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Horticulturist - Gardener Supervisor
Category: Horticulture

United States Botanic Garden (USBG)
Washington, DC

Salary: $62,467.00 - $81,204.00
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013

Horticulturist - Gardener Supervisor , GS-0437-11


WP BG-2013-113

Application Deadline 7/12/2013


DUTIES: This position is located in the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG), Horticulture Division, Collections Section. The Collections Section is responsible for developing, maintaining and selecting the USBG's accessioned collections which include orchids, cacti and succulent specimen plants, tropical and subtropical specimens, temperate plants and plants native to the mid-Atlantic area, carnivorous plants, rare/endangered species, Conservation International Trades and Endangered Species (CITES), plants of economic and therapeutic importance, and other plant collections as befit the mission of the Garden including medicinal plants and primitive plants.

The incumbent serves as supervisor of the Collections Section, providing leadership and coordination for the garden.


Performs the administrative and human resource management functions relative to the staff supervised. Establishes guidelines and performance expectations for staff members. Observes workers' performance; demonstrates and conducts work performance critiques. Provides informal feedback and periodically evaluates employee performance. Develops work improvement plans. Resolves informal complaints and grievances. Effects disciplinary measures as appropriate. Reviews and approves or disapproves leave requests. Ensures that staff members are trained and fully comply with the provisions of occupational safety and health standards. Ensures a continuing affirmative application of the equal opportunity and diversity guidelines, policies, and procedures.

Plans and develops plant collection displays with a diverse assortment of temperate plants, tropical/subtropical plants, and display crops. Performs research and make recommendations about which cultivars and specimens to use in the displays.


Develops permanent and seasonal horticultural exhibits with a range of standard and non-standard plants. Formulates short- and long-term plans to maintain and improve exhibits of a conservatory, public garden, and museum. Contributes to special events such as the annual holiday decorating program. Oversees the timeliness, consistency, and accuracy of production schedules, especially as it affects the coordination of design, content, and public programming of the project in relation to collection specimens.


Ensures that excellent collection plants are put into production for display to the public. Develops and maintains growing schedules for Botanic Garden plants. Selects, measures, mixes, and adjusts soil conditions (pH) to provide required growth conditions. Propagates and cultivates a wide variety of unusual plants, seeds, and plant materials considering individual needs and characteristics of plants. Cultivates specialized plants; provides proper irrigation techniques to ensure success of the garden.


Determines the need for and schedules maintenance and care assignments of watering, trimming, pruning, feeding, and insect/plant disease control.


Selects, measures, mixes, and applies fertilizers and chemical control agents using various foliage feeding, root feeding, and soil additive techniques.

Plans and carries out studies involving a full range of activities pertinent to the science of horticulture and plant sciences such as developing a spectrum of conventional and unconventional tests for measuring herbicide resistance in seedlings.

Provides technical assistance and advice regarding specific horticultural projects or areas of specialty to individuals in public, private, or nonprofit agencies and organizations.


Serves as internal and external liaison for educational programs and training coordination/delivery related to areas such as conservation of rare or endangered plant species. Works closely in collaboration with USBG Plant Curator in support of plant collection activities at USBG including CITES program, plant acquisition, plant distribution. Coordinates and assists in USBG staff training in plant and plant community identification and care.

Independently coordinates the production of a range of standard and non-standard plant specimens, such as a diverse assortment of temperate plants, tropical/subtropical plants, and display crops. Assists in developing and maintaining a plant propagation program that includes seeds, pollen, and cuttings of rare or endangered plant species.


Allocates greenhouse space for plant production. Ensures proper growing conditions for the plants, taking into consideration factors such as temperature, humidity, ventilation, and light levels. Determines the need for and schedules maintenance and care assignments of watering, trimming, pruning, feeding, and insect/plant disease control. Applies established integrated pest management principles in order to develop and maintain a comprehensive pest management program.

Using independent judgment and decisions, prunes and trims unusual plant conditions, difficult repairs, or extensively-damaged plants.


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HR Contact Armetia Mobley 202.226.8136

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