Become a Master Gardener

Master Gardeners are adults of all ages who love gardening and want to volunteer their knowledge and enthusiasm with people in their neighborhoods, schools, parks and communities. You can become a Master Gardener by taking the training course coordinated by University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Botanical Garden. The course is held from January through May on Thursday afternoons or evenings at the Kemper Center for Home Gardening at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Our training classes cover a variety of horticultural topics. Missouri Botanical Garden staff, University of Missouri Extension faculty and qualified professionals in our community teach classes in the following topics.

  • Plant Relationships, Anatomy, Growth & Development
  • Soils, Composting & Mulching
  • Native Plants
  • Lawn Care
  • Flower Gardening
  • Woody Ornamentals
  • Vegetables
  • Pruning
  • Propagation Techniques
  • Landscape & Garden Design
  • Integrated Pest Management


Each person accepted into the Master Gardener volunteer training program agrees to give 40 hours of volunteer work and acquire 10 hours of continuing education in the same calendar year they took the course. There are a lot of opportunities for each throughout the year. As a volunteer training program, Master Gardeners are expected to maintain the volunteering and continuing edcuation requirements annually.

Applicants should understand that a lot of studying will be required to pass the course. Students report an average of 10 hours outside of class per week. Students will need to have access to a computer to communicate with the instructors by email and take one test online each week. An additional test each week is taken in the classroom. Students are expected to arrive on time and attend all 18 sessions. 

There will be two separate class options in 2017

  • Thursday afternoon sessions from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday evening sessions from 6 to 9 p.m. 

Training classes will begin the first week of January and will continue through the second week of May. The cost for the course is $335. 

Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Apply as close to the enrollment opening as possible. 


The 2017 Master Gardener program is already underway. Registration for the 2018 course will begin in October of 2017. Please email Holly Records at to be included on the list of interested participants.
*The Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program is not meant to be used as a professional certification. Participants receive basic instruction that cannot compare to a 2 or 4-year degree or other professional credential like ISA Certified Arborist®. Master Gardeners do not advertise their certification status for commercial purposes.