ST. LOUIS – Tower Grove Park is facing an unexpected threat: plant theft.

The park has reported several plants missing. Each year, dedicated staff and volunteers plant around 17,000 tulips, 3,600 annuals, and 350 tropical plants. Nearly 200 of these plants, mainly tropicals and annuals, are stolen annually, leading to thousands of dollars in losses.

“It’s a real shame. Tower Grove Park is one of the jewels of St. Louis City and for someone to come in and take advantage of the park in that way, it’s pretty terrible. There’s so many beautiful plants here and that’s what kind of makes Tower Grove Park really special,” Dawn Indelicato-Faw, resident, said. 

According to the park foundation, the cost for these plants alone is about $11,000 per year, and the figure does not account for the labor, soil, pots, fertilizer, and time invested over the plant lifecycle.

Riley’s Florist in Soulard has also experienced plant theft and understands how the gardeners of the park feel.

“There’s a lot of money involved. People’s time and trust…I noticed in Tower Grove Park somebody had taken a lot of La Coleus. That is such a beautiful plant; it’s like one of my favorites,” Riley Goodwin, owner of Riley’s Florist, said. 

The Tower Grove Park gardening team and volunteers spend months preparing the plants in the on-site greenhouse, nurturing them from seedlings to the lush displays for citizens and visitors to enjoy. Riley’s Florist is helping the park restore their flowers.

“We have Coleus that we would be willing to donate a percentage of them or we can even swing by and plant them ourselves,” Goodwin said.

Any suspicious activity should be reported to park rangers at 314-771-4042 or by email at To learn more about becoming a volunteer, click here.