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NC State Extension

Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti

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Identification and Use – Online Self-Study Course


REGISTER for Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti Self-Study Course

About This Class

Have you ever wondered what the holes in a Swiss cheese plant leaf are called and why they’re there? Did you know that there are cacti in tropical rainforests? How do you tell the difference between Thanksgiving and Christmas Cactus? Join Longwood Gardens and NC State University Department of Horticultural Science for this fully online self-study introduction to houseplants, succulents, and cacti. These species are some of the most fascinating in the plant kingdom and have a botanical vocabulary all their own.

You will explore 50 popular houseplants, succulents, and cacti as they learn the fundamentals of plant identification. Through photo stories, Longwood Gardens Plant Fact pages, and hundreds of beautiful images, you’ll learn the key identifying characteristics of these plants, gain skills to identify new plants you’ll encounter outside this class, and learn some fun facts.

This class is fully online and self-paced! Set your own schedule, and work at your own pace. You can participate anywhere that you can access the internet, and you will have access to the course resources 24/7 for one year after registering. There are no required presentations or set times you will need to meet online. We recommend accessing the course via Google Chrome on a computer or tablet for the best functionality.

Please note that no completion certificates are offered for the self-study classes, and no credit is given toward Longwood’s certifications.


  • $99 General Public
  • $89 Master Gardeners, JCRA Volunteers, and Extension Professionals with discount code. Volunteers obtain the discount code from your volunteer coordinator. Extension Professionals email from your work email account to obtain a discount code.
  • REGISTER for Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti Self-Study Course

Additional Opportunities

This is one of four plant ID courses; each focused on different plant groupings that include some favorites and a few introductions from the research and breeding programs at Longwood Gardens and North Carolina State University. Below are links to the other ID classes in the series, as well as Understanding Plants: