The Mission of the University of Hawaii Master Gardener Program is to provide the public with unbiased, research based information and sustainable management practices in tropical horticulture suitable for home gardens, local landscapes, urban environments and the community. The Master Gardener program is an educational outreach program administered by the University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service.
Interested in Becoming a Master Gardener?
Each person enrolling in the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program commits to completing 39 hours of instruction plus 6 field trip hours, an open-book Midterm and Final Exam, plus 40 hours of volunteer service within 12 months of completing the Master Gardener instruction. To continue being Certified as a Master Gardener, on-going service of 30 hours of volunteer time is required every year.
Classes are held at The Kona Cooperative Extension Service office in Kainaliu, with field trips and workshops in the area. The next Program will be held January 14 – April 7, 2020.
To apply for the 2020 course, please click here.
For more information about the Master Gardener volunteer training program, please click here.
What we do
Master Gardeners expand the outreach efforts of the Cooperative Extension Service by interacting with the gardening public in a variety of ways:
- Master Gardener Helpline
- Information booths at agricultural festivals and farmers’ markets
- Educational programs for gardening groups (school age to seniors)
- Sustainable Gardening presentations at the Kona Historical Society Living History Farm
- Growing plants like vanilla orchids in our nursery
- Selling UH seeds, fruit fly traps, lures & bait, and live plants at outreach events
- CTAHR Open House events
- Educational programs and field trips for Master Gardeners
- And more!
The Master Gardener Helpline
West Hawai‘i Island Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who specialize in giving advice and assistance to home gardeners on pests, diseases, and cultivation of plants in Hawai‘i. Research-based horticultural information is provided primarily through the Master Gardener Helpline. Home gardeners can email questions and photos, call during office hours and ask to speak to a Master Gardener, or drop by the office in person. Helpline hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 9AM to noon.
Vanilla Orchid Project
West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners are growing vanilla orchids in our
greenhouse. The Vanilla Orchid Team pollinate the orchids as they bloom,
fertilize the plants, harvest and process the vanilla beans, and divide
the plants as necessary. We sell some of the vanilla orchid plants at
our outreach events.