Horticulture Internships 2023

Applications for the 2023 internship season have now 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. Most internships are 3–6 months long and will begin in May 2023 (approximately). The National Herb Garden Internship is a year long. All internships are paid by either an hourly wage or stipend, depending on the position. Students are encouraged to arrange for college credit.

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 will assist staff in the development and maintenance of plant germplasm collections. Duties include general gardening tasks, including 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.

Interns will be assigned to one or more of the following areas:

  • Asian Collections feature plants collected from the rich floras of China, Japan, and Korea.
  • Azalea Collection features cultivated azaleas in a wooded setting.
  • Conifer Collection highlights hundreds of varieties of conifers.
  • Fern Valley Native Plant Collection features plants native to the eastern USA in woodland and meadow settings.
  • Friendship Garden is an innovative landscape that includes woody plants, perennials, ornamental grasses, and bulbs designed for year-round interest.
  • Introduction Garden displays new plants to the gardening public, including new National Arboretum introductions.
  • National Herb Garden is the largest designed herb garden in the nation that includes annual, perennial, and woody herbal plants. (1 year term)
  • General Grounds involves working in various locations within the Arboretum (may include overall grounds or within collections/gardens).

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.

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

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