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Horticulture Course
Price: Qualification:

NEW RHS Syllabus for 2022/23 – Enrolling Now!

NEW Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Plant Growth and Development (Theory – (DL) ONLINE
Pre-requisites: there are no pre-requisites for this course. The RHS requires that you start with Unit 1 and then proceed to Unit 2, in that order.

The RHS Level 2 (Theory) Certificate course encompasses the fundamental scientific principles underlying horticultural practices and accesses how horticulture can benefit society for the betterment of all.

In this qualification, you’ll learn to develop a level of expertise in the function of plants and the importance of horticultural practices crucial to the horticultural industry.

You will also learn and understand the part horticulture can play in: protecting biodiversity – creating more sustainable practices – lowering our carbon footprint.

How Can This Course Help You?

By preparing you for entry to the horticultural industry if you are new to the profession or by expanding your current horticultural skills.

You’ll also gain from this course the following additional skills and knowledge in order to:

  • Understand problem-solving skills
  • Implement management plans / programmes
  • Develop communication skills
  • Progress to further learning opportunities at Level 3
  • Progress to higher education
  • Career advancement
  • Enter the horticultural industry at a more advanced, technical level.

On enrolment you will be allocated your own RHS specialist tutor, who is a highly experienced horticultural professional.

Ways to Help Reduce Tuition Fees!

Important: The RHS Level 2 Theory and Level 3 Theory courses are best studied online, rather than in a face-to-face classroom setting. Online course fees are usually lower than classroom fees (practicals), and you can start at any time. No need to wait for class start dates. Just begin when it is convenient to you.


The NEW RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development (theory) 2022 – is comprised of two (2) units, each covering 4 topics:

What Will I Learn?

Unit 1:
Topic 1.     Plant Science I – provides underpinning knowledge of the plant, its structure and function and includes:

  • Scientific and common plant names
  • Lifecycle adaptations
  • External parts of the plant
  • Internal plant structure
  • Pollination and fertilisation
  • Photosynthesis and respiration
  • Movement of water through the plant

Topic 2.   Plant Health – provides underpinning knowledge and understanding of the effect of a range of factors on plant health. Includes:

  • Environmental conditions
  • Plant nutrition and plant health
  • Impact of competition on plant health
  • Pests and pathogens
  • Biosecurity and plant passports
  • Maintaining plant health

Topic 3.     Plant Nutrition – provides horticultural knowledge of plant nutrition and growing media. Includes:

  • Soil types and profiles
  • Role of nutrients
  • Soil-based nutrition
  • pH and nutrient availability
  • Bulk constituents for growing media

Topic 4.   Plant Specification – provides horticultural knowledge to make recommendations for planting based on matching plant need and site requirements.

  • Site-based criteria
  • Plant-based criteria
  • Plant specifications
  • Receiving plant material on site
  • Planting and post-planting care
  • Maintaining new plantings

Unit 2:
Topic 1.  Plant Science II – provides an understanding of the range and role of plant adaptations.

  • Leaf adaptations
  • Stem adaptations
  • Root adaptations
  • Flower adaptations
  • Seed adaptations
  • Growth habit adaptations

Topic 2.   Planting Styles – provides horticultural knowledge of the factors involved in creating a wide range of different horticultural plantings.

  • Historical contexts
  • Formal planting
  • Informal planting
  • Plant associations
  • Plant uses
  • Edible landscapes
  • Short-term plantings

Topic 3.   Horticulture and Society – allows learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of horticulture’s contribution to society, including social, environmental, and economic.

  • Wellbeing
  • Environment
  • Economy
  • Community

Topic 4.   Biodiversity – provides an applied knowledge of the roles of plants in creating habitats to encourage biodiversity.

  • Plants and biodiversity
  • Impact of climate change
  • Creating habitats
  • Citizen science and species surveys
  • Biodiversity Action Plans

See our  ‘ASSESSMENT’ drop-down box, for more information on how you will be graded.

Exam Assessments:

There are two separate exams – one for each unit.

Unit 1 examination covers topics 1.1-1.4 and examination 2 covers Unit 2 topics 2.1-2.4.

Each examination takes 100 minutes to complete and the total number of marks available is 100.

Each exam is comprised of three (3) sections:

Section A, 15-20 questions, 20 marks
Section B, 12-15 questions, 50 marks
Section C, choice of 2 from 4 questions, 2 x 15 marks.

To be awarded this RHS qualification, a grade of 50% or more must be achieved for each unit, 1 and 2.

A final grade for the overall qualification will be calculated by combining the marks for each unit and then presented as a percentage.

The following grades are awarded for the complete qualification:

Pass – 50-64% –
Merit – 65-79% –
Distinction – 80%+

Examinations Dates

There are three (3) exam opportunities each year.

Exams are held in February 2023 (unit 1 only) and June and October 2023.

Enrol and start at anytime of the year. The enrolment period is for 20 months.

When enrolling we automatically enter you for the next two (2) feasible examination dates – one for each unit.

Exam Dates

When you enrol ADL will enter you for the most appropriate and practical two exam dates- one for each unit. For example, if you enrolled at the end of March you would not be entered for June, but rather the first exam being October, and then the second unit scheduled for February.

Please click here for further details regarding the RHS exam timetable and all qualifications.

If you are considering taking exams for the two units on the one day, you will need to contact, support@adlonlinecourses.co.uk within one month of enrolment. We can then contact the RHS to change your registration. However, if you make this request after the one month grace period, you will need to contact the RHS direct to make this change.

Important:   You may incur additional charges from the RHS, if you decide to postpone your exam which has been booked. In this event you will need to contact Qualificationas@rhs.org.uk. We cannot do this for you.

Qualification Awarded

Upon satisfactory completion of exams for Units 1 and 2, the RHS will award you the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development (2022) – Your grade of a Pass, Merit or Distinction will be indicated on the certificate.


The NEW RHS qualifications, require each topic of the syllabus to be built around what is called ‘Assessment Outcomes (AOs) . These identify the way you explain your knowledge, understanding and skills of making connections between relevant topic areas, under test conditions.

The AOs use a ‘progressive mastery’ model for each topic area. There are three (3) broad categories of assessment outcomes as follows:

AO1 – knowledge recall: of scientific ideas, processes, techniques, procedures, and making correct use of terms, symbols and units of measurement.

AO2 – application of knowledge and understanding: of concepts, theories, facts to different situations and contexts through presentation of reasoned explanations and analysis and interpretation of information and ideas.

AO3 – application of knowledge and understanding: in an integrated and holistic way in order to reach conclusions and make judgements and recommendations

We will enter you for the most appropriate and practical two exam dates- one for each unit. For example, if you enrolled at the end of March you would not be entered for June, but rather the first exam being October, and then the second unit scheduled for February.

Sample assessments available.  Please contact: support@adlhomestudy.co.uk  for details.

Enroll Now

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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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