Horticulture Pathway


The goal of Horticulture is to provide students with practical opportunities for mastering fundamental skills in the care and culture of plant life in the home, business, and social environment. Instructional focus is directed toward plant physiology and anatomy, indoor plant culture, taxonomy, plant propagation, basic floral and garden design and the acquisition of knowledge governing the culture of specific food and esthetic plants used in our daily lives.

Horticulture Program video

Is the Environmental Horticulture (CPH) Career Pathway for You?

Do you have the following?

  • Mathematical and analytical skills
  • Environmental awareness
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Enthusiasm for design
  • Technological savvy
  • Love for the outdoors
  • Getting hands on with plants
  • An aspiration to help people

If so, this could be the pathway for you.

Horticulture Related Programs at Local Universities and Colleges:

  • Montgomery College (MC) Landscape Technology Associates of Applied Science and Certificate Programs: MCPS and MC have an articulation agreement to help students meet the future employment needs of the horticulture industry. Upon completing the MCPS pathway courses students may receive college credit when they enter MC’s Landscape Technology degree or certificate programs. The Landscape Technology programs at MC provide students with a comprehensive mixture of academic and practical training in the field of ornamental horticulture.
  • University of Maryland College of Agriculture & Natural Resources (AGNR): The department of Plant Sciences and Landscape offers programs in basic plant biology, nursery and horticultural production and the management of urban forests, landscapes and turf or sports scapes such as golf courses and athletic fields. A joint program with the Education Department in Agriculture Education is also available.

  • Prince George’s Community College Certificate in Commercial Urban Agriculture Program: “Prince George’s Community College and ECO City Farms are proud partners in the Certificate in Commercial Urban Agriculture program. The program is the first of its kind in the region and will give you a comprehensive introduction to starting your own urban farm. A total of six courses (28 hours of instruction) make up the Certificate in Commercial Urban Agriculture. The courses are taught at ECO City Farms...and are taught by ECO City Farms staff. The courses may be taken individually, but the completion of all six is required to receive the Certificate in Commercial Urban Agriculture

Horticulture Related Careers

Agricultural Business Consultant- Evaluates productivity and efficiency of agricultural businesses. Assists in establishing budgets, providing tax advice and other financial issues. May be self-employed or work for a financial consulting firm and agribusinesses.

Arborist- Concerned with all aspects of woody plants. Hired by consulting firms, government agencies, landscape maintenance firms, large private estates, parks, research institutions, resorts, tree nurseries, and utility companies.

Botanist- Studies form and function of plants. Hired by biological supply companies, biotechnology firms, botanical gardens, chemical companies, food growers, research companies and seed growers. Grower, Plant Producer and Farmer-Produces horticulture crops for retail or wholesale. Works on/owns farm, orchard, nursery, vineyard, or greenhouse.

Horticultural Therapist- Uses plants and horticultural activities to improve emotional, mental or physical well-being of patients. Employed by hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and rehabilitation centers. Irrigation Specialist-Sells, installs and operates irrigation systems at various locations such as golf courses, athletic fields, farms, nurseries and greenhouses.

Landscape Architect- Plans and designs landscapes. May be self-employed, work for landscape architectural firm or the government. Plant Breeder and Geneticist-Produces and improves new plant varieties. Positions with botanical gardens, government, and development departments in large corporations.

Plant Propagator- Propagates new plant material using techniques such as grafting, seed production, tissue culture and vegetative propagation. Employed by arboreta, botanical gardens, propagation nurseries and universities.

Pomologist- Specializes in the production and marketing of tree fruits, tree nuts and small fruits. Hired by universities, research institutions and food processing companies.

Soil Scientist- Responsible for optimal soil utilization. Specializes in soil formation, soil classification, soil survey, soil mineralogy, soil biology, chemistry and physics, soil fertility or soil decay. May be employed as a researcher, developer or advisor.

Turfgrass Management- Develops and maintains turf areas, such as golf courses, commercial sites, sod farms and sports fields.

Viticulturist- Studies grape production for wine, juice, raisins and other grape products. Employers include vineyards and wineries.

The Diffrent Courses

Program Completion and Maryland CPH Certification Requirements: To complete this Montgomery County Public Schools Program of Study students must successfully complete the three high school courses and capstone experience described below. Upon successfully completing the program students that pass the Maryland Certified Professional Horticulturalist (CPH) Exam and submit evidence of required hours worked in the industry gain full CPH certification from the Maryland Nursery Landscape Association.

Foundation of Horticulture (1.0): Through theory and hands-on instruction students learn the concepts of plant growth and development, plant nomenclature, use of plants in landscapes, effects of invasive species, principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and how diseases impact plants.

Plant Production (1.0): Students incorporate market research and development to successfully plan, produce, and sell greenhouse and nursery crops. They monitor and maintain proper growing conditions, use IPM strategies and develop business plans.

Landscape Design (1.0): Students apply principles of design, use of drafting tools and techniques, and prepare various types of design views to present landscape designs that include softscape and hardscape elements. They evaluate all aspects of their designs.

Capstone Experience: Students complete an internship experience within the horticulture industry. The goal of the internship is to match students to authentic employment that links to their interests. Students that are unable to participate in an internship can fulfill the capstone requirement by taking an AP horticulture course.

A Sample Schedule:

Grade 9 or Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12

On-level or Honors English On-level or Honors English On-level or Honors English

On-level or Honors Algebra II On-level or Honors Pre-calculus On-level or AP Calculus Elective

On-level, Honors or AP NSL On-level, Honors, or AP World History Advanced Placement Environmental Sci

On-level or Honors Biology On-level or Honors Chemistry Capstone Experience

Fine Arts Plant Production

Foundations of Horticulture Landscape Design

Units Of Study

Semester A Unit Topics

  • Careers in Horticulture
  • Plant Science parts, function, environmental requirements, growth stimulants
  • Plant Propagation Cuttings
  • Greenhouse management
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Floral Design

Semester B Unit Topics

  • Greenhouse crops
  • Container grown plants
  • Using plants in the landscape
  • The vegetable garden
  • Soil science
  • Landscape tools


Mr. Randy Decker - Randy_Decker@mcpsmd.org

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