Nursery or Greenhouse Manager  What They Do

Just the Facts


Farmers Ranchers and other Agricultural Managers Career Video



Plans, organizes, directs, controls, and coordinates activities of workers engaged in propagating, cultivating, and harvesting horticultural specialties, such as trees, shrubs, flowers, mushrooms, and other plants.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Agribusiness Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Manages nurseries that grow horticultural plants for sale to trade or retail customers, for display or exhibition, or for research.
  • Identifies plants as well as problems such as diseases, weeds, and insect pests.
  • Tours work areas to observe work being done, to inspect crops, and to evaluate plant and soil conditions.
  • Assigns work schedules and duties to nursery or greenhouse staff, and supervises their work.
  • Determines plant growing conditions, such as greenhouses, hydroponics, or natural settings, and set planting and care schedules.
  • Applies pesticides and fertilizers to plants.
  • Hires employees, and trains them in gardening techniques.
  • Determines types and quantities of horticultural plants to be grown, based on budgets, projected sales volumes, or executive directives.
  • Selects and purchases seeds, plant nutrients, disease control chemicals, and garden and lawn care equipment.
  • Positions and regulates plant irrigation systems, and program environmental and irrigation control computers.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Seasonal work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Arboriculturist -- Cultivates and manages trees, hedgerows and shrubs and includes all aspects of felling, preserving, planting and protecting trees and also provides information and advice on specific tree-related issues.
  • Horticulturist -- Conducts experiments and investigations to determine methods of breeding, producing, storing, processing, and transporting of fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables, flowers, bushes, and trees.
  • Mushroom Grower --