Horticulture and Desert Gardening Classes in Phoenix, AZ


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Desert Landscape School (DLS) is a signature credentialing program at Desert Botanical Garden, offering professionals, homeowners and gardeners an opportunity to learn from experts about all aspects of desert landscaping and earn a credential upon completion of all six courses. Sign up for one of our exciting horticulture and desert gardening classes today! Limited courses are also offered online.


New! DLS is excited to offer limited online courses. The School has two online learning opportunities to gain knowledge, build skills and acquire tools for success in desert landscaping. Desert Plant Palette is a three-hour certificate based program and Introduction to Sustainable Desert Landscapes is a 90-minute course with the learner earning a digital badge upon completion.

In Desert Plant Palette, you’ll experience various interactive learning techniques featuring foundational knowledge for identifying and caring for twelve different plant forms, best practices for using these plants in the landscape, real-world scenarios and downloadable tools. Cost of the online course is $320 for Garden members or $400 for the general public.

Sustainable Desert Landscapes is an introductory course for learners to discover strategies on the key concepts in sustainable practices, irrigation and soils. Cost of the online course is $160 for Garden member or $200 for the general public.

Already a member and want to receive the pricing discount?  The Garden’s member helpline is here to assist. Call 480.941.3517 to receive the membership promo coupon before you checkout with your shopping cart items.

Not an Arizona resident and still want to receive the member discount? Become a member of the Garden and use your membership to visit over 300 Gardens and Arboreta across the country through the AHS reciprocal program. View or find a reciprocal botanical garden near you.

For international students, please contact us at dls@dbg.org for pricing.

Learn Garden horticulturists and landscape architects


Experienced Garden horticulturists and landscape architects take you through a comprehensive learning journey, showing you the ropes of landscape design, installation and maintenance.

practice your newly acquired knowledge through practical


Fortify your newly acquired knowledge through practical, hands-on exercises at the Garden. Receive guidance from our experts as your cohort provides feedback that helps build skill and confidence.

Earn credibility


Gain credibility when you complete all six Desert Landscape School certificates, and earn the credential. Distinguish yourself and promote your accomplishment with Desert Botanical Garden.

Become part of a community of practitioners


Become part of a community of practitioners who care about making sustainable choices in desert landscape design and maintenance. Receive and offer practical advice in our discussion groups and events.


Desert Ecology and Plant Biology Icon

Critical concepts of plant structures and functions with an emphasis on how they relate to desert landscapes.

Desert Plant Palette Icon

A selection of trees, shrubs,vines, cactus and succulents and other plants used in desert landscapes.

Planting and Maintenance Icon

Learn  the appropriate techniques in planting, pruning and diagnosing plant problems.

Sustainable Desert Landscapes Icon

Learn about sustainable practices in desert landscape design, soil sciences, horticulture and water harvesting.

Desert Design Icon

Creation and rendering of a residential design concept from a functional diagram to preliminary designs and a finalized master plan.

Desert Landscape Installation Icon

Discover the appropriate methods and progression of building a landscape by working on an installation project.

Desert Landscape School Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Desert Landscape School?

The Desert Landscape School is a signature credentialing program at Desert Botanical Garden. It offers professionals, homeowners and gardeners an opportunity to learn from experts about all aspects of desert landscaping and earn a credential upon completion.

Where are classes held?

With only a few exceptions, onsite classes are held at Desert Botanical Garden with limited courses available online.

How do I earn the Desert Landscape School credential?

The School offers six different certificate programs, upon successfully completing all six Desert Landscape School certificates.

How long does it take to complete a certificate?

Most of our onsite programs consist of 20 hours of instruction and participants can complete it in 11-12 weeks after enrollment. Online courses are designed as self-paced and allow the learner to complete the course within a timeframe that fits their needs. Online sessions for each course are offered monthly with 4 weeks given to complete a course.

What is the difference between introductory courses and certificate courses?

Introductory courses are designed as overviews of key desert landscape topics without having to commit to the full certificate course and assessment. Learners will receive a digital badge upon completion of each introductory course.

When are classes held?

Most onsite classes are scheduled on weekends or weekday evenings to accommodate working professionals. Online course sessions are available every month with open seating.

What are the requirements to achieve a certificate?

Students who wish to receive a certificate upon completion of each program must meet the attendance requirement and reach or surpass the minimum score set for the program’s assessment exam.

Do the online certificate courses still count towards a DLS credential?

Yes, you can take a hybrid of onsite and online DLS certificate courses that will all count towards completing your credential.

How many times a year is each certificate program offered?

Each onsite certificate program is usually offered twice a year.

How much does the program cost?

The average cost for each certificate program for onsite or online is $320 for members and $400 for the general public. Online introductory courses are priced at $160 for Garden members and $200 for the general public.


How do I register for each certificate program?

Students may purchase onsite or online classes using this link.

Which certificate is right for me?

The description for each certificate is a good resource for deciding if the program will meet your needs. If you have further questions about the curriculum, please contact dls@dbg.org.

Desert Landscape School Book

Desert Landscape Guide

Learn how to select, install and maintain plants in a desert landscape. Filled with best practices, illustrations and instructions, this guide translates plant science into practical advice, making it perfect for landscape professionals, homeowners and gardeners.

On-site programming is currently on hiatus.

You will now enter our LEARN portal, if you are a member, please login using the button on the top right corner of the page.
Early Closure: the Garden will close at noon April 24.

Ticket reservations are required for visitors and members. Face masks are required for guests 2 and older day and night, in indoor and outdoor spaces. Anyone not wearing a face mask will be asked to leave. 

For details, click here.  |  Para más detalles, presiona aquí.