Apply Now

North Gardens Supervisor, Horticulture

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America Req #200
Saturday, June 27, 2020

Summary:  Performs supervisory and technical work related to designing and maintaining landscapes and building plant collections to support conservation, research, education, and display. Ensures landscapes and plant collections are designed, maintained, and developed to the highest levels; requests and approves plants for addition to the Gardens living collections and seasonal displays and mentors staff to do the same. Ensures excellent plant records are maintained for the living collections. Develops work schedules and quality standards; participates in developing budgets and managing expenses, and guides horticulturists on selecting species for addition to the living collections. Collaborates with management and other employees on garden development, seasonal displays, plant selection, acquisition, production, and planting; manages a team of 7-12 employees and 20+ volunteers. 


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Manages a team of horticulturists (i.e., supervise daily work assignments, coach/develop performance for success, create/maintain work schedule, review/approve timesheets, maintain accurate attendance records, complete annual performance evaluations and goal setting sessions with assigned staff, handle all disciplinary actions, etc.)
  • Trains and mentors horticulturists, interns and students  
  • Ensures the highest level of excellence in landscape design, maintenance, and plant care 
  • Plans and schedules seasonal landscape and plant maintenance tasks and ensures necessary supplies and plant material are on hand to complete a task prior to starting
  • Evaluates landscapes on a three month basis, provides feedback to horticulturists, and ensure any necessary improvements are made
  • Reviews all display designs prior to requesting final approval from Senior Manager and SVP Horticulture and Living Collections
  • Researches and develops cultivation techniques, modifies growing environment to support optimal plant health, and maintains excellent cultivation records
  • Requests, reviews, and approves propagation, exchange, and purchase requests for plant material; ensures re-propagation of plant material is requested in a timely manner to preserve valuable collections and replacement plants as needed
  • Takes an active leadership role in targeting plants for the living collections, curating plant collections, and supporting horticulture staff with collections focus and development in line with landscape descriptions and collections policy
  • Understands and utilizes the features of Living Collections Management System to manage and develop the living collections, including conducting inventories and maintaining excellent plant records
  • Ensures minor and regular maintenance tasks are conducted on tools and equipment and submits maintenance request to General Services for large takes
  • Supervises staff in the use of tools and equipment storage areas, keeping them clean and tidy, and performs regular inventories of tools and equipment
  • Acquires and shares plant material in accordance with the Gardens policies and guidelines
  • Completes purchase orders, submits for approval, and orders materials, supplies and tools
  • Assists in preparation of division budget and continually reviews work to look for areas of efficiency and cost savings.
  • Ensures that all applicable safety standards are followed (i.e., inform employees of safety rules and safe working practices and routinely monitor to enforce them). Adapts or modifies work methods to reduce hazards. 
  • Participates in identifying funding opportunities and writes assigned grants
  • Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of organizational policies, procedures, and systems, and implements them in daily work
  • Participates in national and international travel / expeditions for plant collecting and horticulture capacity building as assigned
  • Maintains the highest level of expertise relating to the application of horticulture in botanical gardens
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Supervisory Responsibilities: Varies, but generally between (7-12) employees (Horticulturists) and over twenty (20) volunteers.



  • Leadership - Exhibits confidence in self and others; Inspires and motivates others to perform well; Effectively influences actions and opinions of others; Inspires respect and trust; Accepts feedback from others; Provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates; Gives appropriate recognition to others; Displays passion and optimism; Mobilizes others to fulfill the vision.
  • Managing People - Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement, as appropriate; Takes responsibility for subordinates' activities; Makes self available to staff; Provides regular performance feedback; Develops subordinates' skills and encourages growth; Solicits and applies customer feedback (internal and external); Fosters quality focus in others; Improves processes, products and services; Continually works to improve supervisory skills.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Delegation - Delegates work assignments; Matches the responsibility to the person; Gives authority to work independently; Sets expectations and monitors delegated activities; Provides recognition for results.
  • Diversity - Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; Educates others on the value of diversity; Promotes a harassment-free environment; Builds a diverse workforce.
  • Organizational Support - Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Supports organization's goals and values; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.
  • Professionalism - Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Oral Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings, as required.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively, using correct spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Interpersonal - Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
  • Dependability - Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to additional work hours when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.
  • Safety and Security - Observes safety and security procedures; Determines appropriate action beyond guidelines; Reports potentially unsafe conditions; Uses equipment and materials properly.



  • Minimum of (5) five years of practical, relevant work experience.
  • Minimum (3) years’ experience in personnel management including demonstrated abilities in staff support, coaching and development and conflict resolution.
  • Strong knowledge of plants, plant materials (i.e., fertilizers, herbicides, etc.) and general landscape maintenance techniques and equipment.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing multiple landscaping operations.
  • Working knowledge of safe operation procedures for various types of landscape maintenance equipment.
  • Thorough understanding of different components and basic design requirements of automatic irrigation systems.
  • Working knowledge of budget development/management and forecasting.
  • Ability to read and understand construction blueprints.
  • Must possess and maintain valid driver’s license and chauffeur’s license.
  • Must be able to secure pesticide applicator’s license.
  • Proven ability to lead and direct the work of others to complete general projects, including but not limited to staff and volunteers is required.
  • Demonstrated 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 regarding horticulture collection.
  • Scheduling flexibility that allows working weekends and holidays as needed.
  • 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.
  • Possess a good understanding of living collections and curatorial practices



  • 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, Outlook).
    • Solid Internet research skills.
    • Ability to use e-mail to communicate with Garden staff in order to answer questions and service their needs. 
Language Skills: 
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English (verbal and written).
  • Ability to read and understand pesticide labels.        


Mathematical Skills:

  • Requires ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; 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 chauffeur’s licenses and a pesticide applicator’s license.
  • Other related certifications are a plus.


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 high heat and humidity.
  • Requires standing, walking, bending, stooping and reaching for extended periods of time-- 80% or more of the workday is standing on feet.
  • Ability to transport cumbersome potted plants and trays of varying weights.
  • Ability to safely navigate narrow greenhouse aisles.
  • Ability to wear Garden-issued Personal Protective Equipment.
  • May be required to perform tasks at varying heights (i.e., climb ladders, etc.).
  • Ability to utilize computer keyboard (typing).


Work Environment: 

  • Ability to work indoors in all weather conditions (i.e., humid conditions, temperatures over 100°F as well as temperatures below 0°F, in rain, snow and other inclement weather conditions as needed).
  • 80% or more of the workday is standing on feet while watering or maintaining plants.
  • Wet conditions much of the time as watering is frequent.
  • Comfortable working in immediate proximity to general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering general questions regarding the Garden’s operations, events, facilities, etc.

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America