Why are native plants important for your garden? Are you looking to support native wildlife and pollinators? Join learners from diverse gardening backgrounds who are interested in incorporating native plants into designed landscapes.
Through this fascinating course, explore ecosystem relationships in your region and discover how native plants are adapting to conditions in their environment. Explore ecosystem ecology, botany, and plant physiology. Learn how to include native annuals, perennials, shrubs, deciduous and evergreen trees in your gardens.
Here are some of the topics you will study:
- Interdependence within ecosystems
- The meaning of "native"
- Native ecosystems and plant communities
- Formation of specialized ecosystems
- Ecology, politics & economics of invasive plants
- Creating wildlife habitat with native plants
Please download the course outline here: Ecological Plant Knowledge 1 - Natives Course Outline. Students can expect to dedicate 6-10 hours per week to successfully complete this course.
As well, our courses are offered in the continuing education realm and are designed so students can complete them according to their own schedule. The work is divided up into 14 weekly topics and students are expected to complete their assigned work and quizzes by the given deadlines.
Our courses do not use online meetings, so we are not using Google Meet, Zoom or other online meeting applications.
If you have any questions about studying online with Gaia College please see our FAQs page
- Unlimited access to our on-line plant database
- Unlimited access to our on-line course resources, community center, including resource library, discussion forums and much more
By Mail: Cheque drawn on a Canadian bank; Money order in Canadian funds
On-line: Visa, Mastercard
Please be sure you are familiar with our policies.
There are no academic prerequisites for this course, however students must
- be proficient in English (written)
- be comfortable with current computer and internet technology, including spreadsheets and word processing programs
- have an email account capable of receiving a large number of messages for the duration of the course
- have access to high-speed internet
- have access to a computer capable of running a current version of FireFox or Chrome. Tablets and phones are not supported at this time.
It would be also very beneficial to the student to pursue the Organic Master Gardener Online Course / Organic Horticulture Specialist Online Course, either before, during or after this program.
There are no formal exams in this course, as the emphasis is on developing practical skills and the ability to synthesize information.
To receive a Certificate of Completion students must contribute to all on-line discussions and satisfactorily complete all assignments and quizzes.
"I was originally so disappointed that the course was only available online, but I must say that the content and how it is structured has taught me more than what I could have hoped for. The plant ID assignments have made me realize the importance of companion planting and on a more subtle level the importance of the right habitat and conditions for the plant to do well. So, thumbs up from me! This is the second course I have taken through Gaia College and love it! The course content focuses on what really matters i.e., sustainable practices, native environments, soil chemistry etc."
Meera Suresh, Toronto
Douglas W. Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home - How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Timber Press, Portland, 2009 – ISBN 13-978-0-88192-992-8
Here is the author's website with additional resources: http://www.bringingnaturehome.net/
The text is also available on Amazon, Indigo and Bookshop (hardcover or Ebook)
"After reading everybody's posts, the one thing that astonishes me the most is the environmental "usefulness" of each plant in its own native community. It certainly makes you rethink the landscaping value of native plants."
Julie Fredlund, Toronto
This program is eligible for Continuing Education Credits (CECs) with the following:
Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA)
Also applies to B.C. Landscape & Nursery Association and Landscape Ontario
National Association of Landcare Professionals (NALP) – American
International Society of Arboriculture: Certified Arborist
International Society of Arboriculture: Board Certified Management Arborist
7.5 Credits (Science)
International Society of Arboriculture: Municipal Specialist
B.C. Society of Landscape Architects
As per Society guidelines - eligibility of this program has been confirmed
Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc. (MGOI)
Canadian Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL)
Pre-approved: 6 Credits
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Canada
Pre-approved: 3.02 Credits
Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA)
Pre-approved: 4 Credits
Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC)
Pre-approved: 42 Non-core LUs
This course partially satisfies the requirements of:
How to Apply for Your Continuing Education Credits
For information on obtaining your credits please see: How to Apply for your Continuing Education Credits