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Planting Recommendations from Our Experts

The plants in the Recommended Lists from the Botanical Garden at the Cincinnati Zoo come from trials and usage in the urban/suburban, Midwest conditions of Zoo grounds and also from extensive observations of plants in public gardens and private gardens from around the region. We are very confident that usage of these plants in ordinary garden situations will result in good success, provided they are properly sited, planted, and maintained. Results of its extensive plant trialing program are shared with industry and gardening groups through a wide variety of channels.

Support Horticulture Programs
2024 Annual Trials Photos

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Recommended Plants

Native Plants

Our Native Plant Program is the product of our long-standing interest in native flora. We are particularly focused on native plants that are valuable to horticulture. Our continuing collection of material, propagation work, and our conservation efforts with C.R.E.W, have given us many native plants to use and trial in our landscapes. Many of our gardens and exhibits, especially those associated with Eastern North American animal species, are composed entirely of native plants. The Night Hunters habitat garden is one such native garden, as is the nearby garden that surrounds the Passenger Pigeon Memorial. The woodland plantings of Wolf Woods feature many native trees, and a host of native woodland understory species below. Additionally, the Education Center rain garden is entirely native. While these gardens are exclusively native by design, native plants are liberally planted throughout the entire Zoo, often in exhibits mimicking plants of exotic lands.

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native plant

Tulip Display

What could be more glorious than a 100,000-bulb tulip display? Each year the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden celebrates the arrival of spring with just such a welcome. Zoo Blooms and our garden party/concerts at Tunes & Blooms are part of the spectacle.