Specialist Nurseryman/Nurserywoman

One of the most satisfying aspects of horticulture is the propagation, growing and selling of plants.  Not only can it provide a very decent income, but it can also bring you into contact with many passionate, if not obsessive, gardeners like yourself. 

What They Do

Everyone who gardens has their favourite groups of plants and there is a need for nurseries to provide plants to satisfy these desires. The degree of specialisation of a nursery can vary.  For example, there are nurseries that just grow trees, or just grow alpine plants.  On the other hand some growers concentrate on one group such as rhododendrons, or clematis,  roses, perennials, bulbs or unusual species.  

What is Needed

  • Sound horticultural knowledge
  • A passion for what you grow
  • Good business acumen
  • The drive to build your business
  • To network in the industry


Having a specialism has a number of advantages: 

  • Firstly, you can become extremely efficient at producing high quality plants that can command the best prices.  Rare plant fairs and garden festivals are always looking for reliable, high quality nurseries. 
  • Secondly, you can acquire a national reputation as the 'go to' supplier of this group of plants, particularly if you offer a mail order service via a well-designed website. 
  • Thirdly, can find yourself in demand as a speaker to horticultural societies as the national expert and this can bring in further income, especially if you take plants to sell after your talk. 

Eventually, many specialist nurseries develop associated gardens for people to visit, prior to them buying more plants; many such visitors are plantaholics.  In the UK, these gardens may also contain a Plant Heritage National Plant Collection™.

The specialist nursery owner often becomes the national, or even international, botanical authority in their chosen group.  This can lead to international travel either to speak at meetings or to collect seeds from plants in the wild.  This can also lead to the opportunity to write magazine articles and books.  Thus from a simple interest in a group of plants, can come a very satisfying career.

If working in, or even running a Nursery interests you, consider studying one of our courses to improve your prospects. Our courses are taught by highly knowledgeable and experienced Horticulture Tutors. The following courses may be of interest to you -

Nursery Growers Course

Nursery Hands Course

Plant Breeding

Propagation I

Advanced Certificate In Professional Horticulture

or view our full range of gardening courses. All of our courses are available to start at any time.

If you have any questions or would like to know, get in touch with us today by -

Phone (UK) 01384 442752, or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or 

Email us at [email protected], or use our