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Horticulturist - Indoor Conservatories

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America Req #543
Thursday, March 9, 2023

At the Missouri Botanical Garden, we're committed to creating meaningful experiences for people that inspire a love of plants and passion to protect them and their vital role on Earth --and in this role, you'll contribute to the commitment.


Summary: Performs all job duties associated with horticulture design, maintenance and care of the conservatory displays and collections. Conduct research to target plants for inclusion into the Garden’s conservatory living collections. Ensure the living collections contain the highest levels of plant diversity to support conservation, research, and education. Job duties are directly related to the design, installation and care of the tropical and arid plant collections, including IPM; Plant selection, ordering, obtaining plants from Index Seminum and exchange with other botanic gardens; careful attention to accession record keeping and plant labeling are also critical components of this position. 


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:   

  • Takes an active role in developing the living collections to support conservation, education and research.
  • Researches, documents and applies cultivation techniques to support optimum plant health, including modifying soils and other growing environment factors.
  • Identify and correct nutrient deficiencies.
  • Ensure optimum temperature, light and humidity levels.
  • Identify and treat pests and diseases.
  • Adjust irrigation systems, shade and ventilation in conservatories.
  • Maintain proper soil fertility.
  • Performs a wide range of landscape/maintenance tasks important to the preservation, protection and transplanting of existing plants; including but not limited to soil preparation, pruning, planting, mulching, weeding, watering.
  • Adherers to MBG’s living collections policy, collections acquisitions processes and collections focus.
  • Maintains the highest standards of plant record keeping, updates the Living Collections Management System when plants are added, moved or die and ensure plants are labeled with accession numbers at all times.
  • Follow and be mindful of all appropriate legal and ethical concerns when acquiring and sharing plants for the Garden; oblige with national and international permits and regulations including, The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
  • If needed request propagation of plants in the collections to ensure survival, paying particular attention to rare and threatened species.
  • As requested participates in fieldwork and plant collecting trips, locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Completes planting designs, as needed, requests plants as needed for designs, and oversees/performs the layout and installation.
  • Maintains general care of horticultural tools, and technical equipment (i.e., apply lubrication and general cleaning.) Refers more serious problems to management personnel.
  • Train and effectively utilize assigned volunteers, interns and students.
  • Ensure all applicable safety standards are followed adapts or modifies work methods to reduce hazards and reports all accidents, injuries and near-miss accidents immediately.
  • Conduct tours, lead presentations and answer visitor’s questions about the Garden’s plant collections and displays.
  • May be required to teach classes, participate in TV and radio interviews; occasionally may be asked to write for publication.
  •  Responsible for assigned weekend watering rotation duties.
  • Ensures that all applicable safety standards are followed; informs employees/students/volunteers of safety guidelines, methods to reduce hazards.  Reports all accidents, injuries and near-miss accidents immediately.
  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibilities:  None.



  • Communication: Combines listening skills, verbal and written communication skills and visitor relation skills.
  • Collaboration: Incorporates teamwork, mutual respect, active engagement, cooperation and visitor focus.
  • Accountability: Initiative to take ownership of responsibilities, the ability to prioritize and the working knowledge and skills to take action.
  • Problem Solving: Blends problem solving skills, judgement and decision making skills along with creativity and resourcefulness.
  • Stewardship:  Merges the practical application of the Garden values and support for a positive organizational climate.        


  • Minimum of (5-7) years of hands-on, relevant horticulture work experience required.
  • Working knowledge of tropical and temperate plants and general landscape maintenance techniques.
  • Experience maintaining and developing living collections.
  • Demonstrated experience maintaining accurate plant records.
  • Proficient ability to identify various plant pests and pathogens and apply sound, appropriate remedies.
  • Proficient in operating and knowledge of safe operation procedures for various types of landscape maintenance equipment.
  • Proven ability to lead and direct the work of others to complete general projects, including but not limited to volunteers is required.
  • Demonstrates highest level of professional and ethical conduct; knowledge and understanding of organizational policies, procedures, and systems.
  • Ability to present technical concepts to non-technical functional teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively at all levels; 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.
  • Knowledge of and adherence to all health and safety guidelines.
  • Scheduling flexibility that allows working weekends and holidays as needed.
  • The requirements and duties listed are representative and not exhaustive of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required .


  • Associate’s 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, Outlook).
  • Solid Internet research skills.
  • Ability to use e-mail to communicate with Garden staff in order to answer questions and service their needs.

Other Skills and Abilities: N/A


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 possess and maintain valid drivers, and pesticide applicator’s licenses.

Physical Demands: 

  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 lbs. (i.e., load, unload and move gardening supplies, medium to heavy weight tools and equipment).
  • Must be able to work in high heat and humidity.
  • Requires standing, walking, bending, stooping, and reaching for extended periods of time-- 90% or more of the workday is standing on feet.
  • Ability to wear Garden-issued Personal Protective Equipment.
  • May be required to perform tasks at varying heights (i.e., climb ladders, etc.).
  • Ability to utilize computer keyboard (typing).

Work Environment: 

  • Ability to work indoors in frequently high temperatures (i.e., in temperatures over 90°F).
  • Actively works hands-on with horticulture crew to complete landscape maintenance tasks.
  • Wet conditions much of the time, as watering is frequent.
  • Comfortable working in immediate proximity to public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering questions regarding horticulture collection .

Contacts with Individuals/Organizations inside/outside the Garden:   

  • Garden Employees, Volunteers, Guests, Green Industry vendors, and Contractors.
The Garden is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our employees, volunteers and guests.  All staff are strongly encouraged to receive COVID-19 vaccinations by hire date, and the Garden reserves the right to require future proof of current vaccination status, based on community health department guidelines.  When international travel is necessary for Garden business, staff must be able to obtain visas, vaccinations and immunizations for all countries where travel is required.  

Other details

  • Pay Type Hourly
Location on Google Maps
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America