Orchid Festival and Ganache in the Gardens

Valentine’s is a special time at the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens!  Our popular Orchid Sale event is returning to an IN PERSON format!  This year’s event is even bigger and better, with an entire Orchid Festival and our ever-popular Ganache in the Gardens planned February 11 & 12, including presentations, plant and unique book sales, arts and crafts vendors, a movie with popcorn, staff-guided tours of our orchid collection, and crafting opportunities!

This Year’s Orchid Festival and Ganache in the Gardens will be held at the Cone Center at UNC Charlotte and parking will be available right next to it at the Cone Deck.


This year’s event will be at Cone University Center with selected events at the McMillan Greenhouse on UNC Charlotte’s campus.

Event tickets include free event parking, and access to many presentations, vendors, and sales areas!*

Advanced Event Tickets:  $5 (Free for Gardens’ Members) – Advance Registration includes free single entry into raffle for members and those who pay entry fee.

Tickets at the door:  $5 (Free for Gardens’ Members and UNC Charlotte faculty, staff and students with valid University ID)

just a few of the items available at our silent auction!

At the event you can preview items available for bidding at our on-line silent auction as well as bid on items only available on-site! 

* Classes (such as Orchid Care 101) and Orchid Collection Tours are not included

FREE Presentations (With Registration to Valentine’s Event)

Native Orchids of the Carolinas

Bob Sprague of the Native Orchid Conference 

2-3 pm, Sunday, February 12th, Cone University Center

In partnership with NC Native Plant Society Southern Piedmont Chapter

Zoom webinar


The Cacao Tree

Dr. Jeff Gillman, Gardens’ Director

3 pm, Saturday and Sunday, Cone University Center 


Chocolate Making

Esa Weinreb, owner and chocolate maker, The Underground Truffle

3:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday, Cone University Center 


Movie & popcorn:  Plants Behaving Badly:  Sex and Lies 

12:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday, Cone University Center 


Classes and Tours

Orchid Care 101

Mary Duke, Orchid Curator

10 am – noon, Sunday, McMillan Greenhouse Classroom

$30 / $25 for Members

Pre-registration required

Orchid Collection Tour

12:30 pm and 1 pm Sunday, McMillan Greenhouse

Additional $5 / free for Members

Pre-registration is required, space is limited

Self-guided Tour

2-5 pm Saturday and Sunday, McMillan Greenhouse

FREE, no registration required


Open Noon – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday, Cone University Center

The Underground Truffle

Hand crafted chocolates (vegan and gluten free)

Seeds of Eden

Curated collection of plant and garden resale items and books

Tsuchibuta Pottery

Japanese inspired ceramic orchid and flower pots

Kitsune Creations

Handcrafted variety candles with unusual and interesting scents

Plants and flower arrangements available for purchase:

Open Noon – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday, Cone University Center

Orchids–many sizes and types for the beginning and intermediate home grower

Tropical Plants and ferns


African Violets

Air Plants

Affordable flower arrangements of Gardens’-sourced plant materials