RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation & Development (pre-September 2022)

This theory-based qualification explains the scientific principles which underpin horticultural practices providing a route to employment in horticulture and a foundation for further learning

If you are just starting out on your RHS Qualifications journey, please see our revised RHS Level 2 Qualifications that are now available to enrol on.

Please note: This page is for candidates who have partially completed the Level 2 prior to the 2022 update.

Who is this qualification for?

Career changers. Looking to break into professional horticulture for the first time

Professional horticulturists. Already working in horticulture and wanting to develop knowledge further

Casual learners. Wanting to develop personal interest and progress to further horticultural study at level 3

Busy people. Need a flexible learning style? Our qualifications are designed to be studied part-time
Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation & Development

Modules, learning outcomes and assessment

Each module is assessed by an RHS set examination conducted at an RHS approved qualifications centre in February and June. To achieve the qualification all four unit exams must be completed and achieved.

Plant classification, structure and function
  • Characteristics and the naming of the main groups of plants and their life cycles
  • Structure and function of plant cells, tissues, vegetative organs, flowers, fruits and seeds
  • Importance of photosynthesis, respiration, and the movement of water and minerals through the plant
Plant nutrition and the root environment
  • Physical and chemical properties of soils
  • Importance of organic matter in the root environment
  • Plant nutrition provided by soil and other growing media
  • Uses of growing media
Maintaining plant health
  • Importance of using safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable practices for the maintenance of plant health
  • Problems posed by weeds, pests, diseases and plant disorders in horticulture and how these problems can be minimised
Plant propagation
  • The role of seeds in plant propagation
  • Methods of propagation from seeds and spores
  • The role of vegetative reproduction in plant propagation
  • Methods of vegetative propagation

Useful documents and information

More (pre-September 2022) RHS Level 2 Qualifications

After the qualification

Career opportunities

You will have gained a range of horticultural knowledge relevant to employment in various roles in commercial plant production and the horticultural sector, such as a head gardener or supervisor in private, public, or botanic gardens or parks and urban green spaces. 

See more on horticultural careers >>

Further learning

The qualification supports progression to level 3 courses in horticulture (RHS Level 3 Qualifications) or entry onto various horticultural training programmes.

University of Surrey student

“When I started I could only identify a few plants by common name and now it’s great to be able to identify loads of plants by botanical name and know about the conditions they grow in.” - Linda Crowe, Level 2 student

Read more learner stories

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Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.