Propagation I

Course CodeBHT108
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to Propagate all Types of Plants

Propagation may be from seeds or cuttings, and both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Growing from seed is not always possible, some plants are difficult to grow from cuttings, and some plants are better grown from stem cuttings than leaf cuttings. There is a lot to know about propagation and you could spend many years mastering it. This course provides a solid foundation into all types of propagation. 

In this course you will learn: 

  • How to grow plants from cuttings, seed, grafting, division and other methods.
  • How to overcome dormancy in seeds.
  • How to stimulate root growth in cuttings.
  • The importance of humidity, shade and environmental manipulation.
  • How to pot up and grow on clones and seedlings.
  • What materials and equipment to use for successful propagation.
Many people spend a small fortune on plants to establish a garden, and as plants die and need replacing, those costs continue to increase. Learning to propagate plants offers the aspiring horticulturist, landscaper or gardener a business or employment opportunity, as well as home gardeners a chance to make savings on plant purchases. Plant propagation is a skill that will never be wasted. 
Student's comments

"This is the first correspondence course I have done and I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU. I appreciate everyone's effort in such a professionally-run organisation with seamless administration. The office staff's happy can-do attitude, their fast responses to all queries, tutor Shane Gould's quick turnaround in assignment marking and his supportive and motivational feedback and last but not least, the sound subject guides. Most importantly I hope my thanks and appreciation can be communicated to all the staff who have supported me long the way of my learning! I work full time and study on the weekend but really don't stop thinking about what gardening solution I need in order to answer my assignments every day of the week. Thank you for such a great learning experience and I cant wait to start the second half of my course!!"

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Propagation
    • asexual and sexual propagation
    • plant life cycles
    • nursery production systems
  2. Seed Propagation
  3. Potting Media
  4. Vegetative Propagation I
    • cuttings
  5. Vegetative Propagation II
    • care of stock plants
    • layering
    • division and other techniques
  6. Vegetative Propagation III
    • budding and grafting
    • tissue culture
  7. Propagation Structures and Materials
    • greenhouses
    • propagating equipment
  8. Risk Management
    • nursery hygiene
    • risk assessment
    • management
  9. Nursery Management I
    • plant modification techniques
    • management policies
  10. Nursery Management II
    • nursery standards
    • cost efficiencies
    • site planning
    • development


  • Develop the ability to source information on plant propagation, through an awareness of industry terminology and information sources.
  • 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.

Tips for Buying Horticultural Tools and Equipment

When you buy equipment or materials for your garden, you usually get what you pay for. The things which do the job well and last are usually the more expensive choices.
A good top of the range pair of secateurs, for example, should last 20 years or more, but a cheap pair may only last one or two years.


  • Loose parts: check moving parts in particular, as well as bolts and screws. 
  • Adequate joins: where parts join (e.g: the spade blade to the spade handle) should be strong enough, and firmly fitted, to withstand the rigours of hard work. For hand tools such as spades, shovels and forks the most likely place for breakages to occur is where the handle meets the tool head. It is important to ensure that you purchase tools with strong durable handles, and that these are subsequently well maintained.
  • Sharp edges: Newly made, or repaired tools will often have sharp edges that can easily cut you, particularly if they have been poorly finished off.    
  • Splinters: Tools with wooden (i.e: handles), or fibreglass parts, will often have splinters, if they have been poorly finished off, or if they have been subsequently damaged. 
  •  Leaks: Check carefully for evidence of water, petrol, oil or other leaks. If there is evidence of some sort of leakage, check to see if this simply a result of a loose cap (e.g; petrol cap), a loose connection (e.g: on a hose clamp), or if machinery has been  tipped, dropped, etc, during use or transport.
  • Wear and Tear: Tools with obvious signs of wear and tear are more likely to break down, or to operate less efficiently.
  • Possibility of obtaining replacement parts if needed.


Quality of Materials: 

  • Rust/Corrosion: This is a good indicator that the tool or machine has been poorly maintained or stored. 
  • Good grip (to ground, hands): Good quality tyres are very important for machinery such as ride-on mowers, particularly when they are being used on boggy or sloped areas. Good hand grips are vital to ensure not only safe handling so that tools and machine won't slip, or get loose from your control, but also to ensure comfortable handling. 
  • Safety guards: These are extremely important for machines that have parts that could readily catch or grab you or your clothing; and for machines that are likely to throw up debris such as stones or wood chips. Safety guards should always be kept in good condition, and in the correct position while machines are operating.


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

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