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Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate Series

The NEW Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate Series is available to take in its entirety in the winter and spring of 2024. This certificate provides the foundation necessary to create a successful garden or landscape. Gardeners in all locations and any experience level can hone their skills learned from our experienced instructors. Whether you’re a professional or home gardener, we welcome all levels as we discuss soils, trees, ecology and food production in Colorado’s harsh climate and growing conditions.

  • Denver Botanic Gardens' Certificate in Rocky Mountain Gardening is a comprehensive study of specific gardening practices for Front Range gardening. Learn how to be a successful gardener by choosing and caring for plants and trees best suited for your location and zone. No horticulture background or experience is needed.
  • Courses are offered both online and in person. Distance learners can complete this series completely online through live instruction. All courses, online or in person, will be recorded and available to the student for two weeks following the class.
  • Instructors for this program include Denver Botanic Gardens' staff members, authorities in the Green Industry and other regional experts in horticulture and natural sciences. This program is endorsed by the Colorado Nursery Association.
  • The full certificate series is offered January – May and includes all 12 core classes. In addition, students are required to register for any of the three Rocky Mountain Gardening course electives of choice. Students earn their Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate upon completion of these 12 required core courses and three electives.

Core Certificate Series Courses

Bluegrass and Other Lawn Grasses
Botany for Gardeners
Colorado Ecosystems 
Ecology for Gardeners
Pruning Basics for Gardeners
Rocky Mountain Horticulture I
Rocky Mountain Horticulture II
Seven Principles of Water-Smart Gardening® 
Tree ID and Selection
Understanding Front Range Soils 
Vines and Groundcovers 
Water-wise Landscape Planning for Non-designers

Courses are clearly identified as required core or as electives in the description.

Attend all required courses. Upon completion email to request your certificate.


Register for Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate Series

Register for Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate Series (ONLINE) – link coming soon

Downloadable Rocky Mountain Gardening 5-year checklist


Individual and Self-paced Courses

Students are also invited to take the Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate courses individually and self-paced. Students have 24 months to take all 12 core courses and three electives with the self-paced option.


Register for Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate Individual Courses

Downloadable Rocky Mountain Gardening 24-month checklist


New! Rocky Mountain Gardening Short Course Certificate

Denver Botanic Gardens is proud to offer a new Rocky Mountain Gardening Short Course Certificate. This series is a condensed version of the full certificate series and is a hybrid learning experience for those looking to grow in the Front Range. Regardless of your location, transportation or time constraints, we can prepare you for your best growing season yet. Join us for a better understanding of Colorado's ecology and how to have a successful garden with stunning native plants despite Colorado's short growing season and extreme weather.

Three sessions are conducted live, giving participants the option to attend these sessions virtually or in person at Denver Botanic Gardens in the new Freyer – Newman Center. Between each live session, students are required to watch five class videos on their own time. Each in-person class begins with a question-and-answer period that is open to online and live participants. Attend all three live sessions to earn your Rocky Mountain Gardening Short Course Certificate.


Register for Rocky Mountain Gardening Short Course Certificate 



How do I register?

Register for any of the three certificate options online. There is no application process. Registration for the winter and spring courses opens Friday, Nov. 17. 

How much will the full certificate program cost?

Courses are offered individually or as a series at a discount. Courses are offered both online and onsite for any learning style at any location.

Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate Series (full registration both online and in person) 
$1,014, $869 member, $600 student

Rocky Mountain Gardening Certificate Series (individually self-paced) 
$1,595, $1,369 member

Rocky Mountain Gardening Short Certificate Course 
$389, $345 member

Who should participate?

Aspiring horticulturists, hobby gardeners, experienced gardeners looking to develop expertise, landscape maintenance professionals and other Green Industry individuals seeking a deeper knowledge of best growing practices in horticulture.

What if I want to take two years to complete my certificate?

Students have 24 months to complete the 12 core courses and three electives if you take courses individually. Your certificate starts when you sign up for your first course. Courses may be taken in any order. Upon completion of the required courses and electives, apply for the certificate by submitting your course completion list by email to

What if I already started the certificate under the five-year option?

If you began taking courses prior to 2024, you still have five years to complete the certificate. Access the Self-paced Five-year Plant Checklist. A link to the five-year requirements document coming soon.

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