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Certificate of Home Horticulture

If you'd prefer not to wait until 2025, you can gain the same science-based training in the new on demand  Home Horticulture Summer Intensive course.


Home Horticulture Online - the art and science of caring for plants

If you’re looking for a comprehensive, science-based, horticulture and gardening essentials course, our Home Horticulture Certificate could be for you! Grow your gardening knowledge, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener.

There are no course prerequisites, although a basic knowledge of plants is helpful.

In this 13-week non-credit course, you will receive science-based training drawn from the classes that OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers take in Oregon. Moderated by a skilled instructor, this course provides an exceptional experience that will help your garden thrive.

NOTE: Though this course duplicates some of the training Oregon Master Gardener volunteers receive, this Certificate of Home Horticulture class will not lead to Master Gardener Certification.

Home Horticulture Course Overview

The Home Horticulture Basic Training course is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about the effective and sustainable management of their home horticultural landscape. 

This is one of our most popular courses. By the end of the program, you will know about: 

  • Basics of botany and entomology
  • Integrated Pest Management and pesticide safety
  • Diagnosis and prevention of plant problems using least-toxic methods
  • Soils, fertilizers and composting
  • Ornamental, herbaceous plants and woody plants
  • Vegetable and container gardening
  • Sustainable landscape design and maintenance

Online Certificate of Home Horticulture

For each topic, you will have the chance to learn and interact with the instructor and your classmates via:

  • A recorded lecture
  • Additional lectures for optional specialized knowledge
  • Assignments you can do where you live. Many are hands-on and will deepen your understanding of the material
  • Forum discussions with the instructor and other students
  • Weekly quizzes to help you retain information
  • Extensive additional resources to help ensure your long-term success

Upon successful completion of the online course, you will receive a digital Certificate of Home Horticulture.

NOTE: Though this course duplicates some of the training Oregon Master Gardener volunteers receive, this Certificate of Home Horticulture will not lead to Master Gardener Certification.

Open Registration

This program is open to all. You don't have to be an OSU student or even live in Oregon.

Many of the modules, such as Botany Basics, Soils and Fertilizers, Intro to Entomology, Pesticide Safety and more are applicable anywhere. Others that are more plant-oriented use mostly western Oregon examples, although there is still plenty of basic, essential information. Western Oregon is a temperate, zone 8, dry-summer, wet-winter region. We include some information for dryer regions such as central Oregon as well.

If you live in a climate that is extremely different from western Oregon, most of the topics will still be useful, but you are encouraged to supplement the course with local information as well.


Additional OSU Garden Education Opportunities

If you live in Oregon and are interested in becoming an OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, visit this website https://extension.oregonstate.edu/mg to find out about in-person trainings.

Targeted Gardening Short Course Series

If you do not need or desire the full certificate course, or only want to study certain topics, you might be interested in the on-demand Gardening Short Course Series, which pulls from sections of the Home Horticulture Online program.

Free Master Gardener eBook

If you'd like to learn more about being a Master Gardener volunteer and what it entails, you can read more in this free 24-page eBook "An Introduction to Being a Master Gardener Volunteer."

New dates coming soon!
price (2)
(+$60 registration fee)
Additional Information:
National Association of Landscape Professionals (NAPL): 24 CEUs from category Educ3

Oregon Landscape Contractors Board (OLCB): 16 CEHs

risk-free-boxEnjoy peace of mind with our risk-free guarantee on online instructor-led courses.

