Horticulture » Horticulture


Course Description:  This course provides the student with foundation, knowledge and skills necessary to pursue careers in the horticultural industry.  Through theory, instruction and hands on experiences, students are introduced to the concepts of:  plant growth and development, plant nomenclature, use of plants in landscape settings, the effect invasive species have on the landscape, principles and components of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in controlling insects, diseases, and weeds.  Additionally, the student becomes aware of career opportunities within the green industry and the economic value of horticultural crops, products, and related services.


Upon completion of the course students will understand and be able to:


  • Identify the main parts of a plant and describe the functions of each.
  • Describe the basic needs of plants and the various factors that make up their environment.
  • Identify and apply knowledge and skills in plant nomenclature.
  • Describe and apply the fundamental principles of plant placement within the landscape.
  • Recognize and identify beneficial and harmful plant insects, diseases, and weeds; and make recommendations for control and treatment.
  • Design and present an effective IPM program.
  • Describe the impact that invasive plant species have on the global landscape.
  • Establish and maintain herbaceous and woody plants in ornamental/ environmental landscapes.
  • Prepare growing media and describe amendments for various greenhouse/nursery mixes.
  • Demonstrate basic industry skills in leadership, customer relations, employability and communications required of a professional horticulturist.
  • Identify and evaluate career opportunities and interest within the green industry, of which horticulture is a part.

Course Description:  Plant Production is to be taken upon successful completion of the Foundations of Horticulture course.  In the production course students will build on prior knowledge of basic plant science. By incorporating market research and product development students will successfully plan, produce, and sell greenhouse and nursery crops.  Students will expand their knowledge of plant nomenclature and plant cultural needs.  Students will learn how to monitor and maintain proper growing conditions, and use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies and environmentally sound practices necessary for producing healthy crops.  Students will complete a business plan including product production cost, pricing, marketing, display and sale of plants.  Pre-requisite: Principles of Plant/ Animal/Environmental/ Science and/or Foundations of Horticulture


Upon completion of the course students will understand and be able to:


  • Utilize both scientific and common plant names as appropriate.
  • Classify plants by common cultural characteristics and requirements for production.
  • Determine proper cultural conditions required for successful growth and maintenance of interior and containerized plants.
  • Identify the damage from plant pests and diseases, and practice appropriate IPM control measures in the greenhouse and nursery. 
  • Understand the relationship between soil composition, nutrient availability and plant nutrient requirements.
  • Identify common and invasive weeds and practice control measures in the greenhouse and nursery.
  • Design and maintain a functioning irrigation system including the equipment and controls required to deliver water to greenhouse and nursery crops.
  • Understand and apply different methods of packaging plants for shipping and merchandising.
  • Establish and implement a business plan for producing a marketable crop for a profit.
  • Students will incorporate mathematic skills as they apply to proper growing conditions, i.e. appropriate soil mix, nutrients, watering etc.

Course Description:  In this course students will have the opportunity to prepare and implement landscape designs based on a broad range of settings.  Students will prepare designs including site analysis, collecting and using various field measurements, preliminary and final plans, and preparing cost estimates.  Students will apply the principles of design, use drafting tools and techniques, and prepare various types of design views to present finished landscape designs.  Students will select proper plants, planting techniques and install hardscapes and softscapes within the landscape design.  Students will install and maintain lawns, identify harmful weeds, insects, and diseases.  Students will maintain a landscape by applying techniques for mulching, watering, pruning, and pest control.  Finally, students will evaluate all aspects of the design process, including costs, and incorporate sound horticultural and business practices required for entry level employment.  Pre-requisite: Principles of Plant/ Animal/Environmental/ Science and/or Foundations of Horticulture


Upon completion of the course students will understand and be able to:


  • Perform a site analysis and customer interview to formulate a plan for a specific design request.
  • Select appropriate plants for the implementation of a landscape by considering hardiness, microclimates, cultural requirements, and growth habits.
  • Design a functional, attractive, enjoyable landscape using standard design principles for meeting customer needs.
  • Prepare cost estimate and installation timeline for implementing the landscape design.
  • Identify, label, and use plants by both scientific and common names in the landscape design plan and installation.
  • Identify and install appropriate grass species based on growing conditions for establishing turf.
  • Demonstrate landscape management techniques such as pruning, irrigation, planting, sanitation, fertilization, mulching, and pest control.
  • Demonstrate successful customer relations skills, product knowledge and service as it applies to the green industry.
  • Demonstrate merchandising strategies and appropriate additional tie-in product sale methods as well as the completion of a sale.
  • Identify and explain the elements of managing a successful business.

The Horticulture program is based on the content of the Certified Professional
Horticulturist (CPH) certification that is used by the Maryland Green Industry. Upon completion of the course students will be able to take the CPH exam administered by the Maryland Nursery Landscape
Association (MNLA). The courses includes; Foundations of Horticulture, Plant
Production, Landscape Design and
Management. The classes include lecture and lab components where students will gain hands on experience working in
various attributes of the industry.