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Orchid Culture 100 Hours Certificate Course


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Orchid Culture 100 Hours Certificate Course

Price: £325.00Course Code: BHT232 CLD
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Orchid Culture 100 Hours Certificate Course

Orchid Culture course online.

Whether you are an enthusiastic amateur, or working professionally in horticulture looking to increase your areas of expertise, this course will help give you a solid foundation in order to become an orchid expert. 

You will learn to differentiate between different orchid types, understand the differing cultural requirements for various orchids,  grow orchids outside, in a greenhouse or as an indoor plant, choose the best orchid for a given situation and work with orchids.

You will find this course useful if you are:

Passionate about orchids.
An enthusiastic amateur or professional orchid grower.
A nursery person or plant breeder.
A horticulturist or plant collector. 


Learning GoalsOrchid Culture BHT232
  • Understand the system of plant classification and naming
  • Explain appropriate way to grow a range of different orchid species.
  • Describe common methods of Orchid Propagation
  • Understand the basics of the structure, taxonomy and culture of Cymbidiums and Dendrobiums
  • Describe the identification and culture of some of the more commonly grown orchids apart from Dendrobiums and Cattleyas
  • Describe the identification and culture of some of orchids native to your locality or region.
  • Describe a range of alternative ways in which to grow orchids
  • Research commercial orchid growing


Lesson Structure:   Orchid Culture BHT232

There are 8 lessons:

1  Introduction

  • Introduction to Orchid Species
  • Plant Names and the System for Naming Orchids
  • Orchid sub families and tribes
  • Plant Name Pronunciation
  • Orchid Plant structure.
  • Resources
  • Terminology

2  Culture

  • Overview of Growing Orchids
  • Guidelines; temperature, light, humidity, ventilation, watering, feeding, potting mixes
  • Growing Cattleyas
  • Substrates for Geophytes and Epiphytes
  • Understanding Soils; texture, pH, nutrient availability, fertility,
  • Mycorrhyza and Orchids
  • Propagating and Potting Media
  • Nutrients and Nutrition
  • Plant Health; orchid pests, orchid diseases, other problems
  • Pruning Orchids
  • Watering Orchids

3  Propagation

  • Sexual vs. asexual propagation
  • Asexual Propagating sympodial Orchids
  • Asexual Propagation of Monopodial Epiphytes
  • Aerial Offset Propagation (Keikis)
  • Propagating Orchids by Seed
  • Hybrid Seed Production
  • Harvesting Orchid Seed
  • Flasking Method of Seed Sowing
  • Tissue (Meristem) Culture of Orchids
  • Propagation Equipment; greenhouses, hotbeds, cold frames, mist systems, furo light boxes, etc

4  Cymbidiums And Dendrobiums

  • Cymbidium culture
  • Dendrobium Types -soft cane, hard cane, black haired
  • Dendrobium Culture
  • Dendrobium species

5  Cattleyas, Vandas And Other Commonly Grown Orchids

  • Cattleya varieties and culture
  • Vandas; main species and culture
  • Odontoglossum
  • Oncidium -types (climbing and spreading), culture
  • Paphiopedalum (Slipper Orchids)
  • Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchids)
  • Pleione (Indian Crocus)
  • Crucifix Orchids (Epidendrum)

6  Australian Native Orchids

  • Endemic, naturalised and indigenous plantsProblem Based Learning Project, with the following Learning Ourtcomes:
  • Determine which species of orchids are most commonly sold in your locality.
  • Determine orchid varieties which are being grown in your locality
  • Determine any orchid genera suited to growing in a warm climate.

7  Growing Orchids: Commercial and general uses

  • Cut Flower Production
  • Basket Plants
  • Epiphytes
  • Review of Orchid Genera for Cut Flower Production
  • Environmental Requirements for many significant orchid genera
  • Vanilla Bean Culture and Production
  • Greenhouse Management for Orchids

8  Harvest and Special Project On One Group Of Orchids

  • Crop Scheduling; Writing a schedule for production of an Orchid Crop
  • Harvest and Post Harvest of Selected Orchid Cut Flowers; bud opening, transport, storing flowers, etc
  • Cattleya, Cymbidium, Dendrobium

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.


What You Will Do In This Course:
  • Compile a resource file or organisations and information sources relevant to orchids.
  • Obtain and orchid flower; draw and label this flower.
  • Review 56 different orchid species in detail.
  • Obtain soil from two different areas (two different types of soils). Using the tests in the Lesson notes, do the following, name each of these soils and test the drainage of each soil.
  • Obtain (or make up) a potting mix which you consider appropriate for growing orchids.
  • Visit a nursery or garden growing orchids. Notice how and where these plants are growing.
  • Determine which plants are healthiest and assess the conditions in which they are growing.
  • Obtain enough plant material to propagate four different orchids. Propagate these orchids vegetatively.
  • Visit a nursery, or some other place which sells a wide range of different types of pots.
  • Consider the properties of the pots you see for sale and their suitability for growing orchids in. Note down the prices of each.
  • Investigate further into tissue culture processes specific to Orchids beyond the notes offered in the course.
  • Determine which species of orchids are most commonly sold in your locality.
  • Carry out research and look through any references you have and determine any orchid genera (not yet covered in this course), which are suited to growing in a tropical or sub-tropical climate.
  • Visit (virtual or real) a plant nursery which sells a range of native orchids. List differentat orchid varieties which are being grown in your locality.
  • Visit a florist shop. Notice what orchids are being sold; how they are presented for sale, how they are stored etc
  • Evaluate the cultural practices observed (or investigated) in the different enterprises which you considered in your set task.


