Master Gardeners
woman kneeling in garden, planting

“A joy I received from the Saint Louis Master Gardener program is the ability to walk through any garden, nursery and even the Missouri Botanical Garden, and have knowledge of a majority of the plants, shrubs and trees!”
-Lane O’Shea, 2015

Hundreds of gardeners from throughout the Greater Saint Louis area have taken the Master Gardener training. The 18-week program provides in-depth education and coursework that not only sharpens the participants’ knowledge, but also creates an amazing cadre of volunteers who work in gardens and programs across all Saint Louis communities.

The program was established in 1983 by the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden in partnership with University of Missouri Extension. This partnership has provided horticultural education and outreach into the Saint Louis community by training volunteers to educate and participate in public /civic gardening. The Garden is home to the Saint Louis Master Gardener program and provides many of the instructors for the training.  Along with hundreds of gardens and facilities, the Garden is a key volunteer site for the Master Gardeners where they volunteer in a variety of ways including working with children in the education department, answering questions at the Kemper Center Plant Doctor desk and Horticulture Answer Service, and working side-by-side with the Garden’s horticulture staff. 

"The Saint Louis Master Gardener training is a wonderful opportunity for first-time gardeners and those wishing to brush up on their skills to get a crash course in understanding how to grow and care for plants. You will come out knowing more about plants than you ever thought possible!” 
-Daria McKelvey 2019

If you are interested in learning more about the Saint Louis Master Gardener Training program, let us know! The annual program begins in January, with afternoon and evening classes held at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Kemper Center. Courses are taught by gardening professionals and include Missouri Botanical Garden staff, MU Extension horticulturists, and community specialists. Classes include plant identification, pruning, Missouri natives, perennials and annuals, landscape design and ‘what not to plant.’  Additional training includes tree ID walks, tours and other educational opportunities. Once certified, Master Gardeners volunteer 40 hours a year in gardens and facilities throughout our communities. 

Contact St. Louis Master Gardener coordinator, Holly Records at hrecords@missouri.edu or holly.records@mobot.org if you have any questions. 

There is no other Master Gardener Training like the Saint Louis Master Gardener Training. Get Trained, Have Fun, Volunteer, and Get Certified!

“I’ve always been a gardener. I grew up gardening and foraging the abandoned orchards and woodlands around our 4-acre home in north county.  The idea of becoming a master gardener might lead me on to another level of learning and that was my initial goal. With this new knowledge, I have turned a vacant home in Ferguson and the adjoining lot into a hydroponics/seed starting house and the surrounding property into a community garden, focused on wheelchair-bound folks suffering from cerebral palsy, autism, and other traumatic brain injuries.”  
-Ron Brown 2018

“My life in the Historic Soulard neighborhood is centered on the lovely backyard garden we have developed over the past 10 years.  I have enjoyed this garden so much that I wanted to develop a deeper understanding of gardening best practices so I can better manage my own garden and help other local gardeners.”
-Veronica Putz 2018