The lovely flowers, the tall trees, and the green shrubs you see at your local retail store are there courtesy of nursery workers. But what exactly do they do every day?

What a Nursery Worker Does

The job of selling plants, flowers, and trees may sound simple but there are many tasks involved that nursery workers are responsible for. Those jobs can be broken down into three categories:

  1. Planting

A nursery just isn’t a nursery without plants to sell. Many nursery workers are responsible for growing the flowers and trees that will eventually be sold to customers. Working in growing areas, they prep the soil before planting seeds. Then, when the seedlings ready, nursery workers transport them to flats, fields, or flower pots. They may also use grown plants to create new ones. They can take a piece of that plant, put it in water or sand until the roots grow, and then transfer it to the soil. Nursery workers may also do grafting, such as taking a branch from one tree and attaching it to another.

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  1. Plant Care

Once these seeds are planted, the new plants have to be taken care of until they’re ready for the retail floor. That involves pruning, weeding, watering and fertilizing them on a regular basis. They monitor these flowers and plants to make sure they’re getting enough sun. To keep insects from wrecking the growing trees and plants nursery workers spray them down with pesticides. Keeping an eye on the plants to make sure they’re growing nicely and aren’t showing any signs of disease is also part of the nursery job.

  1. Selling

The flowers have bloomed, plants have sprouted, and trees have grown. Now it’s time to get them all ready for sale. Nursery workers will harvest and then put plants and trees in labeled pots. Flowers need to be counted, tied into bunches, and placed in the proper retail packaging. If they are assigned to the nursery sales floor, they become customer service representatives. They’ll use their knowledge about plants and flowers to help shoppers pick the right greenery for their needs. Nursery workers will answer any questions they have about proper plant care. Finally, they’ll help customers make their final purchases from checkout to delivery.

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How do You Become a Nursery Worker?

Now that you know what they do, what does it take to get this kind of job? The great news is you don’t need a four-year degree to get started. However, to get your first job as a nursery worker especially when you don’t have any experience, it’s a good idea to take some technical school courses in horticultural technology or nursery operation technology. There you’ll get the knowledge you need to start growing and caring for plants, flowers, and trees. Otherwise, you can get a job as a nursery helper and get on-the-job training.

 

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