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: 
Bunch of yellow rosesSusan 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 course tutorSteven 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. 

Excerpt From The Course


This is a very diverse group, with an immense number of hybrids and varieties. Cymbidiums are more cold tolerant than Cattleyas (they withstand temperatures to around 7 degrees Celsius); hence more are commonly grown in cooler areas. In cool areas many people have outstanding success with Cymbidiums grown in a shade house, on a veranda or under the protection of a large tree.

Watering is ceased over winter, and in wet areas, some people turn pots on their side for a period to stop the roots getting too wet and rotting.

Cymbidiums will perform better if winter temperatures can be kept around 10ºCelsius (perhaps bring them indoors over winter).  Flower spikes develop over winter and bloom throughout the spring.  Temperatures around 20‑27º Celsius are preferred over summer.

All Cymbidiums prefer indirect sunlight, particularly once flowers open, however some are more sun tolerant than others. Pink or red Cymbidiums tolerate brighter light than green flowering types. Yellow and white flowering varieties vary in their light tolerance.

Every variety of Cymbidium needs to reach a certain size before it will flower.  This varies from one variety to the next: for one it may require three mature bulbs, and for another three times that number.   Cymbidiums can be grown from back bulbs (pseudo bulbs), similar to the way Cattleyas are propagated, however with Cymbidiums, one pseudobulb is sufficient for a new plant.

Bulb rot is common if pots get over wet in summer (control with a Fongarid drench).  Black leaf spot often occurs ‑ control with a Mancozeb spray.  If the summer is dry, bulb rot is unlikely, but mites are more likely.  Watering in the evening in summer helps drop the root temperature for the night, which in turn helps initiate flowering.

In very hot late summer conditions, apply a weak Epsom salts solution to Cymbidiums weekly.

Feed Cymbidiums regularly over spring and autumn, but not through late summer - being short on nutrients in January/February, helps promote flowering.


There are several different groups of Dendrobiums:

1. Soft Cane ‑The cane is generally swollen or thick and soft inside.

2. Black Haired (Nigro‑hirsute) ‑canes are covered by short black hairs.

3. Hard Cane ‑canes are thin and long

As a group, Dendrobiums are diverse both in how they look and how they need to be treated. Many are native to Australia while many others are exotic from Asia. Though most Dendrobiums are epiphytes and many need to be grown on a slab of fern or timber; some will grow quite well in a pot.

There are Dendrobiums which will grow in all types of climates from the tropics to cool temperate areas, though most come from mild or warm climates. If we were to generalize the most important requirement is fresh air or good ventilation, followed by appropriate shade. Over watering is always a danger with Dendrobiums grown in pots. Many can be grown by division of offsets or separation.  The pseudobulbs of Dendrobiums are commonly elongated and look like a piece of cane, hence are commonly called canes.                      




Growing Method

Dendrobium adae

Hard cane

Shady site


D. aggregatum

Hard cane

Need long dry period

Very open mix

D. bellatulum

Black hair

Dry out over winter           

Epiphyte‑fern slab is ideal

D. bigibbum

(Cooktown Orchid)           

Hard cane

Prefers bright light

Pot or Epiphytic or lithophyte

D. canaliculatum

Hard cane

Bright light


D. discolor

Hard cane

Bright light

Pot or epiphyte or lithophyte   

D. formosum  

Black hair

Very warm climates


D. gracilicaule

Hard cane

Bright light

Epiphyte or lithophyte

D. kingianum

Hard cane

Semi‑shaded position 

Pot or lithophyte

D. nobile

Soft cane

At least 50% shade


D. speciosum

Hard cane

Prefers bright light

Epiphyte or (Sydney rock orchid) or lithophyte





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)Endorsed Qualification from TQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation - Completed written assignments, plus final exam (N.B. Some courses have Final Project alternative).
Course Qualification (Study Option B)Certificate of Attainment from ADL - Completed written assignments only - no final exam.
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 10 - U.S. Credit Hours: 3 - when compared to regulated courses.
Course Duration and Deadlines100 hours approx. Course 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 EmployersWe aim to achieve the correct balance between your qualification being recognised and providing you with the in-depth learning, to empower you to succeed. Select study option A when enrolling, so an employer can check the status of the awarding organisation for your qualification on the Ofqual Register.
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Designing Your Own QualificationBundle up your choice of related courses to form your own qualification. Choose from a Diploma (6 courses), Advanced Diploma (8 courses) and Higher Advanced Diploma (12 courses.
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.
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