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RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development (Theory)


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RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development (Theory)

Price: £340.00Course Code: RHS2100
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( Liz Daw, 14/08/2019 ) Q: Hi I am considering as a retired worker in the pharmaceutical industry to study the RHS Level 2 Certificate(s). I am based in Wiltshire and would like to know if I decide to take your distance learning course can I take the exam at a college near me or would I have to travel to one sit the exam that you are associated with. I look forward to hearing from you
( 30/11/-0001 ) A:Not answered yet.

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RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development (Theory)

Your Career in Horticulture Begins Here!

Start your career in Horticulture with this accredited online RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development and become one of the many worldwide graduates, who have gone on to become established horticulturists and gardeners.

Study through distance learning and prepare for RHS examinations from the comfort of your own home. The Home Study Method of learning means that you can learn at your own pace, not at the pace set by a lecturer in a classroom setting.

This globally recognised course will help you to develop essential gardening skills and knowledge, to a level where you stand out in the eyes of employers. By successfully completing this program, you will gain a solid grounding in the principals of horticulture, plus expand and develop the practical skills necessary in the implication of these principles. RHS qualifications are highly respected and should be seriously considered as desirable by anyone wanting to work in the horticultural industry.

To obtain the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development, you will need to pass four unit exams. These are held by the RHS in February and June every year and  you should be aware that there are deadline dates by which you need to apply to take them and that the fees are paid separately. Students should register as an external candidate with an RHS Approved Centre to take exams, or contact qualifications@rhs.org.uk for details. To help fully prepare you for the exams, there are past test papers readily available.

The four unit exams are:

1  Plant Classification, Structure and Function

2  Plant Nutrition and the Root Environment

3  Maintaining Plant Health

4  Understanding Plant Propagation

Course Duration:

The Total Qualification Time (TQT) given for this course is 159.

Learning Materials:

You can be assured that all of the course work and resource materials (revision workbook, PowerPoint presentations etc.), have been written by experienced professionals who have prepared everything in line with up-to-date RHS guidelines, for learning providers.The syllabus is broken into the four units and because many people choose to spread their exams over the two examination months available, it means you can target your learning to those you want to take first. Please contact us if you just want to take one unit at a time.

Everyone gets online access to ADL's learning platform and the learning materials, which can be downloaded in a pdf. format to study offline and to print off for making notes and highlighting particular sections of interest. You can also choose to have the course posted to you on a USB memory stick.


At ADL we pride ourselves on the quality of the unlimited admin and tutor support we provide to our students. Our support team are there to help you with anything they can, whilst our tutors are seasoned industry related professionals, suitably qualified in horticulture and very happy to share their wealth of experience.

Studying from Abroad:

If you are intending to study from abroad (other than Ireland), you will need to email qualifications@rhs.org.uk to request an exceptional supervision form before applying to take the exams. This means that you can complete the course from abroad and get an internationally recognised qualification from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Tuition Fee Includes:

  • Learning materials for all four units
  • RHS student membership for the first 12 months

Key Facts:

  • Ideal qualifications for entry into horticultural employment, improving practical skills or further study
  • Course covers a range of wide range of horticultural topics and up-to-date working practices
  • Appropriate for career change or to gain a better knowledge
  • Suitable for part-time study
  • Each unit is assessed by examination 
  • Examinations take place in February and June
  • No entry requirements
  • Qualification consists of four mandatory units 

Important Links:

  • For RHS Website please click here
  • For RHS Examination dates for 2019 please click here
  • For RHS Examination fees please click here
  • For RHS approved UK Examination Centers please click here
  • For RHS Level 2 Qualification Specification, updated January 2018 please click here
  • For RHS level 2 Statement of Purpose click here

Previous Student Comments:

"I am delighted to report that I passed the exam and received a "Pass with Commendation." I appreciate very much the detail that you went into, in the the correction of my assignments and I found your advice and extra subject information invaluable in advancing my interest and knowledge in horticulture".  Go raibh mile maith agat! (a thousand thanks!)  Colin, RHS Certificate II , Ireland.   



