Apply Now

Horticulturist I - Outdoor SG

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America Req #172
Monday, August 19, 2019

Summary:   Performs all duties associated with design, maintenance, care and development of the outdoor displays and collections.  Duties are directly related to the design, installation and care of the collections, woody and herbaceous plant material and annual display crops.  Seasonal designs, plant selection and ordering (as needed) and careful attention to accession record keeping and plant labeling are critical components of this position.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Performs a wide range of landscape/maintenance tasks important to the cultivation, preservation, protection and transplanting of existing plants; including but not limited to soil preparation, planting, mulching, weeding, watering, fertilization, irrigation, IPM and pesticide application as needed.

  • Ensure the highest level of excellence in landscape maintenance and plant care

  • Checks plant records data regularly and request plants to be re-propagated as necessary to ensure the survival of important plant accessions

  • Plants and maintains displays in a manner that enables plant accessions data to be maintained and allows the public to easily distinguish plants when reading plant labels

  • Completes display designs, annual, perennial, as needed, selects and orders plants as needed for designs and oversees/performs the layout and installation of the designs.

  • Ensure the highest level of plant records and labeling; utilizes the living collections management system and conduct plant inventories as needed

  • Research, implement and record cultivation techniques associated to new plants to the living collections 

  • As requested participate in national and international travel and expeditions for plant collecting and horticulture capacity building

  • Operate technical equipment and maintain general care of tools necessary for nursery operations to include but not limited to; vehicles, forklifts, pallet trucks, carts, lifts, Cushmans, tractors, cultivators, mechanical sprayers, and a variety of hand tools.

  • Source plants to be added to the living collections according MBGs collections development goals in supporting plant conservation, research and display of plant diversity.

  • Works with the Ex-Situ Collections Manager to target and develop plant collections

  • Utilizes index Seminum and connects with other botanic gardens and institutions to build plant collections

  • Ensure all Garden policies and procedures are followed when procuring and sharing plant material

  • Exhibit the highest level of ethical conduct in obtaining and sharing plant material and ensure compliance with MBG policies.

  • Completes purchase orders and assigns time/material charges to appropriate account codes.

  • Ensures that assigned areas are maintained in accordance with on-file garden descriptions.

  • Ensures that all applicable safety standards are followed.  Adapts or modifies work methods to reduce hazards.  Reports all accidents, injuries and near-miss accidents immediately.

  • Performs tours and give presentations as required; may be responsible for interacting with the media (TV, radio, newspaper etc), working with Public Relations to provide information about the horticultural content of their respective areas.  

  • Generally, but not always, works in a specifically designated area to oversee the day-to-day responsibilities of managing the landscape, maintenance issues and volunteer assignments.

  • Performs or assists with “off-season” tasks (i.e., tree pruning, annual flower show set-up).

  • Maintains general care of horticultural tools, and technical equipment (i.e., apply lubrication and general cleaning).  Refers more serious problems to management personnel.

  • Ensure that all tool storage areas and work areas are kept clean and tidy.

  • May be responsible for assigned weekend watering rotation duties. 

  • Behaves and communicates in a manner that promotes and fosters a culture of teamwork and cooperation, within our division and throughout the Garden, with co-workers, supervisors/managers, volunteers, visitors and employees.

  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Attendance/Punctuality - Is consistently at work and on time; Ensures work responsibilities are covered when absent; Arrives at meetings and appointments prepared and on time.

  • Dependability - Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.

  • Quality - Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality.

  • Oral Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates strong presentation and public speaking skills; Participates in meetings, as required.

  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively, using correct spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.

  • Interpersonal - Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.

  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.

  • Professionalism - Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.

  • Safety and Security - Observes safety and security procedures; Determines appropriate action beyond guidelines; Reports potentially unsafe conditions; Uses equipment and materials properly.

  • Initiative - Volunteers readily; Undertakes self-development activities; Seeks increased responsibilities; Takes independent actions and calculated risks; Looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; Asks for and offers help when needed.

  • Judgment - Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.

  • Team Work - Balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; Supports everyone's efforts to succeed; Recognizes accomplishments of other team members.

  • Customer Service - Manages difficult or emotional situations; Responds promptly to internal or visitor needs; Solicits customer feedback to improve service; Responds to requests for service and assistance; Meets commitments.



  • Minimum of (3-4) years of hands-on, relevant horticulture work experience required.

  • Strong knowledge of plant materials and landscape maintenance techniques; proficient in operating various landscaping tools and equipment.

  • Strong knowledge of integrated pest management (IPM), disease and insect control.

  • Must enjoy and feel comfortable interacting and working in close proximity to general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering questions regarding horticulture collection.

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively at all levels.

  • Proven ability to perform simple tasks independently after being given assignments.

  • Ability to work outside, often in variable environments and weather conditions.

  • Ability to perform some climbing and heavy lifting up to 80 lbs.

  • Adherence to all health and safety guidelines.

  • Ability to obtain and maintain valid driver’s and chauffeur’s licenses.

  • Ability to obtain and maintain pesticide applicator’s license.

  • Demonstrates highest level of professional and ethical conduct.

  • Scheduling flexibility that allows working weekends and holidays for annual watering schedule and occasional snow/ice removal.

  • Knowledge of living collections and curation

  • The requirements and duties listed are representative and not exhaustive of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required.


  • Associate or B.S. degree in Horticulture, Biology, Botany and/or related field required.

  • An equivalent combination of skills, education and experience may be considered.

Computer Skills:

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite (i.e., Word, Excel and Outlook Email).

  • Solid Internet research skills.

Other Skills and Abilities: None.


Language Skills: 

  • Ability to communicate effectively in English (oral and written).

  • Ability to read and understand pesticide labels.        

  • Mathematical Skills:

    • Requires ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; calculate percentages and decimals
  • Reasoning Ability:

    • Requires ability to exercise independent judgment to apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to problem resolution.

    Certificates, Licenses, Registrations: 

    • Ability to posses and maintain valid driver’s, chauffeur’s, and pesticide applicator’s licenses.

    Physical Demands: 

    • Ability to lift and carry up to 80 lbs. (i.e., load, unload and move gardening supplies, medium to heavy weight tools and equipment).

    • Must be able to work in bright sunshine with probable high UV levels. Must be able to work outdoors year-round.

    • May be required to perform tasks at varying heights (i.e., climb ladders, etc.).

    • Requires standing, walking, bending, stooping and reaching for extended periods of time-- 80% or more of the workday is standing on feet.

    • Ability to wear Garden issued Personal Protective Equipment.

    • Ability to utilize computer keyboard (typing).

    Work Environment: 

    • Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions (i.e., in temperatures over 100°F as well as temperatures below 0°F, in rain, snow and other inclement weather conditions as needed).

    • Actively works hands-on with horticulture crew to complete landscape maintenance tasks.

    • Comfortable working in immediate proximity to general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering questions.

    Other details

    • Pay Type Hourly
    • Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America