Horticulture Internships 2024

The application period for the 2024 internship season has closed.

Horticulture interns work in one or more of the Arboretum’s gardens or collections. A required internship project is presented to staff, volunteers, and stakeholders at the end of the internship. Interns also participate in professional development opportunities and educational field trips.

Interns working in a greenhouse


Interns are supervised by the Arboretum’s curators and horticulturists. Internships have flexible durations, from three months up to one year, depending funding, beginning in May or June 2024. All internships are paid by either an hourly wage or stipend (approximately $18-$20/hr), depending on the position. Students are encouraged to arrange for college credit. Housing is not provided.

Intern driving work vehicle


Applicants must have either completed course work or have acquired practical experience in horticulture or a related field. Basic gardening skills, interest in plants, and the ability to work independently are essential.

Duties & Working Conditions

Interns be responsible for the typical duties of working in a public garden by assisting staff in the development and maintenance of plant germplasm collections. Duties include general gardening tasks that provide proper environmental conditions, including planting, watering, mowing, mulching, and weeding. Interns also will assist with updating plant records and labels. Horticulture internships involve heavy lifting, repetitive tasks, and exposure to heat and humidity and/or cold.

Available internships include:

  • Asian Collections feature plants collected from the rich floras of China, Japan, and Korea. (Note: This is a one-year position.)
  • Azalea Collection features cultivated azaleas in a wooded setting.
  • Conifer & Dogwood Collections Combo highlights hundreds of varieties of conifers and dogwoods.
  • Fern Valley Native Plant Collection features plants native to the eastern USA in woodland and meadow settings. (Note: This is a one-year position.)
  • Friendship Garden & Introduction Garden Combo showcases innovative landscapes that include woody plants, perennials, ornamental grasses, bulbs, and aquatics designed for year-round interest.
  • National Herb Garden is the largest designed herb garden in the nation that includes annual, perennial, and woody herbal plants. (See the separate Herb Garden internship page for details and to apply.)

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter indicating availability and interest areas, a resume, a list of references, and transcripts, if applicable, (unofficial are acceptable) via email to USNA.Internships@usda.gov.

DEADLINE: January 15, 2024

Questions? Contact the internship office at (202) 245-4563 or USNA.Internships@usda.gov.

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