PPDL Picture of the Week

February 26, 2018

Purdue Master Gardeners Help Others Grow!

John Orick, Purdue Master Gardener State Coorinator, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

The purpose of the Purdue Master Gardener Program is to train volunteers to assist Purdue Extension Offices with consumer horticulture education needs in local communities. Purdue Master Gardener volunteers complete horticultural training in a variety of topics (soils, plant nutrition, plant science, weed identification and control, insect identification and control, pesticide safety and alternatives, plant disease diagnosis, lawn care, herbaceous ornamentals, etc.). The Purdue Master Gardener Basic Training is 13-18 weeks long and is conducted by Purdue Extension Educators in participating Indiana Counties. To become a Purdue Master Gardener Intern, participants must pay the local fees, complete the Purdue Master Gardener Basic Training, and pass an exam over the material presented with a score of 70% or above. In order to become certified, interns are required to complete at least 35 hours of volunteer activity approved by their local Purdue Extension Educator (County Master Gardener Coordinator). Volunteer activities performed by Purdue Master Gardeners fulfill the program’s purpose of educating Indiana residents in the area of home horticulture and gardening. Purdue Master Gardener volunteers can earn Advanced Master Gardener levels as high as Gold-5,000 hours to be recognized for their work. Purdue Master Gardeners are required to complete a minimum of 12 volunteer hours and 6 educational training hours per year to remain active in the program and continue their training in home horticulture. During 2017, 2,635 Purdue Master Gardener volunteers contributed 170,375 volunteer hours valued at just over $3.9 million!

Purdue Master Gardeners make a difference in the lives of others by sharing their gardening knowledge. Purdue Master Gardeners across the state have coordinated educational bus tours, held social functions to learn about gardening from each other, taught youth gardening classes, and conducted gardening seminars to educate the public.

People interested in the Purdue Master Gardener Program are encouraged to contact their local Purdue Extension Office for more information about a Purdue Master Gardener Basic Training scheduled in a county near them. Come, be a part of “Helping Others Grow” in your community!

Publications and Related Websites:


Purdue Extension County offices: https://extension.purdue.edu/pages/countyoffices.aspx


Purdue Master Gardener Program: www.hort.purdue.edu/mg


Become a Purdue Master Gardener, HO-184 (https://edustore.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=HO-184-W)

Purdue Master Gardener Program Policy Guide, MG-5-W (https://edustore.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=MG-5-W)


​Click image to enlarge

Photo 1: Purdue Master Gardeners in the Tippecanoe County maintaining an educational demonstration garden. (Photo courtesy of Purdue Ag Communications)

Photo 2: Purdue Master Gardeners in Porter County answer horticulture questions at a public gardening event. (Photo by John Orick)

Photo 3: A Hendricks County Purdue Master Gardener shares about their award winning project at the Purdue Master Gardener State Conference. (Photo by John Orick)