Gardening with Tropical Plants

Course CodeAHT109
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

The Beauty of Tropical Plants

Some people would think a tropical plant is a plant that comes from the tropics. Others might consider tropical plants to also include plants from sub-tropical places. Gardeners in some parts of the world would also consider any plant that has a tropical appearance, to be a tropical plant.

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’.  It aims to provide a sound introduction to gardening with tropical plants, in greenhouses, protected garden spaces, indoors or in warmer climates. It provides a good first step for anyone new to horticultural study, whether amateur gardeners, volunteers or aspiring professionals.

NOTE - This course is based on our 'Tropical Plants' course - adapted to be more suitable for entry level students.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Tropical Plants
  2. Plant Cultural Practices
  3. Tropical Annuals, Perennials, Bulbous Plants, Bamboos and Lawns
  4. Ornamental Gingers and Heliconias (and Related Plants Including Alpinia, Hedychium, Zingiber, Musa and Costus)
  5. Cordylines, Palms and Cycads
  6. Climbers, Shrubs and Trees
  7. Orchids, Ferns, Aroids and Bromeliads
  8. Tropical Herbs, Vegetables and Fruit Bearing Plants, Including Bush Tucker, Tea and Coffee, and Tropical Fruit Trees
  9. Growing Tropical Plants Outside the Tropics
  10. Landscaping with Tropical Plants

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • 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 tropical plants.
  • 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.
  • Determine ways to grow tropical plants outside of the tropics.
  • Explain the use of tropical plants in landscaping.

Growing Tropical Plants: Climatic Zones

Tropical climates are found in South-East Asia, much of India, northern Australia, Central America, the Caribbean, Northern parts of South America, many of the Pacific islands and perhaps the central half of the African continent. Tropical areas in general have the highest average temperature levels, the longest frost-free growing seasons, and the greatest amount of light (intensity and duration), compared to other regions on the planet.

Tropical gardens can vary from dry and desert-like, to coastal, to dense, lush and leafy environs resembling the dynamic workings of a rainforest. Many different garden effects are possible using tropical plants. You can also, on a small scale, transform a garden into a microclimate using tropical plants that are not normally found in your locality. 



Who Can Benefit From This Course?

  • Hobbyists
  • Nurserypersons
  • The backyard enthusiast
  • Those wanting to set up a tropical garden
  • Greenhouse growers

More from ACS