Certificate II in Horticulture by Open Colleges

Certificate II in Horticulture by Open Colleges

See how this course can change your future
Download course guide
Enquire now
Self paced
Maximum 18 months
Delivery method
$3,150 upfront
(25% off)

Certificate II in Horticulture by Open Colleges

Love nature and working outdoors? Learn how our nationally accredited Certificate II in Horticulture course will boost your career and horticultural skills.
Self paced
Maximum 18 months
Delivery method
$3,150 upfront
(25% off)
Self paced
Maximum 18 months
Delivery method
$3,150 upfront
(25% off)
Download course guide
Enquire now

Course Description

Suitable for home gardeners and sole traders, including handypersons, landscapers and gardeners, this nationally accredited horticulture course is delivered by industry experts and will teach you:

  • How to recognise plants, prepare plant specimens and provide information on products and services.
  • The fundamentals of planting, potting and maintaining trees, shrubs and plants.
  • Soil testing and how to treat weeds, pests and diseases
  • How to work effectively in the industry and Work Health and Safety practices.

You’ll then choose one of three streams to develop your knowledge in a specialist area:

  • In the Nursery stream you’ll discover how to maintain nursery plants, pot up plants and participate in environmentally sustainable work practices.
  • The Parks and Gardens stream will teach you how to operate basic machinery, support turf establishment and maintain properties and structures.
  • If you choose the Landscaping stream, you’ll learn how to operate basic machinery, lay paving and assist with landscape construction.

Whichever stream you choose will give you a deeper understanding of this growth area and help you develop in-demand, industry-specific skills.

You will also be granted access to Trade Hub as part of your studies. Trade Hub is a literacy and numeracy support tool, which explains key concepts that you will need to understand to work in horticulture (area, volume, instructions, and safety documents).

Studying online with Open Colleges means you can fit learning around your life. There are no classrooms and no deadlines. You simply study whenever you want, at a pace that suits your life, and on any device that’s handy (smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer).

If you are an existing worker or have experience in the related industry, please inform our enrolment consultants during your enrolment conversation. You may be eligible to enrol as an existing worker and complete your studies faster. Please note – limitations do apply.

Potential career outcomes

  • Crop workers
  • Gardener
  • Horticulturalist Assistant
  • Landscape Gardener
  • Landscaping Assistant
  • Nursery Assistant
Get your career started, download a course guide
Download course guide



There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 16 years old. If you are under 18 your enrolment form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven’t successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to you by Open Colleges.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher
  • Access to printer and associated software
  • Access to scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 10 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Workplace projects

You will need to have access to a workplace, or workplaces, in which you can complete your projects and presentations (video demonstrations). Your workplace must be approved by Open Colleges as a suitable and safe environment. The workplace supervisor verifies the activity and you as the student, but does not assess your competence. The projects and presentations are evaluated by an Open Colleges assessor, who will judge competency based on the written and visual evidence you submit online.

You can find more information about the workplace projects here. 

Equipment and tools

You will need to have access to specific tools and equipment for this course. Click here to view the complete list of materials, equipment and tools required for this course.


To successfully complete this course, you will require basic computing skills. This includes:

  • Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents.
  • Accessing and searching the internet.
  • Downloading and saving documents from websites.
  • Uploading documents through websites.
  • Participating in online discussions.
  • Compressing image files.
  • Connecting digital cameras and downloading and storing images.

Audio visual requirements

  • You will need access to software to view online videos and images. Software such as Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer etc. are available as a free download from the internet. 
  • You’ll also need access to a digital video recording device and/or digital camera and associated software to save and upload video and image files to OpenSpace. Many mobile phones and smart phones include this technology. 

Physical requirements

Physical requirements for this course include manual dexterity (use of tools and equipment), as well as the ability to lift and carry equipment, in order to meet performance criteria and achieve a competent result. Learners are required to be fully able bodied for tasks such as digging.

