• No Admission Charge – Free Entry
  • Address: 6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403
  • Office Hours: Monday through – Friday 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Phone: 910 798 7660
  • Plant Clinic: Monday through – Friday 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Phone: 910 798 7680
  • Garden Hours: Dawn to Dusk 

Small groups are welcome for short visits or field trips, at no charge, but please call ahead to register and check availability of the gardens.

Garden Map: Click here to view a printable detailed map of the Arboretum.  This map is also available on the garden grounds and at the Cooperative Extension Office.



Master Gardeners will help you at the Plant Clinic
Open Monday-Friday,
10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
(910) 798-7680
What Master Gardeners can help you with:

  • Select the right plants and trees for your site.
  • Decide when and how to test your soil.
  • Proper maintenance for your turf.
  • Identify weeds, insects and disease.
  • Avoid blanket use of herbicides and pesticides.
  • Identify (rather than kill) beneficial insects.
  • Learn how and when to prune your trees and shrubs.
  • Think about deer before they think about you.
  • Learn valuable websites for searching the web

The challenge in diagnosing plant problems is getting enough of the critical information to understand what is going on. Problem identification over the phone is generally unreliable. Getting an adequate sample in to the Plant Clinic is important.

Here are some guidelines that will help with proper identification. If you can’t follow all of them, bring in what you can and we will try our best to help you!


General Recommendations for plant or plant damage identification

  • Collect fresh samples, it is hard to impossible to diagnose a dead or dried up plant.
  • Bring in as much of the plant as possible with material showing all stages of disease (sick to healthy)
  • Provide plant history information, i.e., soil type, irrigation, sunlight, fertilization, recent environmental changes.
  • Photos can help, of the overall plant as well as close up of healthy/problem areas.

Turf problem diagnosis: Bring in a 1 foot by 1 foot sample of diseased or damaged turf with roots that includes a transition area into healthy turf. The transition area may show active pest infestation and comparison of unhealthy turf with healthy turf can help diagnosis.

Turf and Weedy Grass Identification: Bring in the entire plant including seed heads if possible.

Insect Identification: Bring in live insects (not squished or dried, it may be beneficial and you will want to return it to your garden). If possible, bring in part of the plant with the insects on it.

Soil Samples: Collect about 1 ¼ cups dry soil for testing. Drop by the clinic for soil sample boxes and instructions, or call for details.  Peak season soil test fee $4 (Mid Nov-March) Soil testing is FREE April 1-Mid Nov. Soil Sample for Nematodes is $3, call clinic for details.

Weed identification: (Herbaceous plants): Bring in fresh weeds (not dried up), include as much as possible, roots, stems, leaves, flowers if blooming. Keep plants hydrated, wet paper towels in a bag works well. If you think it may be poisonous, put it in a clear plastic bag.

Woody Plant identification: Bring in a branch with leaves, flowers if blooming. Photos can help-entire plant, close ups, flowers/fruit.

Plant disease identification: Collect plants in in various stages of disease, including healthy samples. Pictures of overall plants and close up of areas can be useful if it is hard to bring in a sample. For smaller herbaceous plants, bringing in the entire plant including roots (dug out, not pulled out) can help identify all potential problems.

When diagnosing plant problems, the culprit often is very elusive and it requires a good detective who can understand what all the factors are that might be affecting the plant negatively. Things such as watering practices, pesticides and herbicides used in the area, construction activity or other changes in the area (like the removal of a nearby tree) can affect the health of a plant. When the Master Gardeners ask a seemingly endless series of questions, they are doing their best to ensure that the problem is diagnosed properly. The last thing you want is to apply a treatment for the wrong problem. Once the Master Gardeners have a handle on what the problem is, they can compile a variety of alternative treatments from the Plant Clinic reference library and pass this information back to you.

picnic area

We offer a wonderful picnic area located by the Herb Garden and the Camellia Walk.  A large shaded area with picnic tables and also a covered shelter, it is the perfect setting for children’s birthday parties or a small group.  To request the picnic area please fill out the reservation form .  Completion of this form is only a request and your reservation will not be complete until you receive confirmation from our office.  The fees are as follows:

NHC Residents     $45/Four Hours

Non-Residents     $70/Four Hours

Please make out the check to;  New Hanover County and full payment must be received before your reservation is final.

For more information, please call Marge Porrazzo at (910) 798-7660 between the hours of 8:00am – 1:00pm, Monday through Friday or email at

A Special Shop for Garden-Inspired Products and Gifts

 Gift Shop Hours:  M-F, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Among many  items to be discovered in the shop

    • Gardening tools
    • Gardening gloves in an array of styles and sizes
    • Home Décor
    • Soaps and lotions made in North Carolina
    • Kitchen linens and aprons
    • Locally harvested honey
    • Wind chimes
    • Whimsical plant and garden stakes
    • Books and guides for gardening in North Carolina and the Coastal South
    • Children’s picture and activity books featuring subjects from nature

plus many, many more garden-inspired products and gifts!  Frequent visitors will find ever-changing merchandise and new selections for each season.  Gift bags are always complimentary.

As always, Friends of the Arboretum members receive a 10% discount on regularly priced merchandise – excluding consignment items and Attraction Books.


Is there a fee to visit the Arboretum?

No, the grounds are free and open to the public every day unless they are closed for a ticketed event. Please see calendar for closings.

Can I fly my drone at the Arboretum?

Requests to fly drones must be approved by the Parks Assistant Director. Requestor must provide proof of General Liability insurance with at least $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate.

Am I allowed to walk my dog off leash?

No, you must abide by the county leash law.





NC Cooperative Extension and Arboretum: 6206 Oleander Drive • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7660 • Fax 910-798-7678
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