Holden Forests and Gardens seeks a Plant Propagator Technician (part-time).

The Nursery department seeks a skilled, professional Plant Propagator Technician to oversee all propagation at Holden Forests & Gardens (HF&G). This person will work with our internal nursery clients which include collections, horticulture, conservation, education, and plant sales. The technician will provide healthy quality plants to fulfill the mission and goals of HF&G. This position plays a key role in the preservation and management of our collections and serves as a resource for departments and staff across HF&G campuses. This position will advise or assist clients with their plant needs. Appropriate propagation methods and best practices will be utilized to reach outcomes in a timely manner. In addition, this person will assist the Nursery Manager in the day-to-day operations of the nursery including plant care, and various nursery & greenhouse maintenance tasks. This individual will supervise and train seasonals, volunteers, and interns in propagation techniques. We are seeking a professional with a positive can-do attitude that leads to successful teamwork, superb customer service and a high-quality aesthetic.

Key Responsibilities:
Key responsibilities of the Nursery Plant Propagator Technician include, but are not limited to: 


  • Propagate plants using various techniques for HF&G from seed, cuttings, grafting and division
  • Schedule propagation calendar based on plant finished size and desired availability date
  • Act as a resource to staff across HF&G on proper techniques and timing for their projects
  • Research and develop protocols for difficult to propagate species
  • Collaborate and coordinate the outsourcing or propagation when appropriate
  • Provide plant care daily as directed by the Nursery Manager
  • Duties include watering, pruning, weeding, and repotting
  • Shares responsibility for weekend watering duties in rotation with other nursery staff
  • Cover after-hour emergencies in Nursery Manager’s absence


  • Maintains and provides accurate records of plants received and propagated for the plant collection database (BG-Base program), and ensures that plants are accurately labeled
  • Tracks appropriate metrics such as treatments, germination, rooting, grafting, and attrition rates to be utilized to establish propagation protocols and to increase our propagation success and knowledge

Professional Involvement:

  • Participate on and contribute to HF&G committees
  • Participate in and represent HF&G in appropriate professional organizations such as International Plant Propagator Society (IPPS)
  • Share expertise with staff and public through collaboration with education, marketing, and interpretation teams
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications and Skills:

  • 3 years experience propagating plants in a nursery setting, required
  • Degree in horticulture or 5-10 years direct related experience propagating plants
  • A Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, botany, related field
  • Ability to understand basic instructions is required. Bilingual individuals are highly desired
  • Experience providing outstanding customer service
  • A solid foundation of various propagation techniques such as: seed stratification & scarification, seed sowing, division, cuttings, rooting hormones, and various grafting methods
  • Comfortable utilizing digital tools and computer to maintain nursery records
  • Proficient use of Microsoft 365 products, specifically Teams, Outlook (email and calendar), Word, Excel, SharePoint, and OneDrive, preferred
  • Ability to take initiative, identify opportunities and implement solutions
  • Possess strong oral and written communication skills that support and enhance a positive guest experience and work culture
  • Be able to work in a team or independently as needed
  • An observant initiator and self-starter
  • A passion for nature, the environment, and the outdoors with interest in working outdoors year-round performing manual labor in all weather conditions
  • A positive attitude, willingness to learn, and ability to participate within a multi-disciplinary team
  • Valid driver's license and an acceptable motor vehicle record
  • Criminal background check pass required

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation:
  • Regular lifting and carrying of up to 30 – 50 lbs.
  • Climb ladders
  • Kneel, bend, stoop, grab, and reach
  • Perform tasks in all weather conditions
  • Good finger, hand, and arm dexterity
  • Walk and work on wet, uneven, slippery terrain
  • Ability to ascend and descend stairs

Salary range: $15 an hour

Job classification: Part-time

To apply: Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Qualified applicants should submit résumé, cover letter and 3 professional references. Apply at https://holdenfg.org/career-and-internships.

Holden Forests & Gardens (Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden) is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to hiring a diverse and talented workforce. We seek skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced individuals to join our staff and enhance our reputation as one of the country’s foremost public gardens.

Posted: March 8, 2022

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