Greenhouse Nursery Operations
The staff at the Smithsonian Gardens Greenhouse at Suitland produce and maintain all of the plant material for the gardens, grounds, and horticultural exhibits throughout the Smithsonian Institution. The seventeen people who work at this site care for the Smithsonian Orchid Collection, tropical plant specimens, interior display plants, and thousands of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, plus hundreds of poinsettias and other holiday plants. They also grow the nectar plants for the Butterfly Pavilion at the National Museum of Natural History. Other responsibilities include grounds maintenance and snow removal for the entire Suitland Campus.
The next time you step outside your office or visit the museums downtown, take notice of all the plants – inside and outside the buildings. It is most likely that every one of them came from your newest neighbors on the Suitland Campus; the staff at the Greenhouse Nursery Branch!
Smithsonian Gardens’ Greenhouses
The facility was completed and occupied by Smithsonian Gardens in 2010. It includes 14 climate-controlled greenhouses thanks to the use of an on-site computerized environmental control system.
As the smallest greenhouse on site, the propagation greenhouse sets itself apart from the others thanks to its automatic mist system.
The Production Section staff at the Smithsonian Gardens’ Greenhouses cultivates annual and perennial plants as well as rare and unusual plants.
Smithsonian Gardens manages a large and significant collection of orchids, both species and hybrids.
The Interiors Section of Smithsonian Gardens designs, installs, and maintains tropical and flowering plant displays for public areas inside the Smithsonian museums.
This enclosed 1,680-square-foot indoor garden showcases a diverse collection of tropical plants and butterflies.
The Tropical Plant Section grows the large specimen temperate and tropical plants that are displayed throughout the Smithsonian gardens.