The Haupt Conservatory will close at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30.

Horticultural Therapy students navigating wheelchair through gardens.

Therapeutic Horticulture Classes

Our Therapeutic Horticulture Certificate Program emerges from a health and wellness model of human development, combined with research supporting nature as an effective therapeutic medium. Learn to create experiences that utilize plants, gardening, and nature to empower individuals and groups whose lives have been affected by illnesses, injuries, disabilities, and life circumstances in order to achieve improvements in their cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.


Respected nationwide, NYBG’s program trains students to design, implement, and operate innovative therapeutic horticulture programs in settings such as urban farms, healthcare facilities, schools, supportive housing, correctional facilities, and more. Whether you are embarking on a new career or are looking to integrate plants into your current work in human services, education, mental health, or another allied health field, our expert faculty—all highly experienced practitioners—are the ideal guides.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand the characteristics and needs of service communities served through therapeutic horticulture programs
  • Develop goals, activities, adaptations, and evaluation methods that fit the specific needs of an individual or group
  • Select and care for a diverse group of plants suitable for use in indoor and outdoor settings
  • Set up, operate, and effectively market a business that offers therapeutic horticulture services


Certificate Program Update for 2022

We are thrilled to launch the newly re-conceptualized Therapeutic Horticulture Certificate Program! Emerging from a health and wellness model of human services, students can prepare for many career pathways by using plants and gardening as a therapeutic modality. The program includes new requirements, offers electives, and an independent study option for field experience. Browse our FAQs to learn more.

Orange witch hazel

Student Testimonial

Ansel Oommen's headshot

As a clinical laboratory scientist and a NYBG-trained urban naturalist, I’m in my element exploring the crossroads of nature and medicine, so when I discovered NYBG’s Horticultural Therapy Program, it was the next step in the right direction. The instructors and the internship have been inspiring. In my current role, I know my patients through their samples but as an HT student, I also know them for who they are. And that’s beyond priceless.

Ansel Oommen, MLS (ASCP)

Current Student

June Hessler's headshot

Thinking of a possible second career, I enrolled in NYBG’s Horticultural Therapy Program. I loved that my instructors were practitioners in their fields. The assignments were stimulating, challenging and pulled everything together. I now provide my hort therapy services at a nursing home in New Rochelle and I’m excited about the many opportunities to apply what I’ve learned.

June Hessler

2018 Graduate

Photo of Shannon Sodano Heffernan

I started studying horticultural therapy to expand on my work as a health educator, and to learn more about working with plants and special populations. I’ve met great teachers and excellent mentors at NYBG. Now I’m applying my new knowledge and experience at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, working with children of all ages, including those with special needs.

Shannon Sodano Heffernan

2017 Graduate, Instructor at Brooklyn Botanic Garden