Horticultural Manager

Job Description:

A horticultural manager grows plants for use in parks, gardens and public spaces.

Job Category:
Environmental Industry

What you will do:

On a typical day you might:

  • prepare and update business plans
  • manage staff and budgets, analyse costs and make sure health and safety procedures are followed
  • develop new products and negotiate with suppliers
  • design layouts and develop planting programmes
  • decide when to plant and harvest crops
  • manage pests, disease and weed control


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • business management skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • the ability to motivate and manage staff (teamwork skills)
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to sell products and services (creativity)
  • excellent verbal communication skills (leadership skills)
  • customer service skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Horticultural Manager, you will typically need a combination of education, training, and practical experience in horticulture and management. Specific subjects can provide a strong foundation for pursuing this career. Here’s a list of subjects and other considerations that can help you become a Horticultural Manager:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for tasks such as budgeting, calculating costs, and measuring land or garden dimensions.
  2. English: Strong communication skills are essential as you will need to write reports, communicate with staff and clients, and possibly create marketing materials.
  3. Biology: A foundational understanding of biology, particularly plant biology, can be highly beneficial for understanding plant growth, soil science, and pest management.
  4. Chemistry: Knowledge of chemistry can be useful for understanding soil composition, fertilizers, and pesticides.
  5. Environmental Science: This subject can provide insights into sustainability, conservation, and environmentally friendly horticultural practices.
  6. Business Studies or Economics: These subjects can help you understand business principles, financial management, and budgeting, which are important in a managerial role.
  7. Design and Technology: Courses in design and technology can be valuable for landscape design and garden planning aspects of horticulture.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme


You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:

  • horticulture and management
  • commercial horticulture
  • horticulture and plant science

Work experience during university

Employers value work experience so it’s important to get as much as you can during your studies.

You could choose a course that includes a placement or internship. Your university careers service can also help you find work experience.


You could work towards this role by doing a college course in a relevant subject. In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Diploma in Horticulture
  • Certificate in Practical Horticulture
  • Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production
  • Diploma in Horticultural Practice


You could do a horticulture supervisor advanced apprenticeship to work towards a management role.


You could start as a horticultural worker to get experience and work your way up to a management role.

Other Routes

Some larger companies have graduate schemes working with fresh food, produce and crops.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 44-46 hours of work. You could be required to work weekends on a rota.

You could work in an office or at a garden centre. Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could:

  • move into a senior management role
  • set up your own nursery or garden centre
  • complete a Master of Horticulture qualification