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Senior Horticulturist - Outdoor South Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America Req #262
Sunday, March 12, 2023

Summary:  This position is responsible for the selection and addition of plant species into the Garden’s Living Collections for assigned areas to support plant conservation and build research capacity. The living collection includes herbaceous perennials, bulbs, shrubs, trees, and vines, and a critical component of this position is the expansion of assigned collections according to MBG policies and guidelines. Design, installation and maintenance of landscapes and individual plants must be conducted to the highest standards. Researching and recording cultivation information is essential, as is using this information to modify the growing environment as necessary to ensure plant health. Accurate and detailed record keeping and plant labeling is critical. Coordinating teams of horticulturists in group projects and mentoring other horticulture staff are essential responsibilities.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Works with Supervisor to target and develop plant collections and landscapes according to Garden policy and area descriptions
  • Utilizes Index Seminum, as well as, the Garden’s Targeting Database to build collections
  • During species selection, conducts research entering information on plant habit and cultivation into the Targeting Database
  • Observes plants when growing in the Garden, collects and enters cultivation information into the Living Collections Management System and modifies growing environments based on observations to support optimum plant health
  • Utilizes internal data sources such as the Living Collections Management System, Targeting database and external data sources to aid in individual plant cultivation and landscape maintenance decisions
  • Performs plant record keeping at the highest level ensuring that all plants in the collection have accession labels at all times and all maintenance information regarding the collection (i.e. new plantings, divisions, moves, deaths, etc.) is up to date at all times
  • Exhibits the highest level of ethical conduct in obtaining and sharing plant material and ensures compliance with MBG policies 
  • Stand in for and act as point of contact for staff when landscape supervisor is away from the Garden 
  • Provides training and mentorship to other horticulture staff and students 
  • As requested by supervisor participates in member and donor tours 
  • Works with supervisor in planning field collections of plant material and staff exchanges 
  • 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, staking, mulching, weeding, watering, fertilization, irrigation, pruning, training, IPM and pesticide application as needed 
  • Understands, consistently monitors, and implements appropriate irrigation requirements for a variety of plant material and utilizes technology to tailor irrigation schedules to assigned collections 
  • Plants and maintains displays in a manner that enables plant genetics and accessions data to be preserved and allows the public to easily distinguish plants when reading plant labels 
  • Requests propagation of plants in the collections to ensure survival, paying particular attention to rare and threatened species and those of wild origin 
  • Completes landscape designs and oversees the layout and installation of plant material 
  • Plans, in advance, for minor and major landscape changes and requests plant material in time for it to be propagated and grown to size by nursery staff 
  • Operates technical equipment, submits maintenance requests in a timely manner, and maintains general care of tools and equipment necessary for operations to include but not limited to: vehicles, forklifts, pallet trucks, carts, lifts, Cushmans, tractors, cultivators, mechanical sprayers, and a variety of hand tools 
  • Participates in field work locally, nationally and internationally for plant collecting expeditions, as well as, horticulture capacity building 
  • Assigns, leads and directs the work of volunteers to deliver and complete projects 
  • Completes assigned tasks as needed in support of seasonal displays and annual flower shows 
  • As assigned provides information/text for collections interpretation 
  • Ensures that all tool storage areas and work areas are kept clean and tidy 
  • Performs assigned weekend watering rotation duties  
  • Performs snow removal on Garden grounds, when called upon, to maintain a safe environment for staff and visitors 
  • Reports all accidents, injuries and near-miss accidents immediately to supervisor 
  • As assigned performs tours, gives presentations, and participate in media outreach (TV, radio, newspaper, etc.) when required 
  • Ensures that all applicable safety standards are followed and adapts or modifies work methods to reduce hazards  
  • 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, judgment, and decision-making skills along with creativity and resourcefulness.
  • Stewardship:  Merges the practical application of the Garden values and supports for a positive organizational climate.      


  • Minimum of (5-7) years hands-on, relevant horticulture work experience required
  • Exceptional knowledge of plant material and landscape maintenance techniques with an emphasis in herbaceous perennials, bulbs, shrubs, trees and vines
  • Ability to organize and lead teams, problem solve and resolve team conflicts
  • Proven ability to convey technical concepts to other horticulturists, volunteers, and students
  • Proven ability to maintain plants and landscapes at an exceptional level
  • Proven ability to design landscapes with mission focused plant material and modify the growing environment to support plant diversity
  • Proven ability to add and maintain plant material to living collections to support conservation, research and education
  • Proven knowledge of and significant experience with living collections, curation and demonstrated excellence in plant recording
  • Knowledgeable in safe operating procedures  of various landscaping tools and equipment and proficient in their maintenance
  • Strong knowledge of appropriate and effective watering practices for a wide range of plant material
  • Proficient ability to identify various plant fungus, pests and pathogens and apply sound, appropriate controls
  • Demonstrates 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 about the living collections
  • Scheduling flexibility that allows working weekends and holidays for annual watering schedule and occasional snow and ice removal
  • Knowledge of and adherence to all health and safety guidelines
  • 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 and Outlook Email)
  • Ability to enter data into spreadsheets and databases
  • Solid internet research skills required

  Mathematical Skills:

  • Requires ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and to 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 driver’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 and must be able to work outdoors year-round
  • May be required to perform tasks at varying heights (i.e., climb ladders, lift operation, 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 to complete landscape maintenance tasks.
  • Comfortable working in immediate proximity to general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering questions

Contacts with Individuals/Organizations inside/outside the Garden:  

  • Garden employees, volunteers, guests, Green Industry vendors and contractors
  • National and international botanical institutions, government agencies, and conservation divisions
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