Ecological Plant Knowledge - Ornamentals

Since 2003, Gaia College has been offering holistic horticulture education to students all over the world. Our courses integrate essential knowledge of ecology, permaculture and organic gardening to build a solid ecological foundation for your career and/or personal life.

Course Overview


Ecological Plant Knowledge ImageTypically ornamental plants are grouped for aesthetic effect with little regard for plant compatibility or - for that matter - suitability for their growing environments in geographical areas far removed from their origin. Plants are a product of their native environment, having adapted to specific soil, water and climate conditions. These are complex relationships, and to create thriving landscapes we need to have a good understanding of the growing conditions in the plants' native range.

The plant identification component of this course emphasizes ornamental landscape plants including annuals, perennials, shrubs, deciduous and evergreen trees, which are commonly used in the ornamental landscape of the temperate and cooler northern hemisphere. Weed identification and arboriculture practices such as pruning: what, when and how, will also be covered as it relates to the different plant types.

Self-guided field trips and research enrich and personalize the experience.

Here are some of the topics you will explore:

  • World biomes
  • Plant nomenclature
  • Factors in successful plant groupings
  • Weed identification
  • Plant maintenance including specialty pruning

Student Comment

I wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience over the course of this journey into plant science and how important it is to maintain or help restore the delicate balance necessary for the environment we depend on to survive. I've become addicted to learning more. On a personal note, since September when the Ornamentals course started I have experienced a series of unfortunate and even bizarre events. Through it all however, your course work was my comfort and confirmation of a much bigger world out there.



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Ecological Plant Knowledge 2 – Ornamentals Online

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