Horticulture and Desert Gardening Classes in Phoenix, AZ


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Desert Landscape School (DLS) is a signature program at Desert Botanical Garden, offering professionals, homeowners and gardeners an opportunity to learn from experts about all aspects of desert landscaping. Sign up for one of the exciting horticulture and desert gardening classes today! Courses are available for online and onsite learning.

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.

New! The School has developed two different learning tracks designed to meet your learning goals for desert landscaping.

Introductory Track

The Introductory Series is a set of online courses developed to give the learner an overview of key landscaping concepts that will expand understanding and knowledge of desert horticulture. Earn a digital badge upon completion for each introductory course completed.


These in-depth courses are designed for professionals, homeowners and gardeners to gain knowledge, build skills and acquire tools for success in desert landscaping. Earn a certificate upon completion of each course. Courses are offered onsite and online. Upon completion of all six certificates, the learner will earn a Desert Landscape School Credential.

Desert Ecology and Plant Biology Icon

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

Desert Plant Palette Icon

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

Planting and Maintenance Icon

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

Sustainable Desert Landscapes Icon

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

Desert Design Icon

Creation and rendering of a residential design concept from a functional diagram to preliminary designs and a finalized master plan. Sustainable Desert Landscapes and Desert Plant Palette are required prerequisites. Available onsite only.

Desert Landscape Installation Icon

Discover the appropriate methods and progression of building a landscape by working on an installation project. Sustainable Desert Landscapes and Planting and Maintenance are required prerequisites. Available onsite only.

DLS Catalog

Visit the DLS catalog for onsite and online course descriptions and schedules.

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.

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.

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 certificate programs consist of 20 hours of instruction and participants can complete it in 11-12 weeks after enrollment. Online sessions begin every six weeks and need to be completed within that timeframe.

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 begin every six weeks 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.

Will there be more online courses to take?

Yes. We will rollout additional certificate and introductory courses approximately every six months.

The Garden will be closed to the public July 4-11. We look forward to seeing you again on July 12.