ELLISVILLE, Miss. — Some people naturally have a “green” thumb and have made some “green” by turning their talent into a business with the knowledge learned in horticulture classes at Jones County Junior College. However, some lawn maintenance and landscaping businesses may not be aware of a state requirement for doing business, especially if they did not get the proper training offered in classes.
JCJC horticulture instructor Wendy Wilkerson advises her students and the public that if they are operating a landscaping or lawn maintenance business without the required landscape horticulturist license they could be fined hundreds of dollars depending on the offense. JCJC’s horticulture two-year or certificate option applies classroom knowledge of the lawn, landscaping, turf and nursery business with hands-on experience in the field to prepare students for work and for the state license test.
“The purpose of the horticulture technology program is to meet the needs of the industry on all levels of training and skills. This applies to persons entering school directly from a secondary program or re-entering for specific training and/or license certification. At the completion of 32 or 47 credit hours, a student is eligible to receive a certificate in horticulture. If students complete the full 62-semester hour curriculum, they are eligible for an Associate in Applied Science degree,” said Wilkerson.
Not everyone planting flowers or cutting grass is required to get a license, but the law limits how businesses can advertise and the type of services they can offer. According to the Mississippi Agriculture and Commerce department, a landscape horticulturist license is required: “for persons engaged in landscaping services and the setting or replacement of any plants. No person shall advertise in any manner, solicit business, place bids, enter contracts or receive a fee to render landscaping services and setting of plants without first obtaining a license. A landscape horticulturist license is not required for irrigation installation and lawn maintenance (grass mowing, fertilizing, etc.). Persons engaged in lawn maintenance shall not have the words landscape or landscaping in their business name for it is considered a form of advertisement for landscaping and setting of plants.”
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