Becoming a Horticulturist

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A horticulturist is an individual who works and carries out research in the field of the art and science of growing plants, flowers, vegetables, fruits, or ornamental plants. It is his job to deal with plants. Horticulturists are skilled specialists who deal with the large scale corpus of gardening involving the growing of fruits, flowers, vegetables and ornamental plants, which in particular comprise a very interesting aspect of his or her job.

Often horticulturists also explore into the field of successful landscape designing as well.

The job profile and the responsibilities of a horticulturist involve the following:

•    The first and foremost task of a horticulturist is to determine the most superior quality methods that could be implemented in planting, cultivating, and finally harvesting plants.

•    He or she will need to prepare the soil for planting

•    The next step of the job would be to plant seeds, cuttings and bulbs

•    The horticulturist may also need to cultivate plants by the process of watering, transplanting, spraying, weeding and fertilizing the plants in the end

•    He or she will also need to harvest the cut flowers and also get them ready for shipping, which is one of the very important aspects of the various jobs that he or she is supposed to take care of

•    Another work that the horticulturist needs to do is to propagate the plants, flowers, shrubs and trees.

•    Finally an ornamental Horticulturist in employment with a landscaping firm may also have to help in planning and thereon preparing bids and price estimates for the various landscape projects that the company may be dealing with. 

•    Finally the horticulturist would also be required to install plants and take care of the plants after fixing. This would include everything from pruning, fertilizing, record keeping, controlling of pests, and plant diseases as well.



In accordance to the responsibilities that a horticulturist is supposed to take care of the minimum education criteria vary from a PhD to a two-year college degree. Some of the other academic requirements would involve:

•    A Certificate of up to 1 year study after High School
•    An Associate Degree
•    A Bachelor's Degree
•    School Subjects would involve Agriscience, Communications, Computers, Economics, Math, and Science.
•    Floriculture 
•    Landscape Horticulture 
•    Soil Science
•    Principles in Plant Breeding 
•    Indoor Plants 
•    Pest Control in Horticulture
•    Turf Management 
•    Plant Physiology & Pathology 
•    Organic Gardening 
•    Orchard, Greenhouse & Nursery Operations 
•    Plant Propagation 
•    Commercial Fruit & Vegetable Production
•    Horticulture Therapy

Skill sets

Some of the required skills for an employment scope in horticulture would include the following,

He or she should be able to grow and promote flowers and related crops for commercial purposes.

They should have the idea of how to work in the manufacturing, collection, and deal with cut flowers and flowering plants.

They should be able to deal with the culture and maintenance of trees.

And finally they should specialize in detailed study in accordance to ornamental plants.


Training in landscaping, maintaining garden centers, managing nurseries and greenhouses, general gardening and interactions with government agencies in the specific field of horticulture would be significant.

Prior Experience
Prior experience in informal apprenticeships along with job shadowing experiences and mentorship along with internships, volunteer work and community service with an agency would prove to be helpful when searching for jobs in the field.   

Employment Outlook

Career prospects (globally)

The services of a professional horticulturist are needed in more or less all segments of the society in the contemporary times. The common people need to know all about when, where, and what needs to be planted along with the process of preservation and improvement of the natural environment. And it is evident that there will be a lot of opportunities for Horticulturists within the chemical companies as well and the scientific laboratories along with the supportive extension service offices.


The earnings of a professional horticulturist vary depending on elements like geographic location, responsibility level, specialization area, ability and experience. Market study is evident of the fact that an Ornamental Horticulturist who is employed by the Federal Government in 2000 had a beginning annual salary of: 

•    Bachelor's degree: $21,370 or $26,470 

•    Master's degree: $26,470 or $32,380 

•    Doctorate: $39,178 

For instance, a floriculturist working with the City of Detroit drew $26,520 and $30,014 per year (1999).

The Supervisors earned from $38,200 to $41,000. 

The global population seems to be at an all time high for growth and with it has heightened the shift to the suburbs. As a result home gardening has increased to an unprecedented level for well grown ornamental plants.

Along with that the profitable establishments makes available landscaped areas in the region of the buildings; the highway systems and the use of more and more shrubs and trees. In addition, with the community eagerness for playgrounds and parks, it adds to the call for people skilled and qualified in this field.
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 nursery  cuttings  bachelor's degree  harvests  high schools  planting  associate degrees  vegetables  plants  offices

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