Address: 6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403

Office Hours: Monday through – Friday 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Phone: 910 798 7662

Plant Clinic: Monday through – Friday 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Phone: 910 798 7680

The gardens are open each day dawn to dusk. gates are locked outside these hours.
         Admission: Free

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.

PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS:  Due to activities and planned events in the gardens, please contact Danyce Dicks @ 910 798-7662 to ensure availability of the gardens for photo shoots.





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.


Fun Activities at the Arboretum  images-1

Stop by the children’s area and check out some of the fun activities.


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Butterfly Beat

Strike the metal to compose your own beat!




Play the Pipe Organ

Feeling musical? Head over to our colorful pipe organ directly behind the herb garden in the picnic area.

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Before I Die, community initiative Project at the New Hanover County Arboretum.

Multi-colored chalk on a blackboard now adorns a wall of the New Hanover County Arboretum, and visitors to the gardens can enjoy an interactive chalk wall where they may stop to write what they want to do before they die.12671788_766848306782306_8707164480886226885_o
Before I Die is an interactive art project which encourages community members to share their personal ambitions in a public space. The first Before I Die chalk wall was created by a New Orleans artist, Candy Chang, in 2011. Chang did not know what would come from her idea, but she experienced many positive responses immediately. Today, over 1,000 Before I Die walls spread across the world.”

This project turns a blank wall into something interesting and powerful and provides a gathering place and an outlet for people to share their own ambitions while also reading the messages of others.  In the future, the 7 x 12 chalk wall will also serve as a creative backdrop or display for weddings and other events throughout the year.  Wilmington’s new wall has a bucket of chalk attached for writing and it is a place where people can display their hopes and dreams as a community.  The New Hanover County Arboretum is free and open to the public seven days a week from dawn to dusk.

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