Delivered and Supported by the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics


NVCC is the only community college in Connecticut that offers a degree in horticulture.

Through the program, you can continue your education at a four-year university or apply for employment in landscaping, greenhouses, garden centers or landscape design centers.

Over 500 students have received training at NVCC and have gone on to start their own businesses. The University of Connecticut is the only other college in the state that offers a horticulture degree and graduates from our program can expect to seamlessly transfer to UCONN to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Earn an Associate Degree, Certificate or take a Course or two

Degree Programs

Certificate Programs


Landscape Construction
4 Credits

This course provides applied experiences in assorted construction techniques necessary in the development of landscapes. Included are a survey of construction materials, deck design and construction, patio and walkway installation, stone wall construction, fencing, retaining wall design and construction. Earthwork calculations, measuring and materials estimating are included. Actual field exercises will be provided.

Woody Plants
3 Credits

This is a basic introduction to common desirable, deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs and vines for the natural and cultivated landscape. The course emphasizes identification as well as learning the attributes, growth habits and cultural needs of the plants. Nomenclature and fundamental tree biology are discussed.

Herbaceous Plants
3 Credits

This course provides instruction in the identification and selection of annual and perennial herbaceous plants for various habitats. Students will develop an understanding of the plants’ ornamental value in garden and landscape design, based on flowers, foliage, form and adaptability to the environment.

Fruit and Vegetable Production
3 Credits

Primarily a course for residential vegetable and fruit cultivation, the course provides basic knowledge and methods that can be applied on the commercial level as well. Included are topics on site selection and soil preparation, planting, pruning, fertilization and general cultivation of vegetables, small bush and large tree fruits.

Turf Management
3 Credits

The establishment and maintenance of turf grass are studied in the course. Lawn, golf course, and athletic field care are emphasized. Students will also learn to identify the turf grasses, identify and control weeds, insects, pests and diseases.

Floral Design I
3 Credits

The basic principles of design as applied to the art of floral arranging are examined and flower shop management operation..

Landscape Design I
3 Credits

Pre-requisite: HRT*H102. This course provides students with the basic knowledge and skills to create a successful landscape plan. Starting with the proper placement and design of driveways and walkways, it guides the student through the stages of developing an entire residential property. Appropriate plant selection is based on site characteristics and design principles and elements.

Landscape Design II
3 Credits

Prerequisite: HRT*H202 or permission of instructor. This course is designed as a continuation of HRT*H202. This course will aid students in developing skills in perceptual design, job bidding, as well as give an introduction to computer aided drafting, as related to horticulture landscaping.

Computers in Landscape Design
3 Credits

This course is an introduction to utilizing computer applications in the landscape design profession. Material will cover the development of two-dimensional base plans, three-dimensional models, and two dimensional renderings. Also, examples of real-life projects will be highlighted to illustrate the transition from computer drawings to construction. The student will develop a working knowledge of AutoCad, ProLandscape, Google Sketchup, and Adobe Photoshop.

Landscaping Small Properties
3 Credits

This course complements and enhances HRT*H202, Landscape Design. It covers the evolution of garden design, an analysis of color relationships in design, and how to plan different kinds of gardens.

Landscape Maintenance
3 Credits

This course is designed to assist the professional and amateur landscape gardener to maintain their gardens through an understanding of plant growth, pruning, nutrition, propagation, etc. The course also includes landscape estimating.

Pest Control in Ornamentals and Turf
3 Credits

This course teaches students how to control pests in trees, shrubs, gardens and greenhouses. Detailed studies of the life histories of the pests are a background to learning some of the techniques of integrated pest management. However, the responsible and safe use of pesticides is emphasized throughout the course. This is a useful preparation for the certification of commercial pesticide applicators and arborists.

3 Credits

This course is designed to prepare landscapers for the State Arborist Exam. Topics include the biology, identification, selection, planting, management, preservation of trees and diagnosis of tree problems. It is recommended that if students lack extensive work experience they should have taken HRT*H102 (Woody Plants) and HRT*H215 (Pest Control) before taking the State Arborist Exam.

Greenhouse Operations & Management
4 Credits

This course focuses on the selection, production and management of greenhouse and bedding plants, interior plantscape management and design, management of annuals and perennials. Plant physiology is related to the Environmental effects on plant growth.

Greenhouse Management II
4 Credits

Prerequisite: HRT*H222 or permission of instructor. This course is a continued in-depth study of the commercial greenhouse industry. It is a complement to HRT*H222. Included in the course is an in-depth look at the production of greenhouse crops, disease, and insect control. Interior plant maintenance, soils testing, and development of production programs with the use of computer aided programs will be used to better understand plant growth.

Plant Propagation & Hybridization
4 Credits

This course is an in-depth study of the world of plant reproduction and genetics. This course is a complement to other courses offered in the Horticulture degree and certificate program. This course will give students the theoretical and practical skills needed to reproduce plants asexually, and through micropropagation. Included will be the use of the college propagation facilities to facilitate learning.

Nursery Management
3 Credits

Pre-requisites: HRT*H102 Woody Plants and HRT*H103 Herbaceous Plants or permission of program coordinator. This course provides a basic understanding of how to start and manage a commercial plant nursery. Site and crop selection, irrigation and nutrition management will be addressed. Students will study the principles and practices of nursery crop production as well as fundamental business organization and marketing. Course activities include field trips to nursery sites.

CWE/Horticulture Co-Op
3 Credits

Prerequisite 12 credits in Horticulture, “C” or better, and permission of Horticulture Coordinator, or Division Director. This course involves a work experience, special project, independent study or course substitution which will vary according to the student’s needs and interests. A written report and weekly journal will be required and evaluated at the end of the course. Conferences among students, work study supervisory agency, and faculty facilitator will be held during the semester. A two hour orientation/planning workshop at the beginning of the Co-Op is required.