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New dates coming soon!
Question: What technology is needed? ~ Kim W.
Answer: For the Home Horticulture online program, a computer and access to the internet are needed to take the course. You could rely on a tablet or iPad, however, the program is designed for the best experience using a computer, so a tablet is not optimal.
Question: Are there required reading for the online home hort gardening class?
Answer: There is no required text book, but there is a suggested book from the  OSU Extension Service Publications Catalog called  Sustainable Gardening. This book is the source for many of the readings for each subject, and contains additional topics that are not covered in this class. 
Question: I'm a Canadian Citizen, just want to make sure I am eligible to take this course. ~ Julia R.
Answer: Yep, you are eligible! The online Home Horticulture is open to anyone. There are no prerequisites or restrictions. 
Question: What if I can't finish the MG course in time? ~ Rita G.
Answer: You will have access to the Home Horticulture course for one month after the end date.
Question: How is this program different from the Master Gardener program? ~ Caroline R.
Answer: The Certificate of Home Horticulture has all the same online course content, but unlike the Master Gardener Certification, the Home Horticulture program does not require volunteer hours and therefore does not result in a Master Gardener Certification.  
Question: Will there be tests given throughout this gardening class? ~ Kim W.
Answer: Yes, in this online gardening and home horticulture course, there are weekly quizzes and assignments. You'll have a chance to show how much you've learned with a final exam at the end. Everything is graded as pass/fail and if you pass, you will receive a certificate of completion.
Question: When is the cut off for enrolling in this gardening training course? ~ W.K
Answer: Due to its popularity, enrollment for Home Horticulture is held open through the first week of class.
Question: Regarding the Certificate of Home Horticulture.... About how much of a time commitment is the program (per week)? And also, is there anything that's scheduled? Or are all of the lectures recorded, with intent that we watch them asynchronously? ~ Kate D.
Answer: To get the most out of this online Home Horticulture course, it is suggested that you spend about 6 – 9 hours a week on it. The class is asynchronous so there is no set time you have to be online. So you can attend classes when it's most convenient for you. However, quizzes and assignments will have a specific date, but you can choose where and when you work on them. 
Question: Do you have to be located in Oregon? ~ Nicole W.
Answer: Nope, there is no geographic restriction. You can take this online course anywhere there's an internet connection. 😀
Question: Is this course info specific to plants in the Oregon climate/planting zone? Or is it more general plant info that anyone can use regardless of what climate they live in? I live on the east coast and would love to sign up for this. ~ Megan T.
Answer: Many of the modules, such as Botany Basics, Soils and Compost, Intro to Entomology, Pesticide Safety, and the like, are applicable anywhere. Others that are more plant-oriented use mostly western Oregon examples, although there is still plenty of basic, generalized information. We include some information for the dryer regions of the PNW west, too. People in climates that are extremely different from western Oregon - desert or tropics - should plan to supplement the course with local information as well, especially when it comes to specific plants that will do well in their region, and special gardening techniques and timings that are specific to their climate. 
Question: I see there is a non-refundable $60 fee, is there a time constraint on withdrawal from the course and will there be financial penalties beyond the non-refundable fee? ~ Margaret B.
Answer: To be eligible for a refund, requests must be received no later than 48 hours after the class begins. If you request by then, you will be refunded the entire course payment, minus the $60 non-refundable registration fee.  
Question: Can I get a group rate?  I have at least 12 employees who would I'd like to participate. ~ Michelle L.
Answer: Yes, please call our office at 541-737-4197 or email pace@oregonstate.edu for more information. 
Question: Will there be any certification, or documentation once you complete the Home Hort training program, to show that you have some level of expertise? ~ Ashlyn T.
Answer: Yes, after you pass/complete the Home Horticulture program you will receive a certificate of completion upon successful completion of this course.  You may download the Certificate file to have printed for a hard copy.  
Question: Can I use my AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for Home Horticulture certification? ~ Bethany M.
Answer: Yes. You can use your AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for OSU's Home Horticulture Certificate.

I learned a lot about the PNW flora, conifers and how to better amend my soil. The instructor was great, very responsive. I enjoyed the practical requirements. If you’re interested in learning about the diversity of this region, and how to better take care of plants, then absolutely I would recommend the program.

Donna DeViney

I now have a new network and I've helped people learn how to garden without chemicals. After the course, I've helped grade school kids to like worms by teaching a class in 5th and 6th grade. I loved it all.

Rob Kappa

The convenience of taking the class online was priceless. I was concerned I'd have enough time to put into the course given my busy schedule, but I was able to successfully complete the course working two jobs, plus the support of my full-time employer who let me change my lunch schedule to allow time to study. It was a great accomplishment for me and proved to me I can do whatever I put my mind to doing. I learned new skills and concepts and have a ton of resource material to refer back to as needed. I can't speak highly enough about the experience overall.

Barbara Corley

I love gardening and wanted to meet more people that share my passion. Through this program, I met some wonderful people - actually, I met more of my neighbors through this program! The people I worked with were so interesting! Learning online was wonderful for someone working full time. I hope to see more young people and will encourage others to try this program.

Margot Wheeler

I learned a ton and yields are up. I now have a scientific approach to organic food production. I enjoyed learning botany, soils, entomology and herbicides & pesticides. It was rigorous, but fun.

Suzanne Porter

This program enhances gardening knowledge, which is important because so many people have gardens/yards and feel frustrated about how to take care of it. My favorite part were the discussions and learning how to approach specific problems and hearing from others on what NOT to do, or from others’ bad experiences.

