Propagation I

Learn to propagate plants from seed, cuttings, grafting and more. Start a business, get a job, build a career. 100 hour online course.

Course Code: BHT108
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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DISCOVER ALL OF THE DIFFERENT WAYS THAT PLANTS ARE PROPAGATED

This course gives you skills in general plant propagation whether you work in the horticulture industry or you want to be better at propagating plant for your own pleasure or profit.
  • Learn the various propagation methods
  • Learn what technique works for what type of plant
  • Learn how to overcome propagation problems
  • Learn about the equipment and materials needed to propagate and produce new plants

This course is essential for:

  • Students of horticulture - in most sectors
  • People working or planning to work in plant nurseries
  • Home owners and hobby gardeners who want to learn more about plant propagation
  • Those looking to set up a small nursery
  • As a foundation for further, even more specialised study in plant propagation

Why not develop your broad skills in plant propagation!  
Plants are propagated both sexually (from two parents eg. seed & spore) and asexually (from two parents eg. cuttings, grafting, layers, division). This course deals with the principles of propagation, and all of these methods; as well as materials and equipment.

 


Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Propagation
    • Asexual and sexual propagation
    • Aseptic Micropropagation, Runners, Suckers, Layering, Separation, Division, Grafting, Budding, Cuttings, Seed
    • Genotype versus Phenotype
    • Plant life cycles -phases of the sexual cycle; phases of the asexual cycle
    • Annual, Perennial, Biennial Life Cycles
    • Propagation Terminology
    • Nursery production systems
    • Operational Flow Chart for Seed Propagation
  2. Seed Propagation
    • Seed Sources
    • Maintaining Genetic Identity of Seed -Isolation, Rogueing, Testing, Hand Pollination
    • Hybrid Seed Production
    • Storing Seed
    • Types of Seed Storage
    • Seed Biology -Endospermic, Non Endospermic
    • Dormancy Factors Affecting Germination
    • Germination Treatments -boiling water, stratification
    • Terminology
    • Seed Raising Technique
  3. Potting Media
    • Characteristics of Potting and Propagating Media
    • Media derived from rock or stone
    • Media derived from synthetics
    • Organic Media
    • Soil Media
    • The UC System
    • Chemical Charagteristics -eg. pH, Cation Exchange Capacity, Salinity, Conductivity
    • Laboratory Testing of Media
    • Physical Characteristics
    • Potting Mixes
    • Propagating Media
    • Nutrition at the Propagation Stage
    • Nutrition Management and Fertiliser Application
  4. Vegetative Propagation I
    • Reasons to propagate by cuttings
    • Types -softwood, hardwood, semi hardwood, herbaceous
    • Stem Cuttings, Tip, heel, nodal, basal
    • Leaf and Leaf-bud cuttings
    • Cane cuttings
    • Root Cuttings
    • Bulb Cuttings
    • Hormone Treatments for Cutting Propagation
    • Other Cutting Treatments; basal wounding, anti-transpirants, fungacides, disinfectants, mycorrhyza, etc
    • Artificial Light for Propagation
    • Cutting Propasgation Efficiency
    • Rockwool Propagation
  5. Vegetative Propagation II
    • Care of stock plants
    • Layering
    • Division
    • Terminology
    • Managing Watering
  6. Vegetative Propagation III
    • Terminology
    • Budding and grafting
    • Reasons for Grafting
    • How a Graft forms
    • Grafting Techniques; Types of Grafts
    • What Plant to Graft on What
    • Grafting Materials
    • Root Grafting, Bench Grafting, Soft Tissue Grafting
    • Establishing Rootstocks
    • Tissue culture: Applications, Problems, Nutrient Media, Cleanliness, Growing Conditions
    • Tissue Culture Procedures and Techniques
    • Laboratory Requirements
    • Terminology
    • Biotech applications in Horticulture
  7. Propagation Structures and Materials
    • Growing in a Greenhouse
    • Growing Structures: Types of Greenhouses, Cold Frames, Shadehouses
    • Propagating equipment -Heaters, Bottom Heat, Misting, Light Control, Benches etc
    • Managing a Greenhouse
  8. Risk Management
    • Nursery hygiene
    • Risk assessment and management
    • Safety -tools, equipment handling, electricity, etc
    • Pest and Disease Management
    • Environmental Problems and management
  9. Nursery Management I
    • Plant modification techniques
    • Management policies
    • Keeping Propagation Records
    • Nursery Production Systems
  10. Nursery Management II
    • Nursery standards, cost efficiencies, site planning and development

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

  • Plan the propagation of different plant species from seeds, using different seed propagation methods.
  • Plan the propagation of different types of plants from cuttings, using different cutting propagation methods.
  • Plan the propagation of various types of plants using a range of propagation techniques, excluding cuttings and seed.
  • Determine the necessary facilities, including materials and equipment, required for propagation of different types of plants.
  • Determine a procedure to minimise plant losses during propagation.
  • Determine the management practices of significance to the commercial viability of a propagation nursery.
  • Design a propagation plan for the production of a plant.

