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Course Title: RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture

Horticulture Course
Price:£610 Qualification: RHS Certificate
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture

This RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture can be obtained by successful completion of both the level 2 principles.

The fee shown includes a 10% discount off the normal £680 fee, payable for the two courses when paid for separately. Interest free payments on the normal fee of £680 are available; please contact us for details.

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

  1. Plant Classification, Structure and Function
  2. Plant Nutrition and the Root Environment
  3. Maintaining Plant Health
  4. Understanding Plant Propagation

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance (Theory)

  1. Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning
  2. Choice, Establishment and Maintenance of Garden Plants and Lawns
  3. Understanding the Production of Outdoor Vegetables and Fruit
  4. Protected Environments and their use in Plant Cultivation

Students will need to pass all eight unit exams, spread over the two courses.

The units can be completed in any order to prepare for the RHS exams held in February and June of each year. Please note that there are deadline dates for exam applications.

Students need to register as an external candidate at an RHS Approved Centre, or email: qualifications@rhs.org.uk for details

Exam fees are paid to the test centre when booking a seat and to  help fully prepare for the exams, past test papers are available.

Course Information

Course Duration:

The course takes approximately 280 hours to complete but this is given as a guide only. We encourage our learners to work at their own pace and so there are no assignment deadlines or end date, by which the course must be completed by. Apart from the RHS exam dates deadlines, you decide how and when you study. If you start and then something happens in your life that stops you from continuing, don’t worry. Just take a break and recommence your studies for the following year’s exams or even for the year after that.

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. You can also choose to have the course posted to you on a USB memory stick and/or opt for the correspondence add-on option, if you would like the learning materials in book form.


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 or set practical activities
Examinations take place in February and June
Practical courses provide hands-on experience of practical skills
No entry requirements
Qualification consists of mandatory units (for theoretical and practical-based qualifications) with some optional units to develop specialist practical skills


Course Structure – Plant Growth, Propagation and Development

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

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

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

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

Unit 2 – Plant Nutrition and the Root Environment:

Outcome 1. Understand the physical and chemical properties of soils

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

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

Outcome 4. Understand the uses of growing media

Unit 3 – Maintaining Plant Health:

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

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

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

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

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

Unit 4 – Understanding Plant Propagation:

Outcome 1. Understand the role of seeds in plant propagation

Outcome 2. Understand methods of propagation from seeds and spores

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

Outcome 4. Understand methods of vegetative propagation

Course Structure – Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance

Unit 1 – Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning:

Outcome 1. Know How to Carry out and Record a Garden Survey

Outcome 2. Know How to Carry out a Site Appraisal and Record Essential Data

Outcome 3. Understand Basic Garden Planning Principles and the Elements that Contribute to a Good Design

Outcome 4. Understand the Characteristics of Accepted Garden Design Styles

Outcome 5. Understand the Effective and Appropriate use of Hard Landscaping Materials

Outcome 6. Understand the Effective use of Soft Landscaping Elements

Outcome 7. Understand how to Incorporate Key Elements into a Cohesive Design

Outcome 8. Understand the Importance of Safe, Healthy, Environmentally-Sensitive and Sustainable Development of Garden Sites

Unit 2 – Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning:

Outcome 1. Understand the choice of plants for seasonal display and their establishment and maintenance

Outcome 2. Understand the Choice of Herbaceous Perennial Plants and ‘bulbs’ for Display, and how to grow them

Outcome 3. Understand the choice of Woody Plants for Display and their Establishment and Maintenance

Outcome 4. Understand the Choice of Alpine and Rock Garden Plants and how to Grow Them

Outcome 5. Understand the Planting and Maintenance of a Garden PoolOutcome 6. Understand the Establishment and Maintenance of Lawns

Unit 3 – Understanding the Production of Outdoor Vegetables and Fruit:

Outcome 1. Importance of site selection for Outdoor Food Production in a Garden or Allotment

Outcome 2. Cultural operations used to produce outdoor food crops in a garden or allotment

Outcome 3. The principles of vegetable crop production

Outcome 4. The Production of top and soft fruit for a garden or allotment

Unit 4 – Understanding Protected Environments & their Use in Plant Cultivation:

Outcome 1. A Range of types of Protected Structure, and their use in Growing Plants

Outcome 2. The Environment provided by a range of Protected Structures

Outcome 3. Structural and Cladding Materials used for a range of Protected Structures

Outcome 4. The Control of the Environment in Protected Structures

Outcome 5. Types of Container and Growing Media Used for Production and Display in Protected Structures

Outcome 6. Horticultural uses of the Protected Environment

Outcome 7. Care of Plants in an Interior Situation


RHS Links and Book List

Important Links:

For RHS Website please click here
For RHS Examination dates for 2018 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 September 2017 please click here
For RHS level 2 Statement of Purpose click here

Optional Recommended books:

For the RHS Level 2 Certificate Courses as a whole:

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

Other Useful Books:

The Green Garden Expert by Dr D G Hessayon, Expert Books, ISBN 978090350563
RHS Plant Finder ( use the current edition only), £15.99 Dorling Kindersley
Plant Names Simplified: Their Pronunciation Derivation and Meaning, AT Johnson and HA Smith, old Pond Publishing, ISBN 1905523823
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

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

Additional Additional Books for the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance:

The Essential Garden Design Workbook, Rosemary Alexander 2nd edition, paperback Timber Press 0-881-92975-1
John Brookes’ Garden Design Book, John Brookes 2nd edition Dorling Kindersley 0-75130-981-8
RHS Encyclopedia of Garden Design, Chris Young (ed) Dorling Kindersley 1-40932-574-1
The Garden DIY Expert, Dr D. G. Hessayon Expert Books 0-903-50537-1
How to Garden: Garden Design, Alan Titchmarsh BBC Books 1-846-07397-9
The Garden Planner, Robin Williams Frances Lincoln 0-71121-218-X
Joe’s Small Garden Handbook, Joe Swift Quadrille Publishing Ltd 1-849-49367-7

For professional designers:

An Introduction to Landscape Design and Construction
James Blake, Gower 0-566-07775-2
Plant User Handbook: a guide to effective specifying, James Hitchmough and Ken Fieldhouse (eds) Blackwell Publishing 0-632-05843-9

Previous Student Comments

‘Thanks a lot for your help. I’d like to say that I’m very pleased and feel that I made the right choice in choosing ADL. I have found your customer service to be excellent, friendly and professional. The course I have started is also extremely well written and is very effective at ‘committing’ the lessons to memory. So once again many thanks to yourself and your team!’ Michael Allen – RHS Combined Package

Price: £610
Qualification: RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture (Theory)
Estimated Course Duration: 280 hours
Available Learning Methods: Online, USB (+£10) and Correspondence (+£110)
Enrolment Dates: Our courses are self-paced and you can start at anytime

Order RHS Level 2 Combined
Pay securely with PayPal using your account or by a credit/debit card

As soon as payment has been confirmed you will be able to access your course materials online within 24 hours. Any further correspondence will arrive at your address between 3-4 days.

For any Questions or to Enrol please call 01227 789 649

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