Other technology requirements

  • Office equipment and resources including telephone, photocopier, scanner and printer.

Video assessments

As part of the assessment for some units, you will be required to produce a video of yourself performing certain tasks. Some of these videos may involve another person.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.



Once you are enrolled in this course, you will receive access to the first Module, which contains the first set of units for the course. When you have successfully completed those units, you’ll be given access to the next Module. 

Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Introduction to Horticulture

In this first study period, you will be introduced to important knowledge and skills of a Horticulturalist, including how to recognise plants (including common weeds) and how to collect and press dry plants to create your own personal herbarium. You will be introduced to Work Health and Safety, practice your communication skills and build up your knowledge of horticulture products and services.


Recognise plants

  • Prepare for plant recognition
  • Recognise specified plants
  • Identify Plants


Collect, prepare and preserve plant specimens

  • Collect plant specimens
  • Preserve plant specimens
  • Record and catalogue specimen


Participate in work health and safety processes

  • Follow workplace procedures for hazard identification and risk control
  • Observe safe practices during work operations
  • Participate in arrangements for maintaining the health and safety of all people in the workplace


Provide information on products and services

  • Identify information requirements
  • Provide information

Plant Installation

You will learn how to install and look after plant displays (using trees and shrubs) for permanent displays in park gardens or temporary displays, such as a garden show. You start with learning about soils and growing media (e.g. potting mixes) and how to improve them. You will practice doing simple tests such as light, moisture and pH. You’ll also practice planting trees and shrubs.


Assist with soil or growing media sampling and testing

  • Collect soil or media samples for testing
  • Perform basic tests on soil or media sample


Plant trees and shrubs

  • Prepare for planting operations
  • Prepare trees and shrubs for planting
  • Inspect plants and report problems
  • Install trees, shrubs and/or other plants
  • Complete work


Install and maintain plant displays

  • Assess requirements for plantscaping
  • Install containerised and direct planted specimens
  • Maintain plants

Plant Health

You will learn more about how to maintain your plants displays, especially how to treat weeds, plant pests, diseases and disorders and how to prune shrubs and small trees. You will learn to recognise weeds, common pests and symptoms of common diseases and disorders. You will practice calculating and applying domestic chemicals using handheld equipment. You will also learn how to recognise when a shrub or small tree needs basic pruning and learn to use some basic pruning tools, such as handsaws, hedge shears and limb loppers.


Treat weeds

  • Prepare to treat weeds
  • Conduct week treatment
  • Carry out post treatment operation


Treat plant pests, diseases and disorders

  • Prepare to treat plant pests, diseases and disorders
  • Apply treatments to plant pests, diseases and disorders
  • Carry out post treatment operation


Prune shrubs and small trees

  • Identify pruning requirements
  • Undertake pruning of shrubs and small trees

Working in the Industry

You will learn how to work in an environmentally sustainable way, including how to measure and reduce the resources you are using, and how the horticulture industry complies with environmental legislation. You will also have opportunities to explore career paths within horticulture, understand employment obligations and learn why bio-security is so important to Australian horticulture.


Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices

  • Identify current resource use
  • Comply with environmental regulations
  • Seek opportunities to improve resource efficiency


Work effectively in the industry

  • Obtain information about the industry
  • Observe employment requirements
  • Accept responsibility for quality of own work
  • Plan and conduct own work
  • Promote workplace cooperation
  • Contribute to a productive work environment
  • Undertake an activity to workplace requirements

Nursery Stream

(Elective stream) This is a very hands-on study period where you will learn some of the key tasks that are done in a commercial or non-commercial nursery. You will propagate plants that interest you and treat them if they become stressed or suffer from a disease or disorder. You will also practice potting up plants and how to maintain plants in a nursery.


