University of Maryland Extension

How to Become a Master Gardener

The Maryland Master Gardener Program is designed to train participants as volunteer horticultural educators to support the University of Maryland Extension mission by educating residents about safe, effective and sustainable horticultural practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes, and communities.

Who Can Become a Master Gardener?

Any Maryland resident, 18 years of age or older, who likes working with people and plants and has a thirst for knowledge.

How Do I Become a Certified Master Gardener?

Step 1: Determine the Master Gardener Basic Training class dates in your County/City. Note: We strongly recommend that you complete the Basic Training classes in the same county in which you reside. In particular cases, you may be able to take the Basic Training classes in a different county than where you reside. 

Step 2: Contact the Master Gardener Coordinator in the selected County/City to receive an application form.

Step 3: If accepted into the program, attend at least 75% of the Basic Training classes and pass the final exam with a 75% or better.

Step 4: Successfully complete 40 to 50 hours of required volunteer service by participating in approved volunteer projects through the University of Maryland Extension.

In order to remain an Active Master Gardener, each calendar year individuals must 1) provide at least 20 hours of approved volunteer service and 2) complete at least 10 hours of approved continuing education. 

Continuing education hours may be completed through classes, webinars, seminars and other educational activities offered by UME, plant societies, botanical gardens and arboeta, colleges, nature centers, etc.  Subject matter presentations made at Master Gardener membership meetings are also valid.  The State office also coordinates continuing education opportunities via the state sponsored Advanced Training classes and the Master Gardener Annual Training Conference.

Please read the complete description of the Maryland Master Gardener Program Policies and Guidelines.

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