New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (General) (Level 3)

It is the first step towards a career in Horticulture. It is also suitable for anyone with an interest in horticulture and want to grow plants more successfully. Full time with student allowances* or part time with evening classes and weekend practical workshops. Fees Free for eligible learners*.
*Conditions and eligibility criteria apply.

Key Info


Level 3


40 weeks (part time)




NZ Citizen or Permanent Resident


Kelston, Papakura, Mangere


$2305.00 or fees free for eligible domestic students.

Course Details

This qualification was designed to provide the basic knowledge and skills of horticulture. It is the first step towards a career in Horticulture. It is also suitable for anyone with interest in horticulture and who want to grow plants more successfully.
Graduates will benefit by having a breadth of horticulture knowledge and transferable skills valued by the horticulture community which will facilitate improved performance in the workplace and career progression.

Course content includes:
• Plants and how they work;
• Identifying native plants and weeds etc.;
• Types of soil and testing suitability for different plants;
• Using plant and soil science to facilitate growth;
• Selecting the right plants;
• Planting and pruning trees and shrubs;
• Plant propagation;
• Treatment of plant pests and diseases;
• Treatment of weeds;
• Horticulture irrigation systems;
• Nursery growing of plants;
• Applying chemicals.

$2305.00 or fees free for eligible domestic students.

• 16 years of age or over.
• Horticulture or primary industry qualifications at level 2 or equivalent knowledge and skills are preferred.
• Literacy and Numeracy levels to support studies at level 3.
• NZ Citizen or Permanent Resident.


This qualification may lead on to the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Level 4) with strands in Amenity, Arboriculture, Cemetery, Landscape Design, Landscape Construction, and Sports Turf.


Graduates of this qualification may be employed or self-employed, and/or move flexibly between a range of horticultural enterprises. This qualification will also be suitable for small block owners or for mature learners who wish to gain knowledge of horticultural science in a range of general horticulture growing systems and practices.

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Intake Dates


2020- February, April, July, October


2020- January, March, May, August


2020- February, April, July

North Shore

2020- March, June, September


2020- March, July, August

What are the benefits

This programme is a broad and deep introduction to horticulture that will support employment in a wide range of areas across the horticultural industry. It is also suited to hobbyist horticulturalists keen to learn skills that they can use in their own orchards and gardens.

Graduates leave with a thorough understanding of plants and soils, as theoretical knowledge underpins all practical skills gained.

Content includes ways to look after your soil, and the different options in managing pests, weeds, and plant diseases. A very popular module requires students to propagate plants by many different techniques including seeds, cuttings, and grafting.

Study can be undertaken either full-time or part-time, allowing for flexible study around your work and home commitments.

Students testimonials

thumbnail Hort Class Irrigation

Enrolling for the horticulture course run by John Grant at Skills Update was one of the best decisions I have made. John is a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge and it has been a privilege to be a part of his class."


Growth. Innovation. Trust

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