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The University Garden was founded over two centuries ago in 1775 in Smíchov. In about 1840, it grew nearly 13 thousand species and varieties of indigenous and exotic plants.

Due to frequent flooding the Garden was moved to land bought from the Society for the cultivation of gardens, supported among others by the Duke of Rohan. It was opened on the present site in 1898, along with the new Institute of Botany of the Czech and German universities (in buildings at Benatska 2 and Viničná 5).

The plant collections from Smíchov were divided equally between the two universities. Collections were also taken over from the Society’s greenhouses, some of which have been preserved, and some palms, cycads and other plants are estimated to be more than 130 years old.

During an air raid on February 14 1945, the greenhouses of the German university were heavily damaged and later demolished. After the liberation, Charles University took over both parts of the Garden in their entirety. Until the 1980s, the Garden was formally connected with the Department of Botany, but since then it has been a separate administrative unit.

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