Tropical Plants

Course CodeBHT234
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn where and how to grow tropical plants through this versatile and comprehensive course.

Some people would think a tropical is a plant that comes from the tropics. Others might consider tropical to also include plants from sub tropical places. This course is concentrating on plants which originate from tropical or sub tropical climates; but there may be some plants covered which fit a looser definition of “tropical”.

This course provides a valuable instruction for both growing plants in warm places or in protected places such as greenhouses and inside homes or offices.

Study many of the significant tropical plants including: Heliconias, Alpinia, Hedychium, Zingiber, Musa,  Costus, Cordylines, palms and cycads, climbers, shrubs, trees, orchids, ferns, Aroids and Bromeliads, herbs, vegetables and fruit bearing plants, etc. 

Discover: how to landscape with tropical plants and how to use colour and texture; how to select appropriate plants; how to plant a courtyard and prepare sketch plans.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Tropical Plants - Plant names/classification (scientific & common), climatic conditions, plants suited to the students locality.
  2. Plant Cultural Practices Understanding soils, naming a soil, propagation, watering, feeding, pruning etc.
  3. Tropical Annuals, Perennials, Bulbous Plants, Bamboos & Lawns
  4. Ornamental Gingers and Heliconias (and related plants including Alpinia, Hedychium, Zingiber, Musa & Costus
  5. Cordylines, Palms & Cycads
  6. Climbers, Shrubs and Trees
  7. Orchids, Ferns, Aroids and Bromeliads
  8. Tropical Herbs, Vegetables and Fruit Bearing Plants including Bush tucker, Selected Vegetables, Tea & Coffee, Tropical Fruit trees
  9. Growing Tropical Plants outside the Tropics Growing tropicals indoors, in different climates and conditions.
  10. Landscaping with Tropical Plants - Use of colour & texture, plant selection, planting a courtyard, preparing sketch plans.


  • Explain the nature and scope of tropical plants
  • Discuss cultural characteristics that are often peculiar to tropical plants
  • Describe the taxonomy and culture of a range of soft wooded tropical plants including annuals, perennials and bulbs.
  • Describe the taxonomy and culture of Heliconias and Gingers..
  • Describe the taxonomy and culture of Palms and Palm like tropicals.
  • Describe the taxonomy and culture of climber, tree and shrub tropical plants.
  • Describe the taxonomy and culture of Orchids, Ferns and Bromeliads.
  • Describe the taxonomy and culture of Herbs, Vegetables and Fruits in tropical conditions.



  • A passion -collectors, breeders, enthusiasts come in all shapes and forms. Some work in horticulture, and for others it is a hobby, maybe even an obsession.
  • To get a job -Knowing more about tropical is a big bonus in all manner of horticultural jobs
  • Professional Development -gardeners, horticulturists, nurserymen, landscapers, flower growers and others
  • Starting a business -a nursery, flower farm, plant hire business, landscape business

There are opportunities you might not have even considered!

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