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Horticulture and Landscape Technology - Operations Concentration (year 2)

Build a career in greenhouse, nursery and garden centre management.

A woman tends to a pot of flowers.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years


The Operations concentration is an option of the Horticulture and Landscape Technology diploma program. You start this concentration at the beginning of your second year.

You learn all aspects of greenhouse, nursery and garden centre practices. Your courses and study are focused on plant propagation, production, care, and maintenance in greenhouse, nursery and garden centre environments – all while utilizing safe and sustainable practices.

Other info

  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery
Kingstec Campus
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.

Admission requirements

  • Successful completion of Horticulture and Landscape Technology – Year 1 or advanced standing.
  • Advanced standing – To be considered, you must apply to and meet the admission requirements for the Horticulture and Landscape Technology program. Advanced standing is based on academic credits (certificate/diploma/degree) completed from a recognized public institution within the past ten years that meet the academic requirements of the full first year of the program. Advanced standing is subject to seat availability.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates find employment as horticulturalists, plant technicians, and retail assistants at garden centres, nurseries and greenhouses.
  • The sector also has jobs in wholesale and retail garden centre operations and management.

Future study options

  • Certified Horticulture Technician – Individuals who wish to obtain a national professional designation must meet stated eligibility criteria from recognized governing institutions such as Landscape Nova Scotia. This program provides 1,000 hours of the 2,000 hours that are required for the Certified Horticulture Technician (CHT) certification. In addition to course work, you also need to meet required industry experience to complete your certification.
  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Learn more about having your diploma count towards a university degree

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

HGRO 1100 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply skills and concepts appropriate for entry level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

HGRO 3002 - Propagation I
This course introduces learners to the reproduction of woody and herbaceous plant material, focusing on developing various practical and technical skills applicable in the greenhouse and nursery industries. The course uses the Canadian Standards for Nursery Stock (Canadian Nursery Landscape Association) for the production of greenhouse and nursery stock.

HGRO 4001 - Propagation II
This course focuses on specialized propagation methods for woody and herbaceous plant material. Technical skills developed during the course will use the Canadian Standard for Nursery Stock for the production of greenhouse and nursery stock for winter and spring propagation.

HLAN 3004 - Landscape Plant Materials II
The focus of Landscape Plant Materials II is on identifying plant material in the autumn season using skills acquired in Landscape Plant Materials I and the universal language of Botanical Latin. Learners will be exposed to specific plant species, cultivar and variety. All plant material will be researched as they relate to family organization and their relationship with other plant communities.

HLAN 4003 - Plants in the Landscape
Plants in the Landscape focuses on native plants and their allies in the natural environment. Emphasis is on recognizing dormant plants building on skills developed in Horticulture Science and Landscape Plant Materials I and II.

HLTG 1005 - Research, Practice and Application
This course will allow learners to manage specific Horticulture Operations and/or Landscape environments at Kingstec Campus or in the community. The course incorporates conducting practical experiments, conducting applied research, compiling data, managing the project, consulting with industry and developing supporting rationale to create the formal written and oral project results. The culmination of this project is to present research findings in a public forum.

HLTG 1006 - Landscape Analysis and Planning
The course is designed to provide a basic understanding of site analysis, customer survey and landscape planning strategies, exploring topics such as scale, plant symbols, plan layout and drafting tools. Learners will understand and practice manual drafting as it relates to the landscaping process using established landscape plan protocol.

HLTG 1014 - Site and Environment Management
This course is designed to provide an opportunity for learners to relate their skills to managing a greenhouse or a nursery site. By developing inputs and ensuring sustainable plant growth, learners will further develop independent learning, self-discovery and practice their project management skills to industry standard. As the green industry moves to environmental sustainability and increased regulatory practices, this course will cover strategies and creative solutions that reflect the fundamental principles of sustainable horticulture and will be demonstrated within learner’s project plans.

HLTG 1020 - Introduction to Environmental Horticulture
Green infrastructure is an approach which incorporates natural elements into the design and construction of our built environment. Climatic challenges such as storm-water management, reduction of heat stress, and air quality issues can be mitigated to a degree by incorporating natural elements such as living walls and roofs, urban forests, and green streets and alleyways. In this course, students explore the benefits of green infrastructure, along with the relationship between horticulture and climate change. Students also explore operational considerations that support green infrastructure and environmental horticulture. These include sustainable materials used in operations, available alternative energy solutions, and the role of water management.

HLTG 2020 - Plant Production and Retail Principles III
Building on the skills first covered in Plant Production and Retail Principles I and II, learners will manage the green areas and oversee the semester’s retail sales event, which involves mentoring year one learners and directing the event from set up through to tear down.

HLTG 3006 - Operations Production and Maintenance I
This course provides learners with practical experience in cold frame and cool house production. Kingstec’s living lab will provide opportunities to work with a wide range of plant material throughout the semester. Hardy and tropical plants will be maintained within our extensive nursery facilities.

HLTG 4005 - Operations Production and Maintenance II
This course is a continuation of Operations Production and Maintenance I. A living lab will provide learners with the opportunity to produce and display merchandise for retail sales. Learners will experience building and creating displays, perform maintenance of production areas, nursery areas and maintain inventory control of plant growth and nursery stock.

HLTG 4006 - Nursery Systems Operation
This course introduces learners to various aspects of nursery systems operations including irrigation, pruning, fertilization, and the creation of standardized nursery stock. The intent is to produce and maintain healthy, true-to-name plant material using an integrated pest management approach, current industry practices and sustainable systems.

Learn more about this program

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