Understand the principles of plant growth with Hort Courses- a great start for a successful career in horticulture.

Course Code: VHT041
Fee Code: S4
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 200 hours
Qualification Certificate
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Foundation Certificate in Plant Growth for Horticulture Level 3

  • Learn online the principles of plant taxonomy, structure, function and growth,
  • Study the management of plant health, and learn more about plant propagation.
  • Flexible self paced practical, 200 hour course
  • Support from a team of a dozen highly skilled professional horticulturists located in Australia, the UK and New Zealand
  • ACS is recognised internationally through IARC and is part of a global network of affiliated colleges spanning 5 countries.

Lesson Structure

There are 15 lessons in this course:

  1. Taxonomic Classification of Plants
  2. Structure and Function of Cells and Tissues
  3. Role of Flowers and Fruit
  4. Photosynthesis, Respiration, and Movement of Water
  5. Effects of Tropisms and Plant Growth Regulators
  6. Physical Properties of Growing Media
  7. Chemical Properties of Growing Media and Role of Air and Water
  8. Biological Processes in Growing Media
  9. Nutrients and Plant Growth
  10. Organic Techniques and Soil Management
  11. Plant Pests, Diseases and Disorders Part A
  12. Plant Pests, Diseases and Disorders Part B
  13. Regulation of Chemicals and Storage Procedures
  14. Seed Propagation
  15. Vegetative Propagation

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Demonstrate knowledge of the major divisions of the plant kingdom and an understanding of the taxonomic hierarchy and its relevance to horticultural practice.
  • Identify and describe the different types of plant cells and tissues, their structure, and function.
  • To understand the role and function of the reproductive parts of the plant and the seed in the plant life cycle.
  • Understand the mechanism and role of photosynthesis and respiration in the metabolism of plants, the role of water in the plant, and the movement of water, solutes, and assimilates through the plant.
  • To develop an understanding of the effects of tropisms and other plant movements on growth and development.
  • Understand the physical properties of growing media and their significance in relation to plant growth.
  • To understand basic chemistry of soils and other growing media, and the relationship between their air and water content and plant growth.
  • To understand the role of living organisms in the biological processes of soils and other growing media.
  • To understand how nutrients affect plant growth and describe a range of fertilisers and their applications.
  • To determine appropriate management programs for different soils in horticultural situations.

Course Duration : 200 hours


What Does the Horticulture Industry Need?

Skilled knowledgeable workers: the industry is in need of people with knowledge to back up their skills. So many people working in horticulture tend to develop skills in a very narrow area. Take propagation - there are many skilled propagators out there but they may not have great plant knowledge, they may not even know the botanical names of the plants they are propagating and have little knowledge of why they use certain propagating mixes and so on. Quite often these people do not advance in their jobs - it becomes like production line work. If you want to move ahead in this industry then your knowledge needs to be diverse, you need to be able to transfer your skills and knowledge across industry sectors so that your ambitions or work advancement potential is far greater. Studying a Certificate such as this which is  based on developing problem solving skills along with gathering knowledge rather than just ticking you off against a limited set of competencies - will give you a very sound education and is a great starting point, as a professional, in this industry.

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Gavin Cole (Horticulturist)

Gavin started his career studying building and construction in the early 80's. Those experiences have provided a very solid foundation for his later work in landscaping. In 1988 he completed a B.Sc. and a few years later a Certificate in Garden Design. I

Maggi Brown

Maggi is the classic UK "plantswoman". She can identify thousands of plants, and maintains her own homes and gardens in the Cotswolds (England), and near Beziers (in Southern France). Maggi is regarded as a leading organics expert across the UK, having w

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

Rosemary trained in Horticulture at Melbourne Universities Burnley campus; studying all aspects of horticulture -vegetable and fruit production, landscaping, amenity, turf, aboriculture and the horticultural sciences.
Initially she worked with the Depart

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