Horticultural Worker

Job Description:

Horticultural workers grow and sell plants in garden centres and look after plants in parks and gardens.

Job Category:
Environmental Industry

What you will do:

On a typical day working in a park or garden, you could:

  • plant seeds and bulbs to grow plants
  • water, weed, prune, feed and spray plants
  • mow grass, cut and tidy up dead plants or branches
  • lay paths and look after decorations
  • monitor quality and health of plants

In a garden centre you could also:

  • pick, sort and pack items to be delivered
  • organise displays
  • serve customers


You’ll need:

  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • the ability to work on your own (drive)
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work well with your hands
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Horticultural Worker, you typically don’t need specific tailored to this profession, but a solid general education is beneficial. Horticultural workers are involved in various tasks related to gardening, landscaping, and plant care. Here are some relevant subjects and considerations:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for tasks such as measuring, calculating quantities, and budgeting for materials.
  2. English: Good communication skills are important for interacting with colleagues and following instructions. Additionally, the ability to read and understand written materials is essential.
  3. Science: Subjects like biology or environmental science can provide a foundation for understanding plant biology, soil composition, and other aspects of horticulture.
  4. Design and Technology: This subject can help you understand the principles of landscaping, garden design, and the use of tools and machinery.
  5. Art and Design: Courses in art and design can be helpful for understanding aesthetics and design principles, which are relevant to landscape design and maintenance.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly
  • training with a professional body


A college course may help you apply for a job as a horticultural worker.

You could take a course in practical horticulture or horticulture.


You could do a:

  • horticulture and landscape operative intermediate apprenticeship
  • packhouse line leader advanced apprenticeship to work on a horticulture production line, for example picking and packing plants
  • horticulture supervisor advanced apprenticeship to get more experience


You might find it easier to get a job as a horticultural worker if you first get some experience by volunteering.

Direct Application

You can apply directly if you have experience in things such as gardening, horticulture or retail. Employers might ask for you to have studied subjects including maths, English and science.

You could then take a part-time course or get training on the job to develop your skills.

Other Routes

You can also take a course with the to learn more about horticulture or get a qualification that will help you get a job.

You could learn at a training centre or online depending on the course you choose.

Career tips

You might be able to get part time work while you study during busy holidays when employers recruit more staff.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 43-45 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays on a rota.

You could work in a garden, in a park, on a country estate or at a garden centre. Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could:

  • progress into a supervisor role such as horticultural manager
  • set up your own nursery or garden maintenance business