Unit 1 - Plant Classification, Structure and Function:

Outcome 1. Know the characteristics and the naming of the main groups of plants and their life cycles

  • 1.1 Describe plant groups of significance to horticulture
  • 1.2 Understand botanical and horticultural plant names
  • 1.3 Describe the stages in plant growth
  • 1.4 Define a range of botanical and horticultural terms relating to plant growth

Outcome 2. Know the structure and function of plant cells, tissues and vegetative organs

  • 2.1 Describe the structure of plant cells and state the functions of plant cell components and tissues
  • 2.2 State what is meant by the term: ‘plant tissue’
  • 2.3 Describe the structure and state the functions of roots
  • 2.4 Describe the structure and state the functions of stems
  • 2.5 Describe the structure and state the functions of leaves

Outcome 3. Understand the structure and function of flowers, fruits and seeds

  • 3.1 Describe the structure and state the functions of flowers - Outcome 3: Understand the structure and function of flowers, fruits and seeds
  • 3.2 Describe the structure and functions of fruits and seeds

Outcome 4. Understand the importance of photosynthesis, respiration, the movement of water and minerals through the plant

  • 4.1 Describe photosynthesis and the factors that affect it
  • 4.2 Describe aerobic and anaerobic respiration and the factors that affect them.
  • 4.3 Describe the movement of water and minerals through the plant
  • 4.4 Describe the relationship between leaf structure and physiology


Unit 2 - Plant Nutrition and the Root Environment:

Outcome 1. Understand the physical and chemical properties of soils

  • 1.1 Describe the formation of
  • 1.2 Describe the properties of soil that contribute to the healthy growth of plants
  • 1.3 Define soil texture and describe associated characteristics
  • 1.4 Define soil structure and describe the root environment
  • 1.5 Describe how the root environment can be improved and protected

Outcome 2. Know the importance of organic matter in the root environment

  • 2.1 Describe the role of organic matter in the soil
  • 2.2 Describe the characteristics and uses of different types of organic matter added to the soil
  • 2.3 Describe methods of composting and their use/application in horticultural practices

Outcome 3. Understand plant nutrition provided by soil and other growing media

  • 3.1 Describe a range of nutrients required for healthy plant growth
  • 3.2 Explain the significance of soil pH to plant growth
  • 3.3 Describe how plant nutrients can be provided and maintained

Outcome 4. Understand the uses of growing media

  • 4.1 Explain the considerations required when growing plants in containers
  • 4.2 Describe a range of compost types
  • 4.3 Explain the considerations required when growing plants in water culture


Unit 3 - Maintaining Plant Health:

Outcome 1. Understand the importance of using safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable practices for the maintenance of plant health

  • 1.1 Explain what is meant by physical, cultural, chemical, or biological control
  • 1.2 Explain the importance of natural balances in plant protection
  • 1.3 Describe how the selection of plants can help to avoid plant health problems

Outcome 2. Understand the problems posed by weeds in horticulture and how these problems can be minimised

  • 2.1 Explain why weeds need to be controlled
  • 2.2 Describe the biology of ephemeral, annual and perennial weeds
  • 2.3 Describe how weeds can be controlled

Outcome 3. Understand the problems posed by pests and methods by which these can be minimised

  • 3.1 Explain why pests need to be controlled
  • 3.2 Describe the life-cycle of garden pests
  • 3.3 Describe the biology of pests
  • 3.4 Explain how pests can be controlled

Outcome 4. Understand the problems posed by diseases in horticulture and methods by which they can be minimised

  • 4.1 Explain why plant diseases need to be controlled
  • 4.2 Describe the life-cycle of garden diseases
  • 4.3 Describe the biology of diseases
  • 4.4 Describe how diseases can be controlled

Outcome 5. Understand the problems caused by plant disorders and methods by which they can be minimised

