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NC State Extension

Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture

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Therapeutic Horticulture

Register Now for Summer Session

Course will be held July 12 – August 20, 2021

NC State University Department of Horticultural Science and the NC Extension Gardener Program have partnered with the North Carolina Botanical Garden at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to create an exciting new online learning program. The Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture course is the first in a series of online courses that teach the theory, practice, and profession of Therapeutic Horticulture. 

In this course students explore how Therapeutic Horticulture supports human health & wellness, including physical, social, emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs. The course structure supports vibrant engagement via discussion threads, assignment feedback and provides a unique opportunity to research, discuss, and reflect on people/plant relationships. Suitable for anyone interested in learning more about this unique therapeutic method, including allied health professionals and other practitioners.  

A foundational course in Therapeutic Horticulture, the only requirement is internet access for this fully online, self-paced, non-credit course. The 6-week course supports weekly, active, online engagement among students and Instructors with two additional (optional) Zoom events. There is open access 24/7 plus an additional six months of resource materials access after the course formally ends.


  • Early Bird (through July 1): $279
  • Regular Tuition: $289
  • Member Discount: $259
    • For members of the NCBG or JCRA, contact your volunteer coordinator for the discount code.
  • Volunteer & Professional Discount: $239
    • For Master Gardener℠ volunteers (regardless of location),  or extension professionals. Contact your Extension agent for the discount code. If your agent does not have the code, have them send an email to from their work email account to request the discount code.
    • For JCRA or NCBG volunteers, contact your volunteer coordinator for the discount code. If they do not have the code, ask them to send a request via email to from their work email account.

Scientists in the Garden

About the Class

In this first course, students gain an overview of historical uses and theoretical foundations for the use of plants and nature for wellness. The broad range of populations and locations served are presented, with specific examples from therapeutic horticulture programs in North Carolina. We explore how therapeutic horticulture supports human needs, including physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual needs, will all be explored. Students learn about the profession of therapeutic horticulture, related practices, and ways to pursue further study. Using dynamic interactive forums, students will research, discuss, and reflect on the people/plant relationship, and will be provided with references and resources for further study.

We welcome all people who want to learn more about therapeutic horticulture, whether interested for personal enrichment or service to others. If serving others is your goal, the course gives a solid foundation for allied health professionals, master gardeners, and other practitioners to go forward in the field. Students who choose to achieve a record of “Mastery” in the course are enabled to enroll in future advanced classes in this online series.

Students can watch lectures and fulfill assignments when their schedule permits during the six-week period the class is in session, with a new module opening up every Monday morning. Despite the asynchronous nature of this course, it is highly recommended that students keep up with lectures and assignments before the next module is introduced since it is possible to fall behind quickly. 

Two (optional) live Zoom events have been added to the course schedule, allowing for virtual face-to-face interaction. These are a Student/Instructor ‘Meet & Greet’ during the second week of class and ‘Special Topic’ breakout sessions during the fifth week of class (dates to be determined.)

8 Minute Video Introduction to the Class

Additional Information