Become a Master Gardener

The St. Louis area Master Gardener volunteer training program is the result of a partnership between University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Those who complete the course become certified Master Gardeners after they complete 40 volunteer hours at sites associated with the Missouri Botanical Garden, other horticulture organizations, or the communities where they live.

Master Gardener Class of 2018

Trainees are supported by MBG staff while volunteering at Garden sites and by MU Extension while working elsewhere in the community. 10 hours of continuing education are also required to become a certified Master Gardener. These requirements must be renewed annually to maintain active Master Gardener status.

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

A lot of studying will be required to pass the course. 10 hours outside of class per week is common. 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 attend all 18 sessions.

There will be two separate class options in 2019:

  • 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. 

Registration for the afternoon and evening sessions of the 2019 Master Gardener training is closed.  If you were not able to complete an application during the open period, please consider being a part of the 2020 course.  Contact Holly Records with any questions.
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.