Cut Flower Orchids

Cut flower orchid course, to learn to grow orchid plants or farm orchid flowers by studying at home by Distance Education.

Course Code: VHT240
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to Grow Orchids as Cut Flowers

Orchids can be grown in temperate or tropical climates. In cooler climates, you may require a greenhouse; and a more careful selection of what types you grow; but commercial orchid farms have been, and can be, successful in places such as southern Australia and Europe; -not only in the tropics.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction.
    • Covers plant names
    • Basic plant classification
    • Information on plant flower structure
  2. Culture.
    • Looks at soil cultivation
    • Container growing
    • Hydroponics
    • Baskets
    • Epiphytes
    • Potting mixes
    • Pruning orchids
  3. Propagation A.
    • Propagation materials and equipment
    • Seed
    • Miscellaneous propagation techniques
  4. Propagation B. (Tissue Culture).
    • Materials necessary for tissue culture
    • Types of tissue culture
    • Plant hormones
    • Diseases
    • Plant nutrients
  5. Greenhouse Management A.
    • Greenhouses and other growing structures
    • Environmental controls
    • Benches and beds
    • Effects of carbon dioxide
    • Yields
  6. Greenhouse Management B.
    • Growing plants in greenhouses
    • Plant needs
    • Temperature control
    • Greenhouse irrigation
    • Cooling
  7. Pest and Disease Control.
    • Horticultural Management in greenhouses
    • Sterilisation
    • Pests and diseases
  8. Management, Harvest and Post Harvest.
    • Harvest and post-harvest
    • Managing a market garden
    • Crop scheduling
    • Standards
    • Farm layout
    • Nursery costs
  9. Marketing.
    • Marketing your produce
    • Economically valuable orchids
    • International flower markets
  10. Special Project.
    • An in depth study of a specific group of orchids.

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.

Aims

  • Explain the plant naming system, identify flower parts and compile resources
  • Describe cultural techniques applicable to orchid growing.
  • Describe propagation techniques used for orchids.
  • Explain tissue culture propagation techniques.
  • Describe protected plant production facilities suited to orchids.
  • Explain the day to day management of a greenhouse.
  • Manage Pests and diseases on an orchid flower crop
  • Explain management of an orchid enterprise and the harvest and post harvest of an orchid crop.
  • Explain marketing techniques used for cut flower orchids.
  • Describe a major orchid group

Where Do You Grow Orchids?

In general growing media for orchids focus on two main groups, these are epiphytic (and lithophytes) and terrestrial (also known as geophytic) orchids. Epiphytic orchids grow on living and fallen trees, and the trunks of tree ferns. Lithophytes naturally grow on rocky outcrops. Terrestrial orchids are those that grow in the ground, although some of these actually grow in leaf litter, rather than in the mineral soil beneath. Some terrestrial orchids will also grow quite readily in soilless mixes.

Lithophytic orchids include many of those that are grown for cut flowers. They are usually grown in pots containing a mixture of rocks and bark material. Many lithophytic orchids will adapt to the same cultural techniques used for epiphytic orchids.

The majority of terrestrial orchids can generally be grown in media made up of composted bush debris, peat moss, medium sized to coarse grade sand, and small amounts of soil (generally only 15-20% of mix). If the soil you are using is quite sandy then reduce the amount of the sand component. Overall about 50% of the mix should consist of sand. Good aeration is important with the mix being allowed to nearly dry out before watering. Materials such as small gravel, charcoal, and perlite are sometimes added to help improve drainage. 

Epiphytic orchids can be grown on bark, cork or timber slabs.
Many epiphytic orchids can also be successfully grown in pots. Both plastic and unglazed terracotta pots are commonly used. The unglazed terracotta pots are especially suited to orchids that require good drainage as they are fairly porous, however, they are also expensive, and can be fairly heavy to lift.

WHAT CAN THIS COURSE DO FOR YOU?


You may already have a passion for orchid growing and want to take it to the next step and start a business.
You may be working in the industry but need more knowledge or a course to back-up your experience.

With the help of our knowledgeable tutors - this course will help you to attain your goals in the orchid growing industry.
Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

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What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

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If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

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Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

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We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Mitchell Skiller

Mitchell has had over 25 year’s experience in the Horticultural Industry. He has held positions as a supervising horticulturist, landscaper, consultant, and a business owner growing cut flowers, specialising in tropicals.

Parita Shah

Parita has a Masters Degree in Horticulture specializing in Plantation, Spices, Medicinal and Aromatic crops and Organic farming. She has worked as a freelance consultant, and in an Avocado nursery in NSW as grafting and preparing avocado clones.

Diana Cole

Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), RHS Diploma in Horticulture, BTEC Higher Diploma in Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C.

In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). She also has skills gained through leading a group of volunteers renovating a local park on behalf of a local council and has been a volunteer leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. She continues to teach the Royal Horticultural Society qualifications (Levels 2 and 3) at her local college. She is a member of The National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd.

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