CA Native Plant Landscaper Certificate

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The California Native Plant Landscaper Certificate Program is a hybrid e-learning and hands-on vocational training program designed for working and aspiring landscape professionals. Developed by experts in the field of native plant horticulture, it will give you the tools you need to successfully manage native plants and California-friendly landscapes.

The CNPLC is offered as a paid course and open to all landscape professionals and gardeners who are looking to advance their knowledge of native plant care and maintenance. At the end of the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion and learn how to use your new knowledge and skills to promote your business.

Offered: fall, winter, spring, summer

Currently offered: Remote instruction via Zoom with two in-person optional workshops

Duration: Four weeks including 16 hours of class plus 3 hours of workshops.
Classes will be held via Zoom twice a week (two hours each).
Workshops be held on two Saturdays and will each be one and a half hours in length.


  1. Lesson 1: Introduction
    Learn about habitats, native and California-friendly plants, lawn removal and alternatives for replacing lawns, and discover how to grow natives in almost any garden condition.
  2. Lesson 2: Plant ID
    Study and learn all about the most common California native plants for Southern California available in the landscape industry.
  3. Lesson 3: Soils
    Learn to Identify soil texture and its relationship to infiltration, soil-based problems encountered when gardening with native plants, and how to discuss proper soil management with your clients.
  4. Lesson 4: Irrigation Part I
    Although native plants are adapted to our climate, new plants must be established to survive summer, so they must be watered more regularly. Learn how to successfully irrigate the native garden based on the age, plant material and soil type.
  5. Lesson 5: Rebates and Irrigation, Part II
    Explore strategies on how to transform lawn areas into beautiful, water-efficient landscapes and keep them thriving with long-term irrigation techniques and more. Find out about money-saving rebates available to your clients.
  6. Lesson 6: Weeding and Integrated Pest Management
    Learn to manage weeds, identify the key conditions and pests commonly seen in native gardens, and how to use integrated pest management techniques.
  7. Lesson 7: Pruning
    Find out why proper pruning is essential to native plant maintenance, along with techniques to achieve the desired effect, plus learn the basics of proper tool hygiene.
  8. Lesson 8: Garden Assessment and Putting It All Together
    Learn to identify native plants, soil types, irrigation, and more. You’ll also learn how to identify and troubleshoot problems, create cost analysis, and promote your business.
    This in-person workshop covers: Establishing natives by season, irrigation assessment, irrigation scheduling determination, and equipment survey.
    This in-person workshop covers California native plant maintenance.

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