Plant Health

Course CodeSGH5
Fee CodeSG
Duration (approx)20 hours
QualificationCertificate of Completion

20 hour Short Courses from ACS Distance Education

Learn to manage plant health problems

  • Identify pests, diseases and other problems
  • Determine an appropriate response
  • Understand the risks, advantages and disadvantages involved with different responses to problems.
  • A useful source of information for the keen home gardener and professional landscaper. 

Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Identifying problems
    • Understanding what can go wrong with your plants
    • More than one problem
    • Finding out what the problem is
    • Conducting an inspection
    • Alternative approach
    • Still unsure?
    • Telltale symptoms
    • The main types of problems
    • Pests
    • Diseases
    • Shortcuts to problem identification
    • What insect is it?
    • Diagnosis of plant disorders
    • Difficult to diagnose problems
  2. Treating problems
    • Different ways to control pests and diseases
    • Cultural control
    • Biological control
    • Physical controls
    • Chemical control
    • Legal controls (eg. quarantine)
  3. Problems and the plants they affect
    • Flowers & bulbs
    • Fruit & vegetables
    • Indoor, shade & greenhouse plants
    • Shrubs & climbers
    • Trees
    • Lawns
    • Australian natives
  4. Pests
    • The major types of pests
    • Common garden pests
    • Millipedes
    • Wasps
  5. Diseases
    • Disease considerations
    • Types of pathogens
    • Symptoms
    • Understanding diseases
    • Stages in the development of a disease
    • Common diseases
  6. Environmental problems
    • Common environmental problems
    • Foliage burn
    • Pollution
    • Lack of water
    • Drainage problems
    • Frost
    • Hail
    • Shade
    • Temperature
    • Wind
    • Plant tolerance levels
    • Ways to protect plants
    • Protective structures
    • Staking
    • Tree guards
    • Wind breaks
    • Mulching
    • Environmental problems in lawns
    • Appendices
    • Spray programmes
    • Stages of growth
    • Simple conversions
    • Further information
    • Publications/bibliography
    • Diagnosis services
    • Glossary


There is a logical system to understanding illness in plants. 

Problems are either caused by living things attacking the plant or by non living factors being unsuited to plant health. Each of these two categories can then be subdivided, and subdivided again. Problems can be identified by understanding this hierarchy of subdivisions and then drilling town to ultimately identify a problem and determine a response.

This course provides a foundation for determining plant health problems systematically, and in turn, considering the best response. 



This is a self paced, 20 hour study program; with everything from your enrolment through to awarding of your certificate of completion, controlled by computer software developed by our programmers.

Utilizing cutting edge technology all the way; you can

  1. Enrol, pay course fees into pay pal; your payment approval then triggers an email explaining how to proceed, and access to the course.
  2. You are then given instructions (options to read or listen to an audio).
  3. Next you proceed to work through lessons as fast or slow as you wish; undertaking automated self assessment tests at the end of each lesson, choosing practical/additional learning tasks to undertake as you go.
  4. On concluding the final lesson; you undertake a major online exam; and on achieving a 60% pass rate, you are given a "Certificate of Completion" carrying your name and date, to download as a pdf, to save or print as you wish


Unlike our other 100 hour courses, there is no additional exam fee charged for the exam in this or any of the 20 hour short courses.

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