  • 5.1 Explain why plant disorders need to be controlled
  • 5.2 Describe methods of preventing and ameliorating plant disorder


Unit 4 - Understanding Plant Propagation:

Outcome 1. Understand the role of seeds in plant propagation

  • 1.1 Describe the structure of seeds and their significance in propagation
  • 1.2 Describe the process of and requirements for successful seed germination
  • 1.3 Describe appropriate methods of harvesting and storing different types of seed

Outcome 2. Understand methods of propagation from seeds and spores

  • 2.1 Describe the process of growing seeds in containers
  • 2.2 Describe the process of growing seeds in open ground
  • 2.3 Describe the propagation of ferns by spores

Outcome 3. Describe the role of Vegetative Reproduction in Plant Propagation

  • 3.1 Describe the significance of vegetative propagation of plants

Outcome 4. Understand methods of vegetative propagation

  • 4.1 Describe how juvenility and plant health affect the success of vegetative propagation
  • 4.2 Describe methods of vegetative propagation
  • 4.3 Describe the propagation facilities and aftercare for vegetative propagation


The quality of this course is second to none, from the in-depth learning you will get to the expert individual mentoring you will receive throughout your studies. The mentors for this course are: 
Susan Stephenson
BSc in Applied Plant Biology (Botany) Univ. London 1983.
City and guilds: Garden Centre Management, Management and Interior Decor (1984)
Management qualifications in training with retail store. Diploma in Hort level 2 (RHS General) Distinction. 
Susan Stephenson is a passionate and experienced horticulturist and garden designer. She has authored three books, lectures at 2 Further and Higher Education Colleges, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds about the wonders of plants and garden design, and tutors many students by correspondence from all over the world.
Susan studied botany at Royal Holloway College (Univ of London) and worked in the trading industry before returning to her first love plants and garden design. She is therefore, well placed to combine business knowledge with horticulture and design skills. Her experience is wide and varied and she has designed gardens for families and individuals. Susan is a mentor for garden designers who are just starting out, offering her support and advice and she also writes, delivers and assesses courses for colleges, introducing and encouraging people into horticulture and garden design.
In 2010, Susan authored a complete module for a Foundation degree (FDSC) in Arboriculture.
Susan holds the RHS General with Distinction. She continues to actively learn about horticulture and plants and (as her students will tell you) remains passionate and interested in design and horticulture.
Steven Whitaker
Diploma in Garden Design (Distinction) – The Blackford Centre, Gold Certificate of Achievement in Horticulture, Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture, Level 1 NOCN Introduction to Gardening, – Joseph Priestly College, BTEC Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Operations (Merit), Trainer Skills 1, & 2, Group trainer, Interview and Selection Skills – Kirby College of Further Education
Steven has a wealth of Horticultural knowledge, having ran his own Design and Build service, Landscaping company, and been a Head Gardener. His awards include five Gold awards at Leeds in Bloom, two Gold awards at Yorkshire in Bloom and The Yorkshire Rose Award for Permanent Landscaping. Steven has worked with TV’s Phil Spencer as his garden advisor on the Channel 4 TV Programme, “Secret Agent”. 
He is qualified to Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture and has a Diploma in Garden Design which he passed with Distinction. Steven’s Tutor and Mentor was the Chelsea Flower Show Gold Award-winning Garden Designer, Tracy Foster. He also works for a major Horticultural Commercial Grower in the field of Propagation and Craft Gardening. Steven lives in Leeds where he is a Freelance Garden Designer and Garden Advice Consultant. 


Optional Recommended books:

For the RHS Level 2 Certificate Courses as a whole:

  1. Principles of Horticulture 6th Edition by CR Adams, KM Bamford and MP Early
  2. New RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques, Mitchell Beazley ISBN 978184533408
  3. RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers, Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 9781405314541
  4. RHS Botany for Gardeners: the Art and Science of Gardening Explained and Explored, Mitchell Beazley, ISBN 9781845338336.

