Leu Gardens, Orlando, Florida

Leu Gardens. 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, Florida
Leu Gardens
Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Christmas)

This post was originally shared on July 5, 2018. I have updated it with current information. Photos were taken over several seasons.

The next time you visit Central Florida and the Orlando area, take a day to visit beautiful Leu Gardens.  The gardens are an amazing 50-acre botanical oasis minutes from Downtown Orlando. Each garden is designed specifically to further the mission: inspire visitors to appreciate and understand plants. The garden and historical home were donated to the City of Orlando in 1961 by Mr. Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane.  Admission is a reasonable $15 for adults, $10 for children 4 – 17, and free for children 3 and under. You can purchase admission tickets online. The following first Mondays will be Free Admission days at Leu Gardens:  July 4, 2022 – August 1, 2022 – September 5, 2022 – October 3, 2022.

Leu Garden entrance

Membership in the garden comes with wonderful privileges like free admission to the garden, discount admission to all ticketed special events, free admission to movie nights, complimentary guest passes, discounts on all purchases in the gift shop, classes, and garden shop, and  reciprocal privileges or discounts to American Horticultural Society partners which includes over 300 gardens.  A senior membership is $45 while an individual membership is $50.  $75 family membership includes 2 adults and all minor children. There are special events throughout the year, periodic plant sales, and lots of plant classes.

View near entrance

The Garden is divided into different types of collections of plants. For example, the Arid Collection includes a wide variety of plants that are drought tolerant. Many come from areas that are seasonally dry or from desert regions. The Azalea Collection contains approximately 50 different varieties and species of azaleas. Azaleas begin flowering in late winter (Jan/Feb) and are at their peak usually towards the end of February into early March.

Bougainvillea at Leu Garden

There is a tour of the historic Leu home included in admission. The Leu House Museum is a restored 19th century home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Four families owned the property before it opened to the public. Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane, purchased the property in 1936. Mr. Leu owned a very successful industrial supply company. The Leus traveled extensively and brought back plants and seeds for their garden. The beautiful gardens bear witness to the legacy Mr. Leu left to the City of Orlando. Tour the first floor of the Leu House Museum which is open Tuesdays-Sundays from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., closed Mondays, the entire month of July and December 25.

The Leu House Museum
Garden Plant Sale

The Camelia Collection began with the varieties of Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua originally planted by Mr. Leu. Today, more than 2000 plants and 230+ cultivars are displayed throughout the gardens. This collection ranks among the largest in the United States and is one of the largest documented collections in the Southeast. Camelias bloom during the winter: November, December, January, and February.

Camellia at Leu Garden

There are walkways, benches, and swings throughout the garden.

swings thru out Leu Garden
Flowers in butterfly garden
Flowers at Leu Botanical Garden, flowering bromeliad
cardinal at the bird feeder

The butterfly garden is a fan favorite and contains a wide variety of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees that are attractive to butterflies and moths. Some of the plants are nectar plants; others are larval plants that caterpillars eat. Many of these plants also attract hummingbirds and night-flying moths..

Leu Gardens Orlando butterfly
Urban courtyard garden exhibit
Part of Butterfly Garden, Leu Garden

The garden is around Lake Rowan and there are so many beautiful views.

Leu Garden lake view
Lake Rowena
View from shady seating around garden

Let’s visit the rose garden which blooms in May, June, July, and August. Mary Jane’s Rose Garden is named after Mrs. Leu. She planted her first roses by the lake, and in 1944, a small rose garden was developed on the site where the current garden is located. Over 215 varieties and 650 roses are displayed in this garden. All are suited for Central Florida growing conditions.

Roses in Rose Garden

I like the fountain in the rose garden. Water features are such a wonderful addition to a garden.

Rose Garden Fountain
Rose Garden at Leu Garden
Rose Garden Fountain
Rose collage from rose garden at Leu Garden
Pink Rose in the Rose Garden at Leu Garden

During the summer, there are crepe myrtle trees, hibiscus, all kinds of tropical & temperate flowers, and frangipani (plumeria).

Frangipani (plumeria)
Trumpet flowers

Be sure to visit Leu Garden on your next visit to Orlando.

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

61 thoughts to “Leu Gardens, Orlando, Florida”

  1. Oh, I wish I had known about this on our last visit to Orlando. Our in-laws were with us to see our son perform at WDW with the high school marching band, and since they are avid gardeners as well, they would have really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing all of these spectacular photos!

    1. Thanks for the sweet comment. Just keep Leu Garden in mind if you’re ever back in Orlando area.

  2. Hi Carol, Whenever I travel the first place I go to is that town or city’s botanical garden. Would love to see this one. Your photos are tops and I’ll pin. Visiting you at TFT, where I shared Summer Means Time for Reading.

    1. Thanks for visiting Nancy. I agree that a garden is one of my first stops. It feeds the soul.

  3. Just simply WOW! You always share the most beautiful fotos from areas in your state and make me want to hop on a plane and come visit. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up with FFF Happy Saturday to you! ?

  4. Oh my, what an enchanting place to visit Carol. Aside from the stunning flowers and landscape, I really like the little nooks and crannies with the swings and benches. It is truly a paradise.

  5. I love the smell of plumeria. Mmmmm. Thanks for a tour through the gardens. I realize I have been neglectful of the Mama’s azaleas. On the inspiration end, I think I want to plant a pole into the ground and thread pots of flowers in them. Hmmm. I’m going to go dream about that. Cheers, Carol.

  6. Beautiful garden, and what better place they could have chose, around a lake! I think I would spend most time in the butterflies garden! Many thanks for sharing this incredible place with All Seasons, Carol!
    Have a delightful week! Jesh

  7. I certainly enjoyed visiting with you at these beautiful gardens. All of the flowers were amazing. I would love to see the inside of the home. Thanks for sharing at Gardens Galore

  8. What beautiful gardens. I would be in my glory walking around all of those plants. Lovely pics Carol. x

  9. I also enjoyed the fountain in the rose garden. I enjoyed the entire blog. I’m back Carol. I’ve been gone for a vacation at a cottage. Resting my batteries was just what I needed. See you.

    Cruisin Paul

  10. Carol,
    Just simply stunning photos of so many beautiful things!! Thanks for sharing and thanks so much for dropping by!!
    Happy July 4th!!

    1. you are such a sweet person Miss Debbie – thanks for coming by on our nation’s birthday!

  11. What a fantastic place to visit. It sounds like a bargain price and looks like there’s plenty to see. I love the sound of the butterfly garden especially.

  12. Beautiful garden. Wow.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. ♥

  13. My husband and I visited Leu Gardens in January of 2020 with one of my cousins (who has lived in Orlando for years) on the day we were leaving Orlando – we ran out of time. It’s magnificent. I’d love to go back one day. Orlando has so much to offer apart from the theme parks. Alana ramblinwitham

I love to make new friends and get to know you.

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