A Successful Horticulturist Has These 5 Personality Traits
- Excellence in Communicating
- Mathematics and Science Skills
- Ability to Analyze Data
- Critical Thinking
- Observational Skills
A person who enjoys working with plants may want to know about the top five characteristics of a horticulturist. These professionals are categorized as a sub-type of agricultural scientists by the United States Department of Labor. Also called plant scientists, these professionals are focused on the growing of flowers, fruits and vegetables and ornamental plants for decoration, comfort, beauty, food and materials.
1. Excellence in Communicating
One of the leading characteristics of a horticulturist is the ability to communicate well with others. These professionals may need to listen to a customer and explain an answer to their question or propose a solution to their problem. They would need to do this without using technical or scientific jargon or terminology that a layperson would not understand. They need to communicate well in both written and oral formats. Horticulturists should be able to explain the differences between two plants and instructions on how to care for a plant.
2. Mathematics and Science Skills
Horticulturists should have innate math and science skills. They should be able to calculate growth rates. They should also be able to identify plants, plant pests and the ideal growth conditions for plants. Some horticulturists may work on the development of novel varieties of plants. As such, they should understand minute differences and be able to work with plants in a hands-on manner, such as pollinating or cross-pollinating different plant varieties.
3. Ability to Analyze Data
Most horticulturists will work with data related to plants. They may also need to work with data about weather, soil conditions, moisture conditions, pests and other relevant details that affect plants. Most of this work would be done with the assistance of computer software, which means that the horticulturist should feel comfortable with technology. They should be willing to keep up-to-date on software changes and keep up with the use of new tools and technology in their area of expertise.
4. Critical Thinking
Horticulturists need to excel at critical thinking. When presented with a problem, they will need to know the best options for solving the problem. When the usual solutions do not work, they may have to use ingenuity in order to devise a new solution. They should be able to document their decision-making process and keep accurate notes about what they do and when they do it. If a horticulturist does research, they will need to keep meticulous notes so that another plant scientist could replicate their study or verify their methodology for publication of the results.
5. Observational Skills
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, another one of the characteristics of a horticulturist is observational skills. A horticulturist would need to look at a plant and determine its species and the variety of the species. For example, a horticulturist might need to recommend a type of rose that would grow well in heavy clay soil in a moderate climate and in proximity to dwellings as well as large trees. Horticulturists should be able to notice small changes in the health of a plant.
Related Resource: 25 Best Affordable Applied Horticulture Degree Programs
A person who enjoys science, plants and gardening should consider becoming a horticulturist if they also have these five key personality traits. These characteristics plant scientists should come naturally to the person, but they can be honed with practice and on-the-job training. Each of these five characteristics of a horticulturist is a strong predictor of success in this profession.