Lifelong Learning Certificate of Western Horticulture

The Certificate of Western Horticulte has been CLOSED and we now offer a Green Thumb Series. Visit our series page for more details:

Green Thumb Series

The information on this page is for those currently in the program so they can reference requirements and expectations. If you are currently in the program and would like more information on the status of your certificate, email More information is available in the FAQ below.

The Certificate of Western Horticulture allows motivated home gardeners and those seeking entry level positions in the horticulture industry to expand their skills and understand the specific needs of Utah landscapes and gardens during all 4 seasons. Certificate enrollees will better understand design, how to successfully choose plants, and how to grow and maintain their home landscape. The diverse and seasonal curriculum will assist students in mastering gardening techniques best suited for Utah gardens through lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on experiences specific to the climate and conditions found in the West. Enjoy learning from local experts, and sharing your experiences with other like-minded gardeners.

  • Certificate students pay a $25 registration fee to cover administrative costs. You may receive credit for a course taken in the 12 months prior to joining the certificate program. Contact Lifelong Learning to confirm if a previous course will qualify.
  • Choose Option 1 or Option 2 to complete the required classes, plus 2 electives

  • Option 1
    • Botany for Gardeners
    • Residential Landscape Design
    • Irrigation Basics or How to Water Almost Anything or Basics of Waterwise Landscaping
    • Garden Maintenance
    • Pruning 101
    • Soils: Dig Deeper into Gardening
    • 101 Plants to Know
    Option 2
    • Botany for Gardeners
    • Residential Landscape Design
    • Irrigation Basics or How to Water Almost Anything or Basics of Waterwise Landscaping
    • Garden Maintenance
    • Pruning 101
    • Soils: Dig Deeper into Gardening
    • Landscape Trees and Shrubs
    • Perennials – Spring and Summer Bloomers
    • Perennials – Late Summer and Fall Bloomers

    Why can’t I enroll in the Certificate for Western Horticulture or Digital Photography?

    The Covid-19 pandemic has caused Lifelong Learning to pause and rethink its certificate offerings. Our certificate program is designed for hands-on learning and the restrictions placed upon us with regards to class sizes, distancing between participants, and number of in-person experiences has made it difficult for us to continue with the program as originally conceived. It is because of this that we are no longer accepting new students into this program.

    We plan to offer a new, community-focused series of skill-building courses designed to help you follow a path of deep and concentrated exploration. We will announce our plans in our weekly email newsletter and on social media. Follow us and join our email list to be the first to know!

    I’ve enrolled in the Certificate for Western Horticulture or Digital Photography. Can I still complete the program?

    Since you have already enrolled, you can still complete your certificate and we are continuing to offer the curriculum. We will honor your commitment to building this skill and plan to continue offering the curriculum as best we can until everyone has completed it.

    We are doing everything we can to program the classes you need to complete your certificate but ask for your patience as we work within our new Covid-19 constraints. Some classes are incredibly challenging to conduct safely in our current environment. We are working on solutions to this and will notify those on the waitlist for the course as soon as it is available.

    We are also extending the deadline for certificate completion. You are no longer limited to three years to complete the program. We know that you don’t want it to take longer than three years so we are doing everything we can to keep the delay to a minimum.

    If you have questions about what you still need to take to complete the certificate and if we may have substitute classes, please email us and we will look into your specific inquiry. We have updated the list of electives here on our website as well.

    Questions about the Certificate of Western Horticulture? Find answers below, or contact us for more information.

    What is the certificate?
    Certificate showing completion of a group of horticulture classes. The classes are designed to provide broad overview of residential landscape gardening practices so home gardeners can be more successful.

    How long do you have to complete the certificate?
    You have 3 years to complete classes.

    Why was certificate developed?
    There is nothing comparable being offered for serious gardeners. Other programs are 2 and 4 year degrees through USU, and the Master Gardener program which is a 40 hour training program that has a 40 hour volunteer component.

    Who is the certificate designed for?
    Students new to gardening, new to SLC valley, serious home gardeners, and people entering horticulture industry with no prior horticulture education. Focus is on residential landscaping.

    What are required classes?

    • Botany for Gardeners (6 hrs)
    • Residential Landscape Design (18 hrs)
    • Irrigation Basics (4 hrs)
    • Garden Maintenance (6 hrs)
    • Pruning 101 (6 hrs)
    • Soils: Dig Deeper into Gardening (4 hrs)
    • 101 Plants to Know or Perennials and Landscape Trees and Shrubs (14 hrs)

    What electives are offered?
    Two electives are required and the list continues to grow. Examples of elective offerings include:

    • Ornamental Grasses
    • Fabulous Fruit Trees
    • Rose Pruning
    • Grow Your Own Herbs
    • Gardening in Containers
    • Rose Gardening

    How much does it cost to take all the classes in the certificate program?
    Approximate cost to take all required classes is approximately $1000 including the $25 certificate registration cost. Cost of electives varies based on class.

    Where are classes held?
    Classes are held at 540 Arapeen Drive, Research Park, SLC and at Red Butte Garden.

    How often are classes offered?
    Classes are offered 1—2 times a year, and most are seasonal since there are hands-on components to most classes.

    Can I get credit for a class I took, that is part of the certificate, before signing up for certificate?
    Yes. If it's been less than a year and you contact Lifelong Learning, we will research your class records and give you credit if applicable.

    You do not have to be enrolled in a certificate program to take a class. Everyone is welcome in our certificate courses!


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