A Career in Horticulture: Make a Living Growing Plants

Ever wondered what kind career you can pursue growing plants? Horticulture includes a wide range of career choices, and not all of them are terrible! I know the nursery business (in particular) has a reputation for long hours, low pay and hard seasonal work. That isn’t the whole story though… I’ve made the transition into growing plants for a living myself, and I can tell you there’s plenty of opportunities. In this video, I’ll give you an idea of how to get there:
1:52 What is horticulture?
4:02 What kinds of jobs in horticulture?
10:00 How to get a there, and what is the pay like?
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Cynthia Haynes, PhD shows participants flower parts, describes leaf shapes, and how to identify trees. This is part of the virtual Iowa Master Gardener volunteer training.

A Career in Horticulture: Make a Living Growing Plants

About The Author


  • Karrah Crain

    Thank you for this informative video!! I have been into gardening and plants for as long as I can remember. My mother is an avid hobbyist gardener, and I grew up watching her and helping her out in the yard. Im 23 and I’m applying to Texas Tech’s Plant and Soil Science Bachelor’s program, and this really helped make up my mind that it’s the right thing for me. I feared that it would be a bust, I would be super poverty ridden and nothing may come out of it. Thank you!!

  • Jennifer Rose

    My family has run a ranch that alternated between cattle, corn and cotton since 1899 but it hasn't been cared for in years due to family members dying off, busy lives etc. 3 years ago we got cows, and I've discovered a passion in horticulture. I may not have been raised in a garden but hopefully I can bring the place back to its golden days ♡

  • Jaeeun Bae

    thank you for good video for me. Your English is very clear. I am going to be an international student and will study horticulture in canada. I really love your video and I will watch again and again.

  • Bruce Davidson

    Its more of a side business for me, I grow trees for fun (mostly pine maple and oak They are idiot prof) Sell a few of them and plant the rest in the park to help fight climate change.

  • Thalys

    Do you see an opportunity or a possibility for making a transition from the corporate world to the horticulture industry making around 50k a year? I hate to sacrifice my current salary to start at an hourly pay or salary making 30k a year. Especially when I have a bachelor's degree in economics. I always loved plants but I was also discouraged early on from pursuing horticulture (or any similar careers). I have experience in growing plants, but I just don't have the industry experience. I am not sure if that really matters or not. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you for this video!

    Also, any thoughts on going back to school?

  • oliver

    Hello from Scotland! Excellent video. Two of my friends said I seem like a nature inspired person, they could see me working with plants in some way since I have a small collection of indoor plants (which I started 4 years ago). Went to a garden centre on my birthday haha! I think working in a nursery or greenhouse in particular could be fun, I hope it's like you say and they're willing to take in a beginner 🙂

  • Elijah Dixon

    Thank you for that information. I'm from the US and I'm serving at a restaurant right now and I genuinely hate my job. I want a job doing what I love, which is working with plants (unfortunately lol) but I just didn't know how to make a good living doing it or where to start. After this video i definitely feel i have a good bearing on what i need to do and what direction i need to head in. Thanks man, I appreciate it!

  • Jade Case-Barnes

    Hey Jason, I am such a fan of your videos. I've started propagating, growing, and selling plants out of a small backyard nursery that I've been building up for the past year or so. Although I've had some formal education in horticulture (landscape architecture), there is so much more to learn about the technical aspects and the business side of the industry. Your content is always so interesting and relevant, you yourself are really sharp, articulate, and trustworthy, and I always learn something new each time I watch one of your videos. I believe your channel is one of only… maybe half a dozen(?) or so channels to which I am subscribed, yet I consider your latest uploads to be some of the highest priority videos I want to watch. This is because I know each time I'll get to walk away with at least one more gem of invaluable information, which feels like getting a concentrated dose of knowledge and experience that otherwise would've taken me a long time or cost me a lot to learn on my own. I just got my first greenhouse structure set up in my yard – it's about 10'x20' – and I'm somewhat stuck on what my next course of action should be in getting it from a shell-on-dirt to a fully operational greenhouse – or at least something that I wouldn't be afraid of boiling my plants in! I've done some research, but find that most of the information I come across is at the wrong scale – intended either for a much larger commercial operation or for a much smaller home hobby project. If you have videos that discuss any of the following subjects: greenhouse designs/structures/types/functions, nursery tables/benches, hooking up to water/electricity, misting/irrigation, shade cloth/lighting, heating/cooling, fans/ventilation, clocks/timers/digital automation, parameters for temperature/humidity, day-to-day operations, seasonal management, maintenance, etc. – or even just an in-depth tour of your greenhouses – please direct me to those videos; I will watch them all. If you ever need suggestions for the content of future videos, please consider any of the subjects I just listed. I would be very grateful. Thank you so much for what you're doing, and please keep it up!

  • AndreaAubertin

    I'm really glad you talk about subjects like this! You are the only chanel that educates on this and I really appreciate it!!!

  • Banana Man

    At 35 years old I've just done my final exams for horticulture level 2 and about to start level 3 at college in the evenings.

    I've just got a job on an organic farm because I think I'd like to start a box veg scheme.

    After doing the course I thought I also might like to work in a plant nursery then start my own.

    Or even garden design / landscaping, hard and soft.

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