5 Steps to Success in Horticulture

As in all industries horticulture is changing: new technologies, new ways of doing things and greater emphasis on sustainability. More than ever the industry needs people who can step up and meet these changes - those that are knowledgeable, skilful, keep abreast of what is happening in their industry, are willing to meet and embrace change and also to work hard, will do well in this industry.

  1. Know your industry: horticulturists are not all gardeners. The horticulture industry is made up of many sectors: floriculture; landscaping; crop growing, nursery, turf, arboriculture, garden design etc. If you want to broaden your options you need the ability to move across sectors therefore firstly your education should equip you with broad basic knowledge of the principles and practice of horticulture.


  2. Acquire the right skills and knowledge: make sure that your learning meets the demands of the horticulture industry; know what employers need. Employers complain that many graduates do not have the knowledge and skills expected of the industry: inability to identify plant species or pests and diseases; bad horticultural techniques e.g. pruning, propagation, planting; no industry knowledge etc. If you know what you are doing, how to do it and what is current, you will be ahead of your competition.


  3. Be prepared to work hard: horticulture is a tough industry, passion, enthusiasm, hard work and the ability to keep up with change is the recipe for success.


  4. The industry is changing: keep abreast of these changes: greater use of technology in crop growing; more demand for sustainable practices in all industries including horticulture where in crop growing, nursery trade, turf care etc. sustainability will become an everyday work practice. In gardening knowledge of sustainability is also advantageous - as garden owners demand more sustainable garden design and maintenance approaches.


  5. Demand is changing: people are outsourcing their gardening needs - creating demand for more gardeners, BUT we need more than just people who turn to gardening because there is nothing else for them to do. Gardening is a serious profession, but to be viewed as that we need well-educated knowledgeable gardeners, those who know the fundamentals and can work on a garden intelligently and with confidence.