Undertake propagation activities

  • Prepare for plant propagation
  • Propagate plants
  • Complete propagation activities


Pot up plants

  • Prepare for potting up operations
  • Prepare growing media
  • Pot up propagated plants
  • Complete potting up operation


Maintain nursery plants

  • Prepare to work
  • Monitor and maintain the nursery environment
  • Determine daily water requirements
  • Promote plant growth by intervention
  • Complete work

Parks & Gardens Stream

(Elective stream) This is a very practical study period where you will learn how to use basic machinery and equipment used in parks and gardens, such as mowers, whipper snippers, hedge clippers and herbicide sprayers. Safety is a core focus and you will learn how to do pre-operational safety checks and how to clean and maintain basic machinery. You will also practice how to maintain and repair properties and structures typically found in parks (e.g. simple irrigation systems and timber structures, play equipment and paving) that don’t require the specialist skills of another trade. Finally, you will learn some of the common tasks required to establish turf by seed and sod, including how to decide what turf to use, how to calculate quantities, apply fertilisers and use basic machinery, such as a hand roller.


Operate basic machinery and equipment

  • Prepare basic machinery and equipment for use
  • Operate basic machinery and equipment
  • Check, clean and store basic machinery and equipment


Maintain properties and structures

  • Identify and confirm maintenance requirements
  • Select and prepare tools, equipment and materials
  • Carry out routine maintenance
  • Complete maintenance activities


Support turf establishment

  • Prepare to establish a planted area
  • Prepare the planting area
  • Plant turf
  • Provide post-planting care
  • Complete establishment of the planted area

Landscaping Stream

(Elective stream) This is a very practical study period. You will learn about basic machinery and equipment used in landscaping, this may include cement mixers, whacker-packers, saws, and levellers. Safety is a core focus and you will learn how to do pre-operational safety checks and how to clean and maintain basic machinery. You will also learn how to lay modular paving in landscape projects.


Operate basic machinery and equipment

  • Prepare basic machinery and equipment for use
  • Operate basic machinery and equipment
  • Check, clean and store basic machinery and equipment


Lay paving

  • Plan and prepare for paving work
  • Set out and prepare paving area
  • Undertake ground preparation
  • Lay bedding material
  • Lay pavers to a given pattern
  • Clean site and store tools and equipment


Assist with landscape construction work

  • Prepare materials, tools and equipment for landscaping work
  • Undertake landscape work as directed
  • Handle materials and equipment
  • Clean up on completion of landscaping work

Payment Options

Pay in Full

You can choose to pay your course fees in full upon enrolment and benefit from a 10% discount (unless otherwise advertised).

Pay 50% & Payment Plan Combo

You can also choose to pay 50% of your total course fees upon enrolment and the balance on a Payment Plan.  When you do, you’ll benefit from 50% of the standard Pay in Full discount (unless otherwise advertised).

Payment Plan

You can choose to pay for your course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Zip Money Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility with your finances and would like to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, we can assist by organising Zip Money to pay your course fees directly to us on your behalf, and you pay this loan back to Zip Money over an agreed period of time. Zip Money provides you flexible options of selecting a 24, 36 or 48 months interest-free, payment plan (dependant on which course you’re enrolling into) to suit your lifestyle, giving you more flexibility than ever before.


With BPAY®, you’re able to pay quickly and securely, 24/7 through your internet, mobile or phone banking service. You can choose when, how much and from which account to pay from – whatever works for you. BPAY® is only available when paying in full. Call an Enrolment Consultant to find out more. 

BPAY® is a trademark of BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518. Check if BPAY® is right for you by reading the terms and conditions available from your Financial Institution.

Amy Wood

Amy is a qualified Horticulturalist certified by the Australian Institute of Horticulture. Amy holds her Chemical Application licence as well as the Certificate IV in Training & Assessment. She is fascinated with all the industry has to offer and is consistently expanding on her skills, knowledge & experience. Amy joined the Horticultural team in 2020 and has experience in the Nursery retail sector, along with experience in a wholesale production nursery.