and tree care, but one way or another everything is covered! Sign up for individual classes, or for the entire series and save! Very affordably priced.