Greenhouse Cut Flowers

Learn all about greenhouse cut flower production to grow flowers commercially on a flower farm, with this 100 hour short course via distance education.

Course Code: VHT239
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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  • Learn more about greenhouses and how to better manage, light temperature and humidity for plants grown inside
  • Explore and compare the commercial and horticultural differences between different types of flowers
  • Start a business - Be better at your job - Improve your career prospects

A course for commercial cut flower growers who are concerned exclusively with greenhouse production. International trade in cut flowers has grown over recent decades. In most countries, developed or in development, it is now possible to get the most popular types of cut flowers almost any time of the year.

The industry has made this possible by doing three different things:

  1. Expanding trade between countries (e.g. Australian tulips might be flown to the Netherlands in August and September, when they are not flowering in The Netherlands; and Dutch tulips might be flown to Australia when it is autumn in Australia)

  2. Breeding new varieties has extended the flowering season for some plants. It is now, for instance, possible to grow Chrysanthemum varieties that flower all year round in some climates.

  3. Growing in greenhouses has enabled farmers to take control of conditions that stimulate flowering; and cause plants to not only grow faster, but also flower at times when they might not have otherwise flowered.

Lesson Structure

There are 12 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Cut Flower Production
    • To describe the nature and scope of Cut Flower production in greenhouses.
  2. Cultural Practices
    • To determine key cultural practices that are commonly required to develop and maintain a good rate of growth in a cut flower crop.
  3. Flower Initiation & Development
    • To explain the initiation and development of flowering in a cut flower crop.
  4. Pest & Disease Control
    • To determine management practices for cut flower crops grown in a greenhouse
  5. Greenhouse Management A.
    • To discuss a range of greenhouse management techniques related to cut flower production.
  6. Greenhouse Management B.
    • To explain a range of greenhouse management techniques related to cut flower production.
  7. Management, Harvest & Post Harvest
    • Determine a range of harvest and post harvest techniques related to cut flower production.
  8. Herbaceous Perennials
    • Determine greenhouse production techniques for selected herbaceous perennials.
  9. Annuals & Biennials
    • Determine greenhouse production techniques for selected annuals and biennials.
  10. Bulbs, Corms, Tubers & Rhizomes
    • Determine greenhouse production techniques for selected bulbs, corms, rhizomes or tubers.
  11. Filler Plants
    • Determine greenhouse production techniques for selected filler plants.
  12. Miscellaneous
    • Determine greenhouse production techniques for roses, and for 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.


  • Describe the nature and scope of cut flower production in greenhouses.
  • Determine key cultural practices that are commonly required to develop and maintain a good rate of growth in a cut flower crop.
  • Eexplain the initiation and development of flowering in a cut flower crop.
  • Determine management practices for cut flower crops grown in a greenhouse.
  • Discuss a range of greenhouse management techniques related to cut flower production.
  • Explain a range of greenhouse management techniques related to cut flower production.
  • Determine a range of harvest and post harvest techniques related to cut flower production.
  • Determine greenhouse production techniques for selected herbaceous perennials.
  • Determine greenhouse production techniques for selected annuals and biennials.
  • Determine greenhouse production techniques for selected bulbs, corms, rhizomes or tubers.
  • Determine greenhouse production techniques for selected filler plants.
  • Determine greenhouse production techniques for roses and orchids.


Flowering occurs when there is a sudden change in the growing point, from vegetative organs (i.e.: leaves, stems, leaf buds) to floral organs. When this happens, the apical dominance (i.e. the dominance of the growth in the upper end of stems that inhibits growth of lateral buds) usually weakens.

The initial stimulus to cause this change in tissue type appears to normally originate in the leaves (though not always). Some target cells or tissues are stimulated by a fairly non specific trigger, setting off a chain reaction (cascade) throughout the involved tissue. Much work has been done trying to discover the chemistry of these changes, but the results tend to only show that there is a very great complexity involved

As flowering tends to be related to particular times of the year, the initial stimulus is most obviously environmental. There are three possible types of environmental stimuli:

  • Physical eg: Changes in photoperiod (longer/shorter days), humidity, pressure
  • Electrical e.g: Changes in pH
  • Chemical: Changes in levels of certain chemicals eg: More light increases photosynthesis, which increases levels of sugar in the plant

There are two types of chemicals involved both promoters & inhibitors. The promoters stimulate the process of flower induction. The inhibitors inhibit this inductive process. The promoters and inhibitors do not work together in a balancing interaction. They affect each other through an interference process (eg: With Kalanchoe, short days produce promoters, but if more than one third of the days are long, sufficient inhibitors are produced to stop the effect of the promoters).

JUVENILITY is a completely different thing to the effect of inhibitors. A plant cannot respond to the effect of flowering promoters until tissue has gone through a phase change to reach maturity. It is possible for this phase change to be reversed and mature tissue become juvenile again.


A course for commercial cut flower growers who are concerned exclusively with greenhouse production.
Those setting up or wanting to set up a commercial greenhouse cut flower growing enterprise.

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.

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member.

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