Now Hiring MSU Students for 2023 Summer Jobs

Hiring NOW through March 31st, 2023, or until positions are filled- Interviews will be scheduled first-come-first-served

Interested? Complete our online application found here: 2023 Student Application. Please fill it out electronically and email to Bethany Troy at Any Questions? Please contact Bethany Troy at


Position Description: The MSU Horticulture Gardens are seeking hardworking student employees to assist with a variety of labor tasks during late-spring and summer 2023. Positions may be available in the annual garden, perennial garden, rose garden, landscape arboretum, greenhouses, or for general labor.  

Summer Schedule and Hours:

  • May 8th through late-August. Earlier (part-time) starting dates available (and needed!)
  • 40 hours per week, Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Occasional Saturdays and Sundays, on a rotating basis
  • We may be able to accommodate your summer class schedule (if applicable) with a reduced number of hours per week, upon request

Position Requirements: Candidate must be currently enrolled at MSU, but does not have to be a horticulture major.  The ideal candidate will be able to accomplish a variety of tasks, work in all weather conditions, and work well as a team. Prior horticulture or gardening experience is not necessary, but a positive attitude is! 

Duties and Responsibilities: Regardless of the garden you are assigned to, employees will assist with garden and greenhouse maintenance including planting, weeding, watering, dead-heading, fertilizing, spreading compost and mulch, removing debris, pruning, edging, and other tasks as needed.


  • Real-world experience growing and maintaining greenhouse and garden plants
  • Field Trips to other gardens on- and off-campus
  • Attend biweekly workshops given by our staff throughout the summer
  • Get to know other student and volunteer plant geeks


Garden Positions & What to Expect:

Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden: Come and be a part of the premier children’s garden in the nation! You will maintain the 4-H Children’s Gardens and have opportunity to work with a variety of plants to create educational plant displays. Some of the special opportunities in the children’s garden include:

  • Sow seeds, design beds, and maintain themed displays
  • Create and deliver educational programs including tours, field trips, and other programming
  • Help with fun summer kid’s programs such as the Pirate and Pixi Party, Bug Day, and Bubble Day!

Clancy Lewis Landscape Arboretum: The Arboretum consists of over a dozen gardens spanning 7 acres starting at the corner of Bogue Street and Service Road. Each Garden is different in its own way regarding the plants they contain, the design intent, and the maintenance. It contains a wide variety of plants such as trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, aquatics, tropicals, fruits, and vegetables. Aside from the plants, the Arboretum has many hardscape features such as patios, walkways, raised beds, and retaining walls, several other structures, and 6 ponds. Some of the special opportunities in the Arboretum include:

  • Pruning of trees, shrubs, vines, hedges, topiaries, and specialty pruning.
  • Equipment training and operation, such as bed edger, leaf blower, string trimmer, tractor, trailers, etc.
  • Opportunities to design/re-design areas, beds, and containers yourself
  • Learn the ins and outs of caring for a mature landscape.

Judith DeLapa Perennial Garden: The perennial garden is home to over 350 varieties of perennial plants within our curated living collections at the gardens. Skillfully designed island beds are used as displays for teaching, extension, and general enjoyment for the university community and general public. Some of the special opportunities in the perennial garden include:

  • Installation of some annual display beds and containers 
  • Daily maintenance of the perennial garden pond and waterfall  
  • Maintaining and collecting data on our Clematis trial  
  • Learn to identify perennials, annuals, trees, and shrubs  
  • Help design and install new perennial beds throughout the gardens  

Amien and Florence Carter Trial Garden: In the 2-acre trial garden, you will work primarily with annuals, but will also gain experience with perennials, vegetables, herbs, tropical plants, and houseplants. Half of the beds in this garden are used for new plant trials. The other half are display beds, which are redesigned annually. Some of the special opportunities in the trial garden include:

  • Evaluate new plant varieties, most of which are not yet available to the general public
  • Learn hundreds of varieties of annuals
  • Install and maintain 25,000-30,000 plants
  • Opportunity to design beds and/or containers
  • Propagate almost 10,000 houseplants and succulents for our fall fundraiser

Rose Garden: Within the rose garden you will find a collection of the All-American Rose Society’s winners from year’s past. The collection includes examples of floribunda, grandiflora, hybrid tea, climbing, shrub, and heirloom roses. Some of the special opportunities in the rose garden include:

  • Weekly deadheading of spent blooms and corrective pruning, as needed
  • Inventory and labeling of varieties
  • Rejuvenation of various collections
  • Pest and disease scouting

Greenhouse: The Teaching Greenhouses have over 30,000 square feet under glass. They are utilized for various classes and to grow plants for use in the Gardens. Also, many events are held in the conservatory greenhouse during the summer months. Some of the special opportunities in the greenhouse include:

  • Learn the fine art of greenhouse watering, and how not to over water
  • Greenhouse cleaning and sanitation to reduce pests and diseases
  • Mix fertilizer and maintain fertilizer injector systems
  • Gaining knowledge of our greenhouse environmental control computer
  • Setup and tear down of greenhouse layouts
  • Inventory greenhouse supplies and materials
  • Scouting of greenhouse pests and diseases

General Labor: Our general labor employees get to do a little bit of everything! Depending on our needs each day, this could include greenhouse watering, painting outdoor structures, cleaning greenhouses, or working outdoors in any of the other gardens listed. General labor employees should be able to transition from one task to another and carryout projects assigned by any of our full-time staff. Some of the special opportunities for general labor employees include:

  • Rarely have two days that are alike. Variety is the spice of life!
  • Gain experience in all the garden areas
  • Work with annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, tropicals, and houseplants


Wages: $12.50/hour


Interested? Complete our online application found here: 2023 Student Application. Please fill it out electronically and email to Bethany Troy at Any Questions? Please contact Bethany Troy at