What You Will Do

  • Test soils to determine characteristics which would be valuable to management of any given soil in a horticultural situation
  • Identify sandy loam, silty loam, and clay loam soils by feel; and pH testing by soil indicator; and relate to plant selection
  • Identify and sow a range of different types of seeds, in different situations, in a way that will optimise successful propagation.
  • Propagate a range of plants using different vegetative propagation techniques
  • Pot up and provide after care for a range of propagated seedlings and cuttings.
  • Plant a range of (different types) plant material.
  • Maintain the desired growth type and habit for a range of plants.
  • Identify significant woody plants including: Trees; Shrubs; Groundcover; & Conifers
  • Identify a range of significant plant problems including pests, diseases and others.
  • Identify a range of non woody and indoor plants of horticultural significance.
  • Conduct a risk assessment of a horticultural workplace to determine safe working practices and select appropriate personal safety clothing and equipment.
  • You will visit and contact various sites involved in propagation (real or virtual), including relevant workplaces. Through these visits the student will develop an awareness of workplaces and practical applications of the subject.

Success Requires Appropriate Techniques and Equipment

Propagating Plants successfully is not always straight forward; but with knowledge, practice, and the right equipment, you can propagate any plants you want to.

Understand what can go wrong: and avoid it

Propagation can fail for a range of different reasons.

  • The environmental conditions may not be correct
  • Cuttings or seed can become infected by pests or diseases before they become strong enough.
  • You might not be using the best type of plant tissue to propagate from
  • Many types of seed will not grow if dormancy is not first broken

SEED DOESN'T ALWAYS JUST GERMINATE BECAUSE IT IS WATERED

Some seeds do germinate relatively effortlessly, but others have characteristics built into their biology, which make them dormant for one reason or other until certain specific conditions break that dormancy.

1. Physical Dormancy
Seed coats, and sometimes hardened sections of other parts of the seed, become impermeable to water. In nature these hard layers are softened by environmental effects such as freezing and thawing, mechanical abrasion and attack by micro-organisms. This condition is characteristic of many plant families including Fabaceae, Malvaceae, Geraniaceae, Solanaceae.

2. Mechanical Dormancy
Seed covering is too hard to allow embryo to expand when germinating (e.g. in a peach stone).

3. Chemical Dormancy
Chemicals in the seed inhibit germination. This is common with fleshy fruits and berries. Seeds of this type need to be removed from the fruit and washed before sowing.

4. Morphological Dormancy
The seed is not fully developed at the time the fruit ripens. It needs time before it can be sown. Common in the following families: Araliaceae, Ranunculaceae, Ericaceae, Primulaceae, Apiaceae.

5. Internal Dormancy
A number of types of dormancy; where germination is controlled by the internal condition of the seed. The most significant example is moist chilling, where the seed need to go through a period of cold before it will germinate. This is common in the Rosaceae family.

OUR TUTORS
  • Learn from an international team or renowned horticultural experts led by John Mason, Fellow Institute of Horticulture (UK), Fellow Australian Institute of Horticulture, Fellow Parks and Leisure Australia.  John is also a former nurseryman, parks director, and is one of the most prolific gardening authors from Australia -many of his books being used by other schools and universities to teach horticulture across Australia and beyond.
  • A unique opportunity to connect and learn from our international faculty that includes Rosemary Davies (formerly Garden Advisory Service, and Age Garden Writer, Melbourne),  Maggi Brown (former Education officer for Garden Organic, UK), Gavin Cole (former Operations Manager for the Chelsea Gardener, London), and Dr Lyn Morgan (renowned Hydroponic expert from New Zealand); and a host of other equally qualified professionals.
  • See profiles of our faculty at https://www.acs.edu.au/about-us/staff/default.aspx
Studying this course will help you get your propagation techniques right. Enrol Today!
 
Flexible Study with ACS Distance Education
  • ACS Distance Education is unique. We allow you to choose how you study, where you study, what you study, how much you study, and when you study. 
  • Work fast or slow –you choose the intensity of study.
  • Start, pause or restart according to changing demands of work, family or lifestyle.
    study this course by itself; or combine with others for a qualification.
  • Mix and match modules so you only study what you want or need to learn -We allow you to construct your own “tailor made” certificates
  • Options in assignments allow you to focus on things with greater interest to you.
  • Study electronically (online or using a USB); or using printed notes.
  • Use (or don’t use) supplementary services for extra learning want –unlimited access to tutors,  an online student room, social media, bookstore, etc.
  • Orientation video and student Manual at the start of your course will provide a clear guide to how you can study and get all sorts of support no matter where you live.
  • AFTER YOUR STUDIES

    When you finish this course, your knowledge and understanding of how to propagate plants will be greatly improved.

    You will become more aware of factors that affect choices made for propagating different types of plants.

    You will be better able to choose how to grow every type of plant you encounter; and by applying what you learn; over time your knowledge and skill will grow well beyond what you might imagine just now.



    TAKE THE FIRST STEP TO DEMYSTIFYING PLANT PROPAGATION AND BECOME AN EXPERT WITH THIS COMPREHENSIVE AND INTERESTING COURSE:
  • Work in the industry as a propagator
  • Expand you current job opportunities
  • Be the best backyard propagator!

 

 


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.


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Course Contributors

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

Diana Cole

B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. 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

Adriana Fraser

Freelance writer, businesswoman, educator and consultant for over 30 years. Adriana has written extensively for magazines including free living publications -Grass Roots and Home Grown; and has authored or co authored many books ranging from a biography

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world.





Tutors

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

Rosemary Davies

Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer.

She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe.

Jacinda Cole

Jacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.

Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

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