What is a Horticulturist?
A Horticulturist uses their scientific knowledge and experience to grow and propagate (breed) plants mainly for human and non-human uses. This can be done on a small scale as well as on a large scale like crop farming.
Horticulture is very diverse and covers a variety of different plants from mushrooms, to flowers, to fruits & vegetables etc.
Besides propagation, horticulture can also include landscaping, conservation, rehabilitation, design, soil science, entomology and many other sciences and disciplines.
Horticulturist may specialise in one area like landscaping, rehabilitation or research etc.
- CLICK HERE to meet Sisanda Velembo, a horticulturist
What does a Horticulturist do?
- researches various aspects of growth, yield and performance in plants
- develops new plant varieties
- researches and designs storage methods
- provides technical and other information to farmers
- conducts experiments and investigations into pest and disease control
- works in the field
- assists mining companies with the rehabilitation of mined land
- works with grass turfs for example – sports fields, cricket pitches, etc
- keeps up to date with technologies
- manages staff
Are you . . . ?
- happy working outdoors?
- very fit and physical active?
- interested in plants?
- interested in research?
- passionate about nature and conservation?
How do I become a Horticulturist?
If you are interested in working with plants – you could start your career as a nursery worker. In a nursery you can learn as you go and pick up a lot of experience. In some cases, the nursery may even send you on courses if you show enough enthusiasm and work hard.
Here are some institutions that offer training in Horticulture.
- CAPE PENINSULA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Offers a 3 year, full-time National Diploma in Horticulture and a Baccalaureus Technologiae in Horticulture
- TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Offers a National Diploma in Horticulture
- DURBAN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
National Diploma: Horticulture
N Dip: Ornamental Horticulture
N Dip: Horticulture (NDHRTC)
B Tech: Horticulture (BTHORT)
- INTEC: (Countrywide)
Offers an 18 month – INTEC Gardening and Horticulture Certificate
Minimum requirements: Grade 10 or equivalent
Other ways you can study to get into Horticulture is taking up training and studies in agriculture. See careers under agriculture for more information.
Is becoming a Horticulturist the right career choice for me?