Gardening can be an extremely satisfying hobby. From growing vegetables for the dinner table to cultivating a cutting garden, gardening never gets boring, and there’s always more to learn. Whether a homeowner or renter is a budding beginner looking to learn more about gardening fundamentals, a houseplant parent trying to keep potted plants alive, or an experienced horticulturist diving into a niche topic, turning to one of the best online gardening classes is an easy and convenient way to learn from the comfort of their own home. Here, we’ll explore the top classes and what to consider when choosing the best gardening class.
- BEST OVERALL: Ron Finley Teaches Gardening
- BEST FOR ADVANCED STUDY: Master Gardener Short Course Series
- BEST FOR BUTTERFLY GARDENS: Create A Butterfly Garden
- BEST FOR VEGETABLE GARDENS: Growing Organic Food Sustainably
- BEST FOR CUTTING GARDENS: The Cutting Garden
- BEST FOR HOUSEPLANT CARE: Happy Houseplants: Caring for Your Plants
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Online Gardening Classes
Before choosing an online gardening class, there are several factors for prospective students to consider, including the specific area of gardening, quality of content, class length, and pricing. Students will want to keep these in mind when searching for gardening schools or classes.
Platform and Cost
Prices for online courses vary quite a bit, and online gardening classes are no exception. Some classes will be on subscription-based learning platforms like MasterClass or Skillshare, which require students to pay an annual fee to access the content. However, there is a wide variety of content on these platforms, and this cost may well be worth it for students interested in taking multiple classes on gardening or other topics. Students may also be able to buy stand-alone classes for a one-time cost, which may be a more prudent option for students who are only looking to learn about one specific topic or are unsure of how an online class will work into their schedules. Some classes may also be free, but students may have to contend with pop-up ads or other limitations.
Depending on the platform the class is on, students will need to be prepared with the right tech they’ll need to access the class. Usually this will be a computer with internet access, but many platforms will allow students to access the material on a smartphone or tablet. It’s not to anyone’s benefit to pay for a course that can’t be accessed because of tech issues.
Student Skill Level
When choosing from online botany courses, it is important that students choose a class based on their own skill set, from beginner to hobbyist to experienced, as well as what they’d like to achieve from the class. While there are no entry requirements for online gardening classes, beginner students won’t want to dive too deep into topics they don’t yet understand. Conversely, advanced students won’t want to relearn information they already know.
Another factor for students to keep in mind is their geographic location and whether the skills they are learning apply to their USDA plant hardiness zone. Students will want to ensure the plants they are learning to grow have a chance to thrive, especially with outdoor gardening.
Class Length and Focus
Students will need to look for a course that fits their schedule, whether it’s one longer course or multiple short classes spread out over time. Some classes may be brief 30-minute overviews with tips and tricks to implement into a student’s daily plant care routine. Other classes may be more long-term and step-by-step.
It’s also important for students to factor in the class focus or topics and ensure the class type meets their capabilities. For example, an online course about growing a cutting garden may not be the best choice for a student with no outdoor space, as a cutting garden requires plenty of empty land. Taking a class on houseplant care may be more beneficial for this type of student.
Many online gardening classes require little more than a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, but students will want to know what the exact supply requirements are for the course before enrolling. Some garden classes with DIY instruction might require students to obtain materials or tools before the class. Other classes will focus more on gardening concepts and won’t require the students to practice any skills while taking the class. For practical lessons, students will need to make sure they are prepared before the class starts with the necessary supplies, which might mean making trips to their local gardening store or ordering items online.
Just as there are many different types of gardening classes, how that content is accessed and for how long can vary. For example, membership platforms will typically only allow students access to the class for as long as they maintain the subscription. Individual purchased classes may offer lifetime access, or they may have limited access periods, which are typically 1 year.
Our Top Picks
Before searching online for “gardening classes near me” students will want to be sure that the course they take matches their skill set, interests, and schedule. These top picks for the best gardening classes on the internet provide a good starting point for students to begin their research.
Why It Made the Cut: MasterClass’s Ron Finley Teaches Gardening covers gardening essentials with a strong emphasis on making gardening accessible to anyone, regardless of their space or budget.
Ron Finley is a long-time guerilla gardener, instructor, and activist known for transforming a plot of land in the heart of Los Angeles into a thriving urban oasis. His philosophy is that gardening is for everyone and anyone can garden—and they don’t need a lot of land to do so. This MasterClass course embodies his philosophies, including creative uses of space and repurposing items such as old dresser drawers to make planters.
Students must pay for the annual MasterClass subscription to take this class; however, this subscription also provides access to every other class in the MasterClass catalog. Students of all levels will learn gardening essentials as well as how to approach gardening creatively. The production quality is high with balanced audio, crisp visuals, and complementary music.
- Platform: MasterClass
- Cost: $180 for annual MasterClass subscription
- Skill level: All levels
- Class length: 2 hours
- Focus: Gardening essentials
- Comprehensive overview of key gardening concepts and principles
- Emphasis on accessible gardening solutions
- High video production quality
- Annual membership required to access material
Why It Made the Cut: The Master Gardener Short Course Series from Oregon State University offers intermediate to advanced classes at a university level—without having to enroll in a university.
The Master Gardener Short Course Series is a series of classes adapted from Oregon State University’s Master Gardener postgrad program. Students will receive university-level information without applying to or paying for a master’s program. (Students will want to be aware that taking these classes does not enable them to pursue a master gardener certification.) Topics in this course are more in-depth than those offered by other online gardening classes; experienced gardeners have an opportunity to expand their knowledge and hobbyists can go to the next level by focusing on niche areas like soil, entomology, and botany.
Classes cost $45 each and last about 4 to 6 hours. There are 12 classes total, which means if a student wants to take all 12 classes, the course can get pricey (over $500 in total). However, because the program offers tailored content, students are paying for exactly the information they want and need and aren’t paying for classes they don’t want to take. The site also regularly has select classes available for free, enabling students to test the content to see if the format works for them.
- Platform: Oregon State University
- Cost: $45 per class
- Skill level: Intermediate to advanced
- Class length: 4 to 6 hours per class
- Focus: Botany, soil, entomology, pesticides, pest management, sustainability, landscaping
- Wide selection of classes covering niche botanical and horticultural topics
- Highly accessible master gardener–level materials and information
- Select classes available for free
- Relatively high cost if taking more than one class
Why It Made the Cut: Create A Butterfly Garden delivers a butterfly conservationist’s tips on attracting and protecting butterflies by building a beautiful, sustainable garden.
Create A Butterfly Garden is a free class offered through Udemy and is for any and all levels of gardeners. Experienced butterfly conservationist Jessica McAtee teaches this class, meaning students get a unique perspective compared to classes taught by hobbyist or professional gardeners. And since this class aims to create a thriving butterfly garden, it helps to have all the information on butterflies that a student can get. Although the video quality is somewhat grainy and can be distracting, the quality of information does not suffer. The short 1-hour course is packed with helpful knowledge that any home gardener can apply.
- Platform: Udemy
- Cost: Free
- Skill level: All levels
- Class length: 1 hour
- Focus: Attracting butterflies, conservation
- Butterfly conservation expert–taught class
- Short, digestible video learning material
- Totally free of charge
- Somewhat low video quality
Why It Made the Cut: Alison’s Growing Organic Food Sustainably provides students of all skill levels with accessible information on sustainable, edible gardening.
Gardeners of all levels can learn how to grow a vegetable garden while minimizing waste and keeping their environmental impact low, thanks to the Growing Organic Food Sustainably class from Alison. The content is easy to follow and doesn’t presume any pre-existing knowledge, so even a student with no prior gardening knowledge will benefit. Students will want to be aware that a score of 80 percent or higher on every assessment is required to receive the certificate of completion.
While the class is free, pop-up ads before every video may prove frustrating for some viewers, and the videos are primarily two instructors talking through and showing gardening concepts, making it less engaging at times. However, each video is only 10 to 15 minutes long, making viewing easy to fit into any schedule. The instructors break down topics effectively, and no topic is too small, from seed starting to soil care to crop rotation. This ensures students can take the knowledge from this class into their own gardens.
- Platform: Alison
- Cost: Free
- Skill level: All levels
- Class length: 1.5 to 3 hours
- Focus: Vegetable gardening, sustainability
- Emphasis on sustainable, seasonal growing practices
- Techniques and practices demonstrated in high detail
- Totally free of charge
- Distracting pop-up advertisements
- Score of 80 percent or higher on every assessment required to receive certificate of completion
- Video content may be somewhat dry
Why It Made the Cut: The Cutting Garden offers students a unique class experience for those looking to grow and cut their own flowers for beautiful bouquets and floral design pieces.
The focus of The Cutting Garden is growing flowers for cutting and growing flowering shrubs to use both blooms and foliage. Students will learn how to grow flowers and cut and use them in bouquets and floral arrangements for personal or professional use. The class length is 10 hours, so this class requires a time commitment not everyone will have. However, students receive lifetime access to the content, so they can return to review it whenever they wish. Students can choose from the less expensive $75 course or a $200 expert course, which includes instructor feedback on their assignments.
- Platform: Learning with Experts
- Cost: $75 for peer option; $200 for expert option
- Skill level: Intermediate
- Class length: 10 hours
- Focus: Flowers, flowering shrubs
- Comprehensive overview of specialized techniques for cutting flowers and foliage
- Option to receive feedback and guidance from class instructor
- Lifetime access to content
- Relatively long 10-hour time commitment
Why It Made the Cut: Happy Houseplants: Caring for Your Plants delivers beginner-friendly, accessible information specifically about indoor gardening and houseplant care.
Taught by the resident botanist for The Sill, an online plant retailer, the Happy Houseplants: Caring for Your Plants class is unique in offering classes designed only for indoor gardening and houseplants. It is very beginner-friendly and requires no pre-existing knowledge of houseplant care. The Sill offers regular classes and workshops directly through its site, but these classes rotate regularly, and this class may not be available whenever students wish to take it. The Skillshare version is always available, however. The class is broken down into detailed steps and how-tos and covers everything from potting a plant to how much to water it.
The pricing information on the Skillshare site can be somewhat misleading to the customer. The webpage indicates students can “start for free,” but the free 1-month trial only applies to students who have not previously used a Skillshare free trial. Additionally, customers cannot see the pricing information until they make an account and must input credit card information to start their free trial. An annual membership is required to access the material. Still, students can access all of the classes on Skillshare for this annual fee, so Skillshare may be a good option for students looking to delve deeper into more gardening classes.
- Platform: Skillshare
- Cost: $165 for annual Skillshare membership
- Skill level: Beginner
- Class length: 28 minutes
- Focus: Houseplants
- Beginner-friendly yet thorough guide to indoor houseplant care and troubleshooting
- Misleading pricing information
- Annual membership required to access material
For its accessible approach to gardening for any person in any place, Ron Finley Teaches Gardening tops the list. Experienced gardeners looking for more in-depth information will find the Master Gardener Short Course Series from Oregon State University to be an excellent option.
How We Chose the Best Online Gardening Classes
To determine the best online gardening classes, we sampled classes from a wide range of subjects within the broader field of gardening. We considered cost, class length, curriculum, video quality, assessments, and instructors. We looked for classes that touched on various aspects of gardening to cater to the broadest number of student interests. Classes were selected based on their unique offerings. All classes are self-paced, meaning students can take them when they wish rather than attend a specific, timed gardening course.
Before You Take One of the Best Online Gardening Classes
Before enrolling in any online horticulture class, students will want to first determine their precise needs. This will include items a student might need during the course and items they will need after. For example, if the course is teaching a student how to repot a cactus step-by-step, it would behoove a student to have all the supplies on hand in advance, such as a pot, plant, and the space to repot, so they can practice the skills by following along with the class.
Students will also want to choose a class that aligns both with their skill set (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and with the student’s capacity and space in which they will garden. A student with only a balcony for plants may want to take a class specific to container gardening, while a student who has a larger yard may want to transform it into their own private flower farm.
Cost of Taking One of the Best Online Gardening Classes
The cost of online gardening classes can vary greatly. Many free classes are available, which may be more appealing for beginners who are unsure how much time and money they want to dedicate to the hobby. Membership sites like Skillshare and MasterClass cost $165 and $180 per year, respectively, but students get access to other courses on the platform for that membership fee, which means they can learn about other topics in addition to gardening. Some classes are available for individual purchase, and that cost can be as low as $10 or over $200.
The Advantages of Taking One of the Best Online Gardening Classes
Gardening is good for physical health. The CDC rates light yard work and gardening as a beneficial physical activity, plus the access to fresh air and sunshine can be a mood booster. Online courses offer hobbyists and avid gardeners a chance to improve their gardening and plant knowledge and skills at a convenient pace.
- Convenient classes can be taken when they best suit a student’s schedule.
- Free and low-cost classes allow beginners to increase their knowledge even on a budget.
- Students save money by learning how to garden more effectively, meaning fewer dead plants and knowing how to avoid overwatering.
- Students gain access to world-renowned experts without having to leave home.
Every gardener will have different interests and skill levels. Still, there are some common questions that many people have when searching online for “plant classes near me” or looking for online gardening workshops. The following are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about gardening.
Q. How do you become a gardener?
It’s important for students to first research what field of gardening they’d like to explore and what skills are involved to work in that field. Many gardeners learn on the job, while others take extensive horticultural or landscaping classes to earn certificates and degrees.
Q. Is gardening hard?
Yes, gardening can be hard work; after all, it is a physical activity. For those with physical limitations, there are ways to adapt gardening to be easier, using accessibility tools, specific types of garden beds, and more. Additionally, gardening can require patience and trial and error. However, it can also be a gratifying hobby.
Q. How does a beginner start a garden?
A beginner can start a garden by choosing the right spot, ensuring an efficient water source, enriching the soil properly, and choosing the right plants for the garden. Adding a raised bed can help minimize weeds and easily retain the soil. A nursery professional can help choose the right plants, and taking online courses and reading gardening books will help a new gardener evaluate what plants they want to grow. Beginners can also search for “horticulture classes near me” or learn garden design online.
Q. Do gardeners need qualifications?
Gardening does not require any degree, and different gardeners obtain their knowledge differently. Many gardeners have received informal or on-the-job training, while others may have opted for advanced education via an in-person or online master gardener program. Some gardeners work as nursery professionals, for one of the best gardening services, as growers, or as florists. Taking one of the best online gardening classes or best online floral design classes can serve as a good jumping-off point for students interested in professional gardening.
Q. How long is a gardening course?
Online gardening class lengths range from less than 30 minutes to 10 hours or more.