The Gardens at its present site was founded in 1859 by an Agri-Horticultural Society. Planned as a leisure garden, the scientific mission of the Gardens evolved when the colonial government assumed management and deployed Kew-trained botanists and horticulturists to administer the Gardens.
The Gardens' first Director, Henry Nicholas Ridley, came to the Gardens in 1888, Ridley's zealous persistence in persuading Malaya's planters to grow rubber trees earned him less than flattering nicknames such as "Mad Ridley" and "Rubber Ridley". During the 1890s and early 1900s, Ridley devised successful propagation methods and also discovered a way to harvest commercial quantities of latex without harming or killing the trees. He advocated the large-scale cultivation of rubber in Malaya.
The Gardens had a ready source of seed supply when the rubber rush came. The Gardens' revenue multiplied greatly as the region became a major market for the rubber trade. The plants at the Botanic Gardens became the basis for Southeast Asia's rubber industry, an industry that generated fortunes.
Beginning in 1928, Professor Eric Holttum, Director of the Gardens from 1925 - 1949, set up laboratories and conducted the first experiments in orchid breeding and hybridization
Today the Gardens is geared towards entrenching itself as a tropical botanical institution of international renown.
US$4 per pax for Orchid Garden.