Plan a Visit

The Ever Changing Botanic Gardens

Regardless of the season, you will find these 300+ acres of East Texas Piney Woods showcasing the region’s largest collection of native and cultivated plants. On the East Side, botanic garden visitors are welcomed in spring, summer, fall, and winter with bountiful plant collections from around the world that thrive in Houston’s climate. Plus, you will find the largest collection of gingers in the area, all housed in this living museum.

On the West Side, the Arboretum invites guests to walk or run along trails of natural beauty taking in the glorious beauty of our world in its natural state. Picnic tables, covered pavilions, and a children’s play area are available.

Explore this hidden jewel of Houston and experience the unparalleled beauty of Houston’s “Premier Botanic Gardens.”

Amenities

Stroller and Wheelchair Accessibility

Mercer Botanic Garden is a Harris County Precinct 4 Park.  It operates as a museum and research facility that also offers recreational park amenities, with all areas accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Most areas of the Gardens are ADA accessible. Handicap Parking is available in the main parking lot with easy access to the garden entrance.

Restrooms

Currently, the Visitor Center is closed as a result of Hurricane Harvey damage. The only available restrooms at this time are located in the exterior Gardens Restrooms.

First Aid

Please see one of our Garden Staff when First Aid is required.

Water Fountains

The Visitor Center is currently closed due to damage sustained by Hurricane Harvey.  Guests are encouraged to bring their own water bottles. There are no water fountains available in the Gardens.

Garden Etiquette

For your enjoyment and safety of all our guests, please:

  • Allow ample time to enjoy the gardens.
  • If you must smoke during your visit, please take care as there is a lot of dry material on site; bark mulch, pine straw, and other plant material.
  • Pets are welcomed on the West Side Arboretum only.  Pets are restricted to dogs and must be on a leash at all times. Pet owners are asked to remove pet waste.
  • For your safety, shirts and shoes must be worn at all times.
  • For your protection, please do not climb on garden structures or trees.
  • Ponds are for reflection only, please do not wadeor throw rocks or other debris in them.
  • Please do not use roller blades, skates, skateboards or bicycles in the Garden or on trails.
  • The flower collection displays in the Garden are for the enjoyment of all visitors. Please do not pick the flowers.
  • Trash cans and recycle containers are located throughout the Garden.
  • Please watch children closely and keep them safe from natural garden elements, in particular, snakes and other wildlife, that may be present in the Gardens.
  • Balloons, confetti, and any other potentially airborne material are strictly prohibited. Furniture and other such props are also not permitted in the Garden.
  • Amateur and commercial photography is welcomed but please do not step into flower displays to capture that “really special shot”. Protect the flowers for the next visitor.
    We hope you will memorialize your visit and life milestones with personal photography at any open location. However, if your needs or purpose encompasses commercial or professional photo shoots, please contact Mercer Botanic Garden for details on our professional photography policies.
  • Enjoy your visit. Come back frequently for we are an ever-changing botanic garden.

Groups and Field Trips

The Mercer Society and Mercer Botanic Garden welcome all types of organized groups. All groups are requested to make advance reservations. Field trip reservations must be made by residents 21 years of age or older. Docent tours are available, please check with the Mercer Botanic Gardens Office at 713.274.4160 for details

Reservations

Reservations for group tours, activities, programs, and West Arboretum pavilions can be made by calling Mercer Garden Offices at 713.274.4160, Monday through Friday: 8 am to 5:00 pm.

Self-guided Tours

Explore the gardens on your own with Garden maps available at the table in front of the closed visitor center.

Docent-Guided Tours

Our knowledgeable volunteer docents will be delighted to guide you through the gardens sharing historic information and anecdotes about the lush plant life. Tours must be requested 3 weeks in advance. These tours are free, however, contributions to offset program costs are appreciated.

FAQs:

How much does it cost to come to Mercer Botanic Gardens?

There is no entry fee; however, donations to The Mercer Society will contribute to the enhancement of the Gardens and are sincerely welcomed. Donations are accepted at the Mercer Gift and Plant Shoppe.

When will the Gardens reopen after Hurricane Harvey?

The plans are to reopen the gardens in a phased process with the front and main gardens formally reopening on March 17, 2018.  The balance of the gardens will reopen in a phased rollout.  Many of the buildings will remain closed until total renovations have been completed.

Is there a gift shop on the premises?

Unfortunately not at this time. However, The Mercer Society operates a Gift and Plant Shoppe in Old Town Spring at 400 Main Street where delightful home and personal gift items can be purchased along with a year-around plant shop featuring “Mercer Grown” plants, seasonally selected by the Mercer Society Grower.

Do I have to be a gardener to volunteer?

Absolutely No, we have opportunities for all skill sets and talents.  We are always looking for office assistants, social media guru’s, photographers, special events assistance, gift shop retail clerks and of course, we love our green thumb volunteers with opportunities in our northside greenhouse operation as well as in the main gardens. Contact the Mercer Volunteer Coordinator at 713.274.4160 for complete details and a current list of volunteer opportunities.

Do you have special events for children?

Yes, Mercer Botanic Gardens Education Department hosts Story Time, a monthly storybook reading event held every Monday of every month, for our younger visitors and their moms, staged outdoors in the Gardens.

Stroller Stroll,  a monthly walking and stroller tour of the gardens held the first Thursday of every month when moms and children of stroller age can not only get exercise but also take in all the unique and beautiful plant specimens as they “stroll” together through the main garden section.

Summer Youth Programs – This program is currently SOLD OUT. Reservations now taken are placed on a “waiting list” status. Mercer Botanic Garden will host a once a week botanical adventure that will take place during the months of June and July. Day campers will explore a variety of plants from different eras and regions:  Further details will be posted over the coming weeks. Please contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at 713.274.4160 for complete details and reservations.