Advanced Certificate In Horticulture (Ornamental Horticulture) VHT002


A 400-hour course that provides initial training for anyone working, or intending to work in ornamental horticulture. The course is designed to teach the basics of how to identify, grow, and maintain ornamental plants and gardens in any climate. Emphasis is placed on the plant varieties which are horticulturally most valuable. Topics covered include garden maintenance, turf care, arboriculture, landscaping, and nursery work.

SKU: VHT003 Category:


The Advanced Certificate in Horticulture (Ornamental Horticulture) is a vocationally oriented course comprising core studies (general horticulture) and stream studies specific to ornamental horticulture.

The objective of the course is to:

  • develop general and broad based skills in horticultural practices and plant identification.
  • provide more specific knowledge in areas of ornamental horticulture including garden maintenance,

    turf care, arboriculture, landscaping and nursery work.


The Advanced Certificate in Horticulture involves the areas of work:

  • CORE STUDIES – this involves at least 300 hours, divided into 15 lessons, approx. half of the course.
  • ELECTIVE STUDIES – this involves a further 100 hrs of study going into greater depth in the areas of garden maintenance, nursery practices and landscaping.


  1. Introduction to Plants

    Nomenclature and taxonomy, the plant kingdom, genus, species, hybrids.

  2. Parts of the Plant

    How plants grow, plant structure, parts of the flower and leaf, modification of stems and roots.

  3. Plant Culture – Planting

    How to plant and protect newly planted specimens, terms like: annuals, biennials, perennials, deciduous,

    evergreen and herbaceous plants.

  4. Plant Culture – Pruning

    Purpose for pruning, rules for pruning, how to prune.

  5. Plant Culture – Irrigation and Machinery

    Different irrigation systems, components of an irrigation system, designing an irrigation system, selection, use and maintenance of machinery and tools.

  6. Soils & Media

    Soil classifications, testing soil, potting mixes, the U.C. System, ingredients of potting mixes.

  7. Soils & Nutrition

    Fertilisers – deficiencies and toxicities, N:P:K ratios, salting, fertiliser programming, compost.

  8. Propagation – Seeds & Cuttings

    How to propagate plants by seed and cuttings, propagating mixes, cold frame construction, after care for young plants.

  9. Propagation – Other Techniques

    Other methods to increase plant numbers – budding, grafting, layering, division and tissue culture.

  10. Identification and Use of Plants

    How are plants used in the landscape, how to choose and purchase plants, selecting plants suitable for the climate and site.

  11. Identification and Use of Plants

    Problems with plants and choosing plants for problem sites.

  12. Identification and Use of Plants

    Indoor and tropical plants, flowers, herbs, bulbs, ferns.

  13. Pests

    Identifying and controlling pests, chemical and natural methods for control, chemical safety precautions.

  14. Diseases

    Identifying and controlling diseases, plant pathology, fungi, viruses, non-pathogenic problems, interactions with the host and the environment.

  15. Weeds

    Identifying and controlling weeds, chemical terminology.


Choose one module from the list below:

  1. Landscaping
  2. Plant knowledge
  3. Plant Care
  4. Nursery Practices

The scope of the stream studies includes:

  • Landscape design (including pre-planning and drawing plans).
  • Principles and styles of landscape designs.
  • Analysis of garden designs.

    Graphic skills, materials and techniques.

  • Estimating costs for landscape jobs.
  • Surfacing materials and their effects.
  • Quality and cost of different landscape materials.
  • Plant knowledge, both native and exotic, suitable for local conditions.
  • Plant selection for difficult sites and conditions (including treating degraded sites and interior plantscaping).
  • Tropical and indoor plants.
  • Environmental factors important for indoor plant culture.
  • Bulbs, perennials and annuals.
  • Planting design for flower beds (annuals and bulbs) suitable for your locality.
  • Herb culture and garden design.
  • Miscellaneous growing techniques including; bonsai, terrariums, pot culture, baskets and hydroponics.
  • Describe the importance of trees to humans.
  • Procedures for the proper and safe removal of a limb from a tree.
  • Tree problems and their treatment.
  • Compartmentalisation, and its effect on the spread of disease in trees.
  • Preparing a detailed maintenance program for a garden.
  • Seed selection, storage, preparation and spreading (sowing).
  • Preparation, planting and establishment of a lawn.
  • Establishing turf on a steep slope.
  • Turf maintenance techniques.
  • Analysis of nursery production systems.
  • Preparing a flow chart for the production of a particular plant, from propagation to marketing.
  • Preparing a maintenance program for green life in a garden centre.
  • Preparing guidelines for the disposal of surplus or below standard stock in a nursery.
  • Write an advertisement for a nursery or garden maintenance business.
  • Basic management procedures for a single person nursery or garden maintenance business.
  • Basic communication skills.
  • Health and safety requirements for a nursery or garden maintenance workplace.