Gardeners ensure that gardens, lawns, shrubs and trees are healthy, well maintained and attractively designed. The main aim of a garden is to create a peaceful mood, a positive first impression and to increase the property value.

Gardener work mainly outside and are responsible for the establishment, maintenance and decoration of gardens and parks. Their tasks include: clearing areas for planting; ploughing or digging beds; planting of seedlings; watering seedlings and older plants regularly; pulling out weeds; applying weed killer, fertiliser, soil nutrients and pesticides; mowing of lawns; pruning, trimming and edging.

They may apply mulch for the protection of plants or build retaining walls, install patios and terraced hillsides. They need to know about soils, pests and plant disease control.

Personal Requirements

  • love plants, trees and gardens
  • good health and physical strength
  • willing to work outdoors in all types of weather
  • prepared to get dirty
  • hardworking, reliable and honest
  • able to operate machines such as lawnmowers and bush cutters

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

No specific requirements

What to Study

Gardeners mainly undergo in-service training. The foreman plays an important role in the training of new gardeners. Agricultural colleges (such as Kromme Rhee in Stellenbosch) present courses to those who want to improve their qualifications in this field. Courses such as pruning of trees and multiplying of plants are also available in colleges.

Persons who have at least a Grade 10 pass and the aptitude can also obtain a horticultural certificate and later a diploma at universities of technology, e.g. Horticulture can be studied at CPUT, DUT and UNISA.

Gardeners often receive in-service training from their employers to meet specific requirements.

The Botanical Gardens sometimes hold informal workshops on garden maintenance and the cultivation of indigenous plants.


  • private homeowners
  • schools
  • shopping malls and office blocks with gardens
  • municipalities
  • botanical gardens
  • garden-service undertakings
  • large institutions

Further Information

  • familiarise yourself with trees, shrubs, climbers and flowers
  • start a garden of your own
  • ask your librarian for books about plants and gardening
  • offer to mow your neighbours’ lawns to earn pocket money
  • speak to gardeners about this type of career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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