ENCINITAS — The San Diego Botanic Garden is preparing to debut its summer exhibition “World of Houseplants,” adding hundreds of new houseplants from around the world to its existing collection.
The show, which starts July 16 and runs through Sep. 5, will be housed in the 8,000-square-foot Dickinson Family Education Conservatory.
“The show will highlight the variety between what [houseplants] you can buy and what grows in nature and really let people see firsthand how you can grow houseplants,” said Ashley Grable, the Botanic Garden’s communications manager.
The glass-walled conservatory houses plants in movable scaffolding to mimic how they grow in nature. Many of the air plants (Tillandsia) and vine-like plants are held in “chandeliers” — clusters of leaves and vines that hang from the ceiling — while other plants snake up the walls.
“I started working with the Garden two years ago in part because I got into the house plant craze right before the pandemic and that passion led me to come to work here,” Grable said. “[The conservatory] is my favorite space in the Garden.”
Most of the houseplants in the Garden’s existing collection and the plants brought in for the seven-week exhibition are from tropical climates, including the Amazon Basin and Ecuador. The conservatory’s high humidity, mist system and open windows allow these tropical plants to thrive in San Diego’s mediterranean climate.
The Garden will partner with local vendors and international collectors to source the plants for the show. While plant experts may be drawn to the exhibition’s more exotic plants, plant beginners will likely recognize many common houseplants, including the bright-green leaves of the pothos and the monstera’s distinctive split leaves.
“This exhibition will help visitors to identify different types of houseplants – including pitcher plants and Philodendrons, Spanish moss and Monsteras – and learn about the cultural conditions generally required to maintain each inside the house,” said Brandi Eide, deputy CEO of the Botanic Garden. “Both emerging and expert houseplant growers will find useful tips and tricks creating the right environment, eradicating pests, and troubleshooting common problems.”
On select days, guests will be able to purchase houseplants and gardening products from U.S. and international vendors, and classes and workshops will be offered on how to care for a houseplant collection.
The Garden is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. Members of the Garden receive free admission and get exclusive access to the display on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Non-member admission ranges from $12 to $18. Guests can access both the exhibition and the rest of the Garden’s 37 acres during the same visit.
Tickets can be purchased from the San Diego Botanic Garden’s website.