Stephanie Pringle

I incorporated what I learned in teaching the general public about gardening and it greatly enhanced my classes. I enjoyed the online flexibility, quality instructors, and the ability to revisit lectures via weblink. I would recommend this program due to the benefits mentioned above, plus the quality, research-based information. OSU made online learning easy and I highly value the quality content and instructors.

Sherry Sheng

This was something I always wanted to do. The daytime class didn’t work for me because of work. After taking the class, I was able to step into the Plant Clinic and stay with it. I loved the diagnostic section and the online flexibility for a working person. I had a great experience and would do it again.

Jan Gano

I wanted to be a better gardener. The course was a great education on all aspects of gardening. This summer I helped a work-colleague turn her front yard into a meadow of wildflowers with knowledge I learned. I visited it recently and it's beautiful!

Cynthia Chase

I learned a lot and met great people and got involved in the community. The time involved compared to the amount I learned was well worth it. A lot of what I learned involved practices that everyone should know, IPM, when and how to use a pesticide if necessary, safe practices that help Mother Earth, etc. It was a great and thorough program.

Barb Renker

I  am still having a great time reviewing all the lectures as this is all new to me and a great challenge to learn.  I especially want to thank Signe Dangler for her lectures that I loved.  They are so easy to listen to.  Her comments to all of us on our assignments are so informative.  I am amazed that she is so good and that she is so thorough to read through all the assignments and provide specific feedback.  All the knowledge that she has repeated to her in the small assignment efforts that we present to her could be so boring and frustrating. The way she corrects them in such a friendly personalized way makes us feel as if a dear friend guided and corrected us in a positive discussion.

Tertia King

“Great class.  You get out of it what you put into it. My garden is thriving.  Practical information that lasts a lifetime.”

Barb Tice


Signe Danler
Home Horticulture Online

Signe Danler is a veteran Master Gardener and landscape designer with a Masters of Ag degree in Horticulture. In the Master Gardener Online program, she uses her experience and training in gardening, urban forestry and ecological landscaping to communicate about and promote sustainable gardening and landscaping practices.

Gail Langellotto

Gail Langellotto, OSU Professor and Guest Home Horticulture Instructor. Gail has a M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology, and has published research on topics as diverse as the costs of starting and maintaining a vegetable garden, pollinator-friendly gardens, and the benefits of gardening to healthy eatingHer OSU Extension Service and outreach efforts are focused on communicating research-backed management practices to home gardeners. For the online Master Gardener and urban agriculture PACE courses, she supervises overall course development, and reviews and contributes to course content.

Jay W. Pscheidt

Jay Pscheidt, OSU Professor and Guest Home Horticulture Instructor. Jay received his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. Since 1988 he has been a professor at Oregon State University as an Extension Plant Pathology Specialist. His principal duties are to lead a statewide extension program related to the diagnosis and management of diseases of all fruit, nut, and ornamental/nursery crops. He is also co-editor of regional publication The Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook.

Mykl Nelson

Mykl grew up in a military family and has traveled around the globe. He started down his agricultural path after picking the makings of a salad directly into a bowl while standing within a greenhouse in his backyard in Colorado.

Mykl came to the Pacific Northwest to enter the agricultural sector and really immerse himself in an environment of plant growth.  . He spent a handful of years at Oregon State University to retrain in a new undergraduate degree so he could finish with a Master’s of Horticulture. He's worked on a handful of farms and tended ever-larger gardens, often on someone else's land. He is now creating and teaching courses at OSU as the Instructor of Urban Agriculture.

In addition to his work for OSU's certificate program in urban agriculture, he is experimenting with a system to convert food waste into insect protein. Outside the university, Mykl gardens when he can and runs a number of nutrient cycling experiments.

Weston Miller

Weston Miller, Former OSU Instructor and Guest Home Horticulture Instructor. He is a community and urban horticulturist based in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. His specialties are organic vegetables and fruits.

Neil Bell, OSU Instructor and Guest Home Horticulture Instructor. Neil oversees the Master Gardener program in Marion County and Polk County and works with volunteers to assist homeowners with their garden problems. Since 2001, he has done evaluations of Ceanothus, Cistus and Halimium at the Oregon Garden in Silverton and at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora. Currently, he is evaluating Grevillea and Arctostaphylos for hardiness, growth and flowering at NWREC. He has used the results from these evaluations to design low-input landscapes for the region that emphasize year-round ornamental appeal.

Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.