Build your gardening skills and knowledge and learn the best environments and techniques to nurture your plants.

How Plants Grow: The Essentials
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    Learn at your own paceHow it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 1 of 2
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    $39/monthFind out more

Cultivate your dream garden escape

This two-week, plants-first course from BBC Gardeners’ World will teach you the foundational knowledge needed to be a good gardener. Building on the basic science behind plants, you’ll learn how to help any plant thrive by creating the right growing environment.

Discover different plant types and how to grow them

In order to create the best environment for your plants, it’s important to understand how they function and how they differ from each other.

You’ll start by building a foundation in the science of plants, learning about the different parts of plants, their different forms, and how each part supports growth. You’ll then look at various different plant types and their different needs to grow successfully.

Learn the growth cycles of different plants

Plants all have their own optimal environment for growth, and this includes the time of year and weather that they each thrive in.

This course will guide you through the growth cycles of different plant types and tips for maintaining them through these cycles. You’ll also look at the different environments that help each type of plant to grow, both indoors and outdoors, and assess the growing conditions that you already have around you.

Explore how soil composition determines what you can grow

When assessing different growing conditions, you need to know how to adapt your cultivation techniques according to your plant’s needs.

This course will teach you the basics of different techniques and what you need to know to assess different growing conditions and adapt for your plants. You’ll also focus on soil composition and the role it plays in determining what you’re able to grow.

What topics will you cover?

Gardening for Beginners: How to Grow Plants and Nurture Them is a plants-first course that teaches the foundational knowledge needed to be a good gardener. Building on the basic science behind plants, the course looks at how to help any plant thrive by creating the right growing environment, how to create new plants yourself without having to buy them, and what to do when things go wrong.

Topics covered in Part One include:

How plants grow and different plant types Growth cycles through the seasons Assessing the growing conditions you already have (indoors as well as outdoors) Understanding soil and how it determines what you can grow

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the different parts of plants, their different forms and their function in supporting growth.
  • Investigate how the structure and composition of soil and compost are fundamental for plant health.
  • Explain how the growth cycles of different plant types and the key maintenance the gardener needs to give them.
  • Assess the different growing conditions experienced by plants and adapt cultivation techniques accordingly.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in gardening who wants to learn the best way to grow and care for all kinds of plants. It will be useful to every kind of gardener, whether you’ve gardened before or not.

Who will you learn with?

I've gardened since I was a child and went on to train in horticulture, education and journalism. Growing plants is part of my life, and I'm passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience

Who developed the course?

BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

The UK’s No.1 gardening magazine. Providing garden and plant inspiration, seasonal advice and practical projects.

About this ExpertTrack

Learn how to care for plants with easy-to-follow gardening techniques aimed at both new and experienced home gardeners.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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