Other Useful Books:

  1. The Green Garden Expert by Dr D G Hessayon, Expert Books, ISBN 978090350563
  2. RHS Plant Finder ( use the current edition only), £15.99 Dorling Kindersley
  3. Plant Names Simplified: Their Pronunciation Derivation and Meaning, AT Johnson and HA Smith, old Pond Publishing, ISBN 1905523823
  4. RHS Latin for Gardeners: Over 3,000 plant names explained and explored, Lorraine Harrison and the RHS. Mitchell Beazley ISBN 184533731X

Additional Additional Books for the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development

  1. Botany for Gardeners Revised edition Brian Capon, Timber Press £14.99 088192 6558
  2. Practical Science for Gardeners Mary Pratt, Timber Press £17.99 088192718X
  3. Green Plants: The Inside Story CJ Clegg. John Murray 0719575532


Course Info
How Do Our Tuition Fees Compare?
Course StartBegin your course at anytime.
Course Prerequisite None - Our course levels are an indication of the depth of learning you should receive. They do not describe the level of difficulty.
Course Qualification (Study Option A)Recognised qualification from the RHS. N.B. Course fee does not include exam fees.
Course Qualification (Study Option B)
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 14 - Regulated Qualification
Course Duration and DeadlinesCourse hours given are a guide only. Work at your own pace with no assignment deadlines or completion date. You are in control!
Study SupportPersonal tutor/mentor support from industry relevant professionals throughout your whole course. Mentors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through the online classroom. They provide assistance with your course material, plus discuss, explain and give advice when needed.
Suitability for Self Employment and Small BusinessesOur courses are ideal for sole traders and small business owners and their staff. Customer confidence in what you can do will determine how successful you are in getting clients. Completing one or more of our courses for the service you have to offer, will give you the tools to grow your business.
Recognition of Your Course By EmployersHighly recognition in the Horticultural Industry
Recognition of Your Course By UniversitiesPrevious students have used their qualification to get into university. However each one will have its own entrance criteria and acceptance may also depend on your other qualifications and experience.
Designing Your Own Qualification
How Can I Enrol?Online via eCommerce, by completing our Online Application Form, or by calling us on +44 (0) 1227 789 649. Lines open 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year.
How Can I Get a Pro-forma Invoice for my Employer?Contact us with details and we will email your employer an invoice. We will need: employer's name, address, telephone number, email address and contact name. We will also require your name, telephone number, email address, date of birth and the course and code you wish to enrol for.

                       Learn, Progress, Change, Achieve                                                     


Previous Customer Experiences with our CoursesWoman leaping to the next level in her career development

"Fantastic Teacher. Well organised modules. Assignments force me to learn and research more so I can prepare well for exams. I really enjoyed studying via ADL.  I can now continue study at Ulster University which accept my certificate from ADL".    Level 4,  Advanced Certificate in Applied Science,  VSC001,  Stanislawa,  Poland.

Its with great pleasure I am announcing you my new job as 'Park Manager' for a 5 star hotel in Reunion Island.  Its definitely my courses with ADL (Botany, Agronomy and Trees for Rehabilitation) which were decisive for my nomination. Accordingly, my sincere thanks goes to all the ADL team.

"The course was a valuable learning experience as it provided me with the knowledge and understanding for me as a Careers Advisor. The feedback was very good from my tutor, and allowed me to  build upon my assignments that were marked. The comments were very informative  and very useful. Well written course material."  Andrew W, Careers  Counselling, UK

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Disclaimer: Every attempt is made to ensure all information from the academy is accurate and that the student has attained the competencies taught in a course, at the point of their assessment. Beyond this point, the graduate is responsible to maintain their acquired competencies, and apply acquired knowledge and skills in a way which is appropriate to the unique characteristics of each application. This will release the academy from any liability, action and claims of whatsoever nature in connection with, or arising from any such information, instruction or advice, given by any student or ex-student, whether directions given during the course are followed or not.