Horticulturists have a variety of duties which revolve around the growing, breeding, and landscaping of plants. They are employed in a range of industries, including landscaping, nursery production, and plant science. Horticulturists generally spend most of their day outside, working to maintain the vitality of their plants.
Training requirements vary greatly for horticulturists, depending on the field in which they're employed. Those who work in landscaping or nurseries should be physically-fit in order to keep up with the job's demanding duties. They must also be skilled in working with tools and chemicals like sprinkler systems, garden shears, and fertilizers. Nursery and landscape horticulturists typically learn on the job and require little formal training, while those who work in the science field often need formal education in the form of a Bachelor's and/or Master's degree in Biology or Plant Science.
Horticulturists must possess identification skills in order to correctly grow or design with the proper plant species. They must also be able to communicate with other staff and take directions well from supervisors. The ability to work in all weather conditions and locales is a must, and willingness to work non-traditional hours, such as early in the morning or on weekends, is often necessary. In science-related fields, employees must have experience in research and documentation of plant growth findings.
Before being employed, many horticulturalists must go through background checks and drug screenings. They may also be required to have a valid driver’s license in order to operate company vehicles and equipment.
- Operate machinery and use tools to care for soil and plants.
- Train, prune, fertilize, and care for perennials and annuals.
- Water, mulch, trim, and care for lawns and plants.
- Create living plant arrangements and displays in designated outdoor areas.