Botanic Gardens Kiel

Our mission and activities

More than 75% of the planet’s land surface is influenced by human acitivities such as agriculture and the development of cities and industrial areas. This results in an enormous pressure on biodiversity. Notably, 20% of the known plant species are threatened and even more are classified as endangered. The Botanic Gardens Kiel are part of a network of Botanic Gardens around the world that cultivate about one third of the world's plant species. Several of these cultivated species are already extinct in their natural habitat. Therefore, the Botanic Gardens support the efforts to preserve an environment that is the prerequisite for human survival on this planet.

Functions of the Botanic Gardens

  • to develop and improve techniques for the cultivation and propagation of plant species that are endangered not only in Central Europe, but also in other parts of the world.
  • to enable research to be carried out on native and exotic plants with respect to their physiology and natural compounds. More than 50% of our pharmaceuticals are of plant origin or have their blueprint in the plant kingdom.
  • to conserve not only the cultivated and collected plants (e.g. in herbaria), but also their genetic material, which can be used in the future to improve the properties of economically important plants with respect to the various stresses that might result from climate change.
  • to sensitize the public with regard to the importance of an intact environment for the survival of mankind. A special focus of ours is the education of children, pupils, and students. They will be the future policy makers with responsibility for our planet.
  • to provide demonstration material for academic teaching at universities. The Botanic Gardens Kiel support modules in various curricula for the studies of biology and agricultural sciences by providing plant material.
  • to allow research and teaching not only in the fields of plant sciences, but also in other aspects of the natural sciences, geography or material sciences. Our staff supports these cooperative ventures by the provision of areas for controlled cultivation or measurements under the guidance of our gardeners.

Further responsibilities include:

Biological pest control

Biological pest control is a method for controlling plant pests by means of other animals that are natural enemies of the pest organisms. These include predators, parasites, or pathogens of the pests.

In collaboration with the agricultural faculty, the Botanic Gardens Kiel have established biological pest control in the public greenhouses superseding the use of chemical toxins. You might spot small paper bags or tins amongst the plants in the greenhouses. The bags and tins enable the dispersion of beneficial organisms within the greenhouses. Biological pest control works most efficiently, if the pest organisms and the beneficial organisms form a stable equilibrium within the greenhouses.