Help Care for Smithsonian Gardens’ Annual and Perennial Plants

Smithsonian Gardens is accepting applications for Greenhouse Volunteers at this time. Click here if you are interested in applying  to join Smithsonian Gardens’ Greenhouse Volunteer Team.


Greenhouse Volunteers assist Greenhouse staff with tasks such as potting and repotting of plants; plant propagation; care and maintenance of annuals and perennials. Greenhouse Production volunteers assist with weeding; grooming; propagation; reorganization; potting and pinching of the seasonal bedding plants; seasonal flowering pot crops; and assisting with the creation of hanging baskets. Tasks can be highly repetitive, but are vital to the success of producing high quality seasonal annual bedding and interior plants for Smithsonian Gardens.

Production volunteers should be able to follow directions well and pay attention to detail when performing assigned tasks. Volunteers also must be willing to learn and adapt to specific production methods.

This volunteer position is located at the Smithsonian Gardens Greenhouse Facility in Suitland, MD. A Smithsonian shuttle is available from the National Mall to the Smithsonian’s Suitland campus for volunteers. Parking is also available at the facility for those who choose to drive.


Volunteers should have a good attitude; be flexible and dependable; have the ability to work independently and with great attention to detail; possess a willingness to work in hot greenhouse conditions; stand several hours at a time; be able to bend, stoop, and lift 25 pounds or more; and have a knowledge of basic plant care and use of gardening tools.

Training Requirements

Volunteers must complete a yearly training focused on greenhouse safety and proper collection handling in order to stay up to date on changes in protocol. This training is provided by Smithsonian Gardens. The position requires a minimum 1 year commitment. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and complete a Smithsonian background investigation.


Greenhouse Volunteers are asked to complete 4-6 hours of service each week between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  A minimum one-year commitment is required