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Marie Selby Botanical Gardens-Gardens Horticultaralist-Wed, 09/12/2018 - 4:15pm

Gardens Horticultaralist


Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Sarasota, FL

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Job Details

Job Description 

The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens seeks a skilled Horticulturist to manage all aspects of horticultural care for a portion of our 14.5 acre bayside gardens. The applicant must be familiar with a wide variety of tropical plants, landscape design, IPM, proper chemical and fertilizer application, irrigation systems, and landscape equipment. Must be able to effectively supervise volunteers, and may occasionally be required to present lectures or write articles for publication. Minimum requirements: Associate’s degree and/or certificate and/or significant experience in the management of tropical landscape plants, and a Florida Pesticide Applicator License. EOA and Drug-Free.

Duties & Responsibilities 

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

1. Maintain Assigned Garden Space- by weeding, watering, grooming, dead-heading, fertilizing, planting, removing debris, pruning, and mulching, along with attention for detail and finish. Follow horticultural best-practices:
a. Plants are observed on a frequent basis and corrective measures taken when needed (not just when scheduled)
b. Water is applied appropriately (for species, time of year, weather) and when needed (not just when scheduled)
c. Plant nutrition is applied appropriately (for species, right strength and formulation)
d. Pests and diseases are detected and dealt with promptly and appropriately (using IPM strategies)
e. Plant hygiene is managed: weeds are eliminated on sight or herbicided, dead plants are removed promptly, plants are groomed, tools are sanitized to limit pathogen transfer
f. Records management – records and labels are updated quickly and accurately and accession labels are kept with plants

2. Plant Knowledge- Be familiar with plant species under your care. Continually strive to improve horticultural plant knowledge and job skills.

3. Scouting- Notify Gardens Manager of any observed plant disease, insect, animal, or weed problems. Deal with plants showing stress immediately (a sense of urgency).

4. Irrigation System Management- Adjust automated irrigation system in response to the weather, seasons, and needs of the plants. When zones encompass plants with different watering needs, set timing to be appropriate for plants needing the least amount of water, and supplement with hand watering those plants with higher water needs. Be familiar with the functions of the time clocks in your area. Possess skills to make basic irrigation system repairs.

5. Priority Management- Prioritize work tasks with Gardens Manager and be accountable for assigned work. Add new tasks to work lists as you identify them. If you will not be able to complete a task on schedule, communicate that to your supervisor as early as possible.

6. Plant Records- Provide current information to the Gardens Manager and Plant Records department regarding permanent plant accessions, removals, transfers and label requirements. Label permanent plants in a timely manner and assist with the installation of accession tags. Proficient with use of database to research collection information. Accuracy and thoroughness in recordkeeping is essential.

7. Equipment Use- Demonstrate proficiency in the proper use of our landscape equipment, including chainsaws, backpack blowers, string trimmers, gas powered hedge shears, and tractor.
a. Perform basic maintenance of landscape equipment (prep for use, clean up after use, be able to make minor repairs)
b. Maintain hand tools properly, clean and sharpen properly
c. Use or operate all equipment in a safe manner (right tool for the job).
d. Always use proper safety equipment.

8. Integrated Pest Management- Follow IPM protocols when managing pest and diseases on the plants under your care.
a. Apply herbicides, pesticides or fungicides to lawn, shrubs, and trees under direction of the Gardens Manager.
b. Maintain a current Florida private applicator pesticide license.
c. Follow proper procedures for safe pesticide handling and follow all applicable instructions listed on the pesticide label.

9. Landscape Project Management- Develop landscape designs acceptable to the standards of the Gardens Manager. Be able to select and calculate numbers of plants for annual and permanent displays with the approval of the Gardens Manager. Be able to source materials, develop budgets, and develop project timelines.

10. Supervision- Supervise and work with volunteers and interns assigned to gardens or nursery.

11. Outreach- Occasionally lead tours, answer visitor and staff questions, write articles, and perform horticulture demonstrations.

12. Other Duties-
a. Assist when called upon for freeze or hurricane protection and recovery.
b. Occasionally provide labor for set-up and take-down of special events.
c. Work in the plant sales area and occasionally in parking lots at the Plant and Garden Festival and at Member’s Day.
d. Occasionally serve on planning teams.
e. Participate in other Gardens activities as requested.
f. Perform other duties as required from time to time.

Education and Experience 

EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE: Associate Degree and/or certificate in Horticulture and two years significant experience in the management of tropical landscape plants is required. An equivalent combination of education and experience in landscaping or horticultural related work with willingness to learn and a strong interest in gardening would be considered. Employee must have high degree of awareness of plant needs. Must hold a valid Florida Pesticide Applicators License, or be able to obtain one within 6 months of employment.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel plants, soil, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance. Employee needs to be able to use backpack leaf blower for up to an hour at a time (weight 30 lbs). Employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: While performing the duties of this job, the employee regularly works in outside weather conditions including extremes of heat and cold. The employee is occasionally exposed to toxic or caustic chemicals.

Application Instructions 

Please send resumes to

Full Name 
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens