What does a Nursery Manager do?

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  • Written By: Vicki Hogue-Davies
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 15 December 2019
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A nursery manager oversees a wholesale, retail or other facility that is in the business of selling trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants to landscaping contractors or to the general public. Nursery managers are responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the businesses for which they work. They often report to nursery owners. Some nurseries strictly sell plants, and other nurseries also grow them. A plant nursery is sometimes called a garden center.

The nursery manager cultivates relationships with vendors and ensures that the nursery is stocked with adequate inventories of plants and supplies. If there are any problems with shipments received, the nursery manager is responsible for making sure that they are resolved. He or she often manages the financial side of the business to ensure that expected profit margins are maintained.

At nurseries that are not just garden centers but also grow plants, the nursery manager also is responsible for the cultivation and propagation of the new plants. All nursery managers usually are generally responsible for the health and well-being of the plants in the nurseries they manage. Nursery managers normally will be expected to have received an education and training in plant care and to be experts in the practical and technical aspects of plants. Areas with which nursery managers often are familiar include the greenhouse production of plants, container plant gardening, indoor and outdoor plant design and more.


The hiring, scheduling and supervising of full- and part-time workers also is the job of the nursery manager. The task of firing workers often falls to the nursery manager, should it become necessary. The nursery manager might take on the job of training new workers or assign an experienced worker with that task. The manager also must take safety issues into account, including how to use gardening equipment safely and possibly ensuring that workers have forklift certifications in place.

Nursery managers also interact with customers, recommending specific plants and trees for different landscaping and gardening needs. They answer customer questions about plant diseases and other areas of plant care. They must know about fertilizers, soil amendments, weed control and other more technical aspects of plant care.

Some nursery managers, especially those who work with landscaping companies, might venture out in the field. They might be expected to visit landscaping projects and recommend plantings for those projects as well as implementing planting plans. A nursery manager also might supervise contractors and other workers at field projects.


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