You can spread the cost of our course with Interest Free Credit on selected courses**.
This is exclusively available for a limited time by calling us on 0800 083 9191 or 01409 220 777.
Horticultural Correspondence College Limited is registered in England no. 03819370. Lyne Akres, Brandis Corner, Devon, EX22 7YH. Horticultural Correspondence College is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, register number 774548 and acts as a credit broker and offers finance through the Deko platform, which is provided by Omni Capital Retail Finance Ltd. Omni Capital Retail Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Reference number 720279. Credit is provided to UK residents with a UK bank account, subject to age and status.
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture
A great introduction to key principles
This popular RHS course is an ideal first qualification for learners considering a career in horticulture. It’s also a great choice for leisure or professional gardeners who want to improve their knowledge, including some essential theory! Topics covered range from the miracle of how plants grow, how to propagate them and maintain them, to plant selection, basic surveying, garden design and the benefits of greenhouses and other protected environments.
- Provides a broad-based understanding of plant biology and horticultural techniques
- Flexible home-study course so you can fit your learning around your work and life
- Quality course material and excellent tutor support – to help you achieve your goals
- Follows the RHS syllabus (there is no obligation to take the examinations)
- On successful completion you will receive an HCC Certificate and, if you want to, can sit exams for the nationally recognised RHS qualifications
- Suitable for both amateur and professional gardeners
- No previous experience needed
How the course works
This course consists of two parts:
- RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development
- RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment & Maintenance
(These two parts, which we also offer as separate courses that lead to distinct qualifications in their own right, make up the ‘RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture’)
Your first set of course materials will be sent to you when you enrol. You can start as soon as you want and progress through the course at your own pace (you have 2 years to complete it), studying when and where you choose. This flexibility makes it easy to fit learning around work and family commitments.
The extensive course materials have been developed by gardening experts and are clear and straightforward, so your studying is easy and enjoyable. As you complete each lesson, your tutor will promptly return your marked assignment with constructive feedback and guidance. (You can also contact your tutor or the support team for help at any point during your studies.)
The course includes all the required study materials.
On successful completion you will be awarded an HCC Certificate. You also have the option to take exams for the nationally recognised RHS qualifications.
We are proud of our friendly, caring ethos and aim to do all we can to help you succeed.
Our tutors are all experienced, highly qualified and passionate about sharing their love of their subject. You can phone or email your tutor throughout the course – to ask questions, for advice, encouragement or to draw on their wealth of knowledge.
You can also contact the support team who are here to help you Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
All learners are eligible for an NUS Extra card.
What you will learn
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development – A 4-lesson study programme of preparation for the RHS examination.
Lesson 1 – Plant Classification, Structure and Function
- Classification and taxonomy
- Plant development and life cycles
- Structure and function of plant cells and tissues
- External vegetative parts of the plant
- Reproductive plant structures
- The function of fruits and seeds
- Photosynthesis and respiration
- Movement of water, minerals and sugar
- Plant growth and development
Lesson 2 – Plant Nutrition and the Root Environment
- Understanding the importance of using safe, healthy & environmentally sustainable practices
- The soil horizons
- The physical properties of soil
- Factors that determine the water status in soil
- The importance of organic matter and living soil organisms in the root environment
- The importance of soil pH
- Plant nutrition provided by soil & growing media
- Alternative growing media
Lesson 3 – Maintaining Plant Health
- Scientific principles and horticultural practices of plant health problems
- Safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable practices
- Effects and control of weeds
- Typical plant pests
- Typical plant diseases
- Plant physiological disorders
- Plant health problems
Lesson 4 – Understanding Plant Propagation
- Propagation methods
- Harvesting and storing seeds
- Propagation from seed
- Propagation from cuttings
- Vegetative propagation techniques
- Budding and grafting
- Safe, healthy & environmentally sustainable practices
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment & Maintenance – A 4-lesson study programme of preparation for the RHS examination.
Lesson 1 – Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning
- Basic surveying techniques
- Site appraisal
- Principles and elements of garden design
- Garden design styles
- Using hard landscaping materials in garden planning
- Using soft landscaping in garden planning
- A cohesive design
- Safety, health and environmentally sustainable practices
Lesson 2 – The Choice, Establishment and Maintenance of Garden Plants and Lawns
- Scientific principles and horticultural practices and their relation to the selection of plants
- Selection of plants for seasonal displays
- Selection of herbaceous perennial plants & bulbs
- Selection of plants for woody display
- Selection of alpine and rock garden plants
- Planting and maintenance of garden ponds
- Establishing lawns and turf
- Maintenance of turfed areas
Lesson 3 – Production of Outdoor Vegetables and Fruit
- Site selection
- Cultural operations for outdoor food production
- Production of vegetable crops
- Production of top and soft fruit crops
- Health, safety and environmentally friendly practices
Lesson 4 – Protected Environments and their use in Plant Cultivation
- Health, safety and environmentally friendly practices
- Protective structures
- The environment within protected structures
- Structural and cladding material of protected structures
- Environmental control in protected structures
- Containers used for production and display
- Horticultural uses of the protected environment
- Care of interior plants
If needed you have 2 years to complete the course. Many students are able to complete this course in approximately 9-14 months (approx 290 learning hours)*.
*Timescales are approximate and depend upon application and motivation.
On successful completion of this course you will receive an HCC Certificate*, graded to show the standard you have reached. Because of the HCC’s reputation this can be highly regarded on a CV and, combined with your portfolio of coursework, is evidence of your achievements (whether you are applying for a job or a more advanced study course).
There is no obligation to sit the external examinations for the nationally recognised RHS qualifications, but they can be particularly valuable for vocational learners. When you pass you will be awarded:
- RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture
(consisting of two certificates:
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development;
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance)
For the Royal Horticultural Society qualifications, you would need to register as an external candidate with an RHS Approved Centre. Lists of such centres are available from the HCC on request.
You would also need to obtain the RHS syllabus and an entry form directly from the Royal Horticultural Society. Please click here to download RHS outline syllabus, examination dates and fees. Your exam fees are payable to the RHS Approved Centre.
* The HCC Certificate will be issued once you have successfully completed your course and finished your course payments.
- You could do the following jobs:
- Garden maintenance and planting
- Working in a nursery: growing, selling, and management
- Garden sitting service (i.e. maintaining gardens while the owners are on holiday)
- Growing and selling container plants or house plants.
You do not need previous gardening knowledge or experience to enrol on this course.
There are two ways you can enrol on this course. You can:
- Pay the total course fee in one sum of £395 and also receive a special Gift from our selection – free. Please click here to view the gifts
- Pay with a deposit of £95 now, followed by 6 instalments of £50
To enrol by phone, please call us on Freephone 0800 083 9191 or 01409 220 777.