About The Program

The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a wide range of careers working with plants on any scale of gardens and landscapes: urban, suburban, and rural; residential, commercial, and agricultural. Ideal for individuals interested in obtaining full-time employment within the field of commercial horticulture as well as for those presently working who seek further knowledge and advancement, the AAS degree offers two major options: a degree in Horticulture or a specialization in Landscape Design.

Program Degrees and Certificates

Program Details

Students are prepared for a wide range of careers working with plants on any scale of gardens and landscapes: urban, suburban, and rural; residential, commercial, and agricultural. Student knowledge and hands-on skills are developed in the program in the following areas: general horticulture and gardening practice, plant identification and botany, pruning, soil management, pest management, plant propagation, greenhouse production, landscape construction, plant pathology, plant nutrition, floral design, landscape design, landscape graphics, computer aided drafting, site analysis and more. Students gain this knowledge through peer-reviewed scientific literature, professional case studies, comprehensive lectures and projects, and through hands on laboratory demonstrations and procedures in our campus facilities and at numerous field sites throughout the region.

  • Transfer Opportunities

    In order to learn more about possible transfer opportunities associated with this program of study please visit here. Students interested in transferring should contact an advisor or counselor to further discuss their plans.

  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Credit for prior learning (CPL) generally refers to the process of granting college credit for learning gained in nontraditional ways, including but not limited to: certifications, AP or IB exams, military training, or life experience.

  • Career Prospects

    Many students find permanent employment with employers for whom they worked in their cooperative education (internship) experience. Potential employers often contact NOVA regarding openings, allowing students to remain informed about career opportunities. The program has a Career Board were employers may post job opportunities and students may post their resume. Many part-time and full-time positions are filled every year in the private sector, often leading to supervisory or managerial opportunities. Graduates often accept positions in landscape design and operations, greenhouse management, turf and grounds management, fine gardening, tree care, public gardens, floral design and retail nursery and flower shop management.

  • Hort Club and Scholarships

    The Horticulture Department hosts a monthly Horticulture Club Meeting, taking part in trips, discussing market trends, events for members, and student presentations. The Horticulture Club is also in the works of offering scholarships and have scholarships available from outside organizations.

    Learn More: Hort Scholarships

  • Job Postings and Internships

    Current Job Openings 

    View Job Postings: Horticulture Jobs

  • Facilities and Technology

    5200 sq ft greenhouse, including a conservatory bay, propagation bay, and growing bay. The surrounding grounds are solely maintained by the Horticulture department. The department also has an array of construction equipment and a woodshop. There is also a Horticultural library and study lounge.

  • Faculty Biographies

    Anders Vidstrand

    Program Head/Assistant Professor

    Anders Vidstrand

    Loudoun Science - 146
    703.450.2614 / avidstrand@nvcc.edu

    My life has been a continuing journey working more and more closely with plants. My original interest in horticulture and plant science began with growing edible plants and has since expanded to include all aspects of the plant kingdom but with a special interest in edible gardening (especially fruit), rare and unusual plants of all types, and trees and woody plants. I also value practices that are sustainable and align myself with the environmental and food justice movements. I have been teaching college-level horticulture classes since 2012 and began teaching at NOVA Horticulture full time in January 2018 after completing my MS in Horticulture from UC Davis in 2017 where I conducted research with USDA-ARS scientists in the National Plant Germplasm System (doing a phenotyping study of the National Prunus persica collection). I also have a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from UC Berkeley. I have worked professionally in the field of horticulture since 2005 (farming, USDA forest service, nursery management, public gardens management, horticulture and greenhouse technician, and as a small business owner). I have been studying horticulture since 2007 at the college level, and gardening since I ran over tomato hornworm caterpillars on my tricycle in my father's vegetable garden in the Mojave desert of California. My wife is from Maryland and we are now happy to be in the Chesapeake Bay region raising our twin daughters.

    Susan Dickson

    Assistant Professor/HS Outreach Coordinator


    Loudoun Science - 148
    703.948.5483 / sdickson@nvcc.edu

    I grew up 10 minutes from Longwood and Winterthur Gardens and with such extraordinary inspiration, I couldn’t avoid becoming a horticulturist! Over the years I have sustained a deep commitment to horticulture as a greenhouse perennial plant production grower, garden designer, and horticulture educator. While working on my Masters of Science in Horticulture at Virginia Tech, I produced a manual titled “Designing Sustainable Landscapes for Small Towns.”

    Many of my horticultural accomplishments and writings were widely recognized at my previous posts as horticulture manager at Keswick Hall and Woodberry Forest School near Charlottesville, Virginia.

    Expertise and Teaching

    • HRT 100 Introduction to Horticulture
    • HRT 115 Plant Propagation
    • HRT 121 Greenhouse Production
    • HRT 201 & 202 Landscape Plants I &II
    • HRT 207 Plant Pest Management (Plant Health Care)
    • HRT 245 Woody Plants

    I have an extensive background in production horticulture which has provided me with a wealth of hands-on experience that I apply in the classroom every day. Additionally, I am an ISA certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. I thrive in the practically-minded nature of the community college experience as I instruct and mentor my students.

    In my free time, I enjoy searching for Big Trees, civic involvement with my church, dogs, photography, and hiking in as many National Parks as possible!

    Education and Experience:

    • B.S. Plant Science, University of Delaware
    • M.S. Horticulture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and State University
    • Ivy Nursery, Ivy, VA
    • Eltzroth and Thompson Greenhouses, Charlottesville, VA
    • Keswick Hall and Club, Charlottesville, VA
    • J.W. Townsend Landscape Contractor, Charlottesville, VA
    • Adjunct Horticulture professor: Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, VA

Horticulture Club & Program Plant Sale

Spring Plant Sale Flyer 2023Horticulture Club is proud to announce the return of our annual Spring Plant Sale on Tuesday April 11th and Thursday April 13th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Loudoun campus Greenhouse! We are also excited to announce our participation in this year's Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival on Saturday April 15th and Sunday April 16th. We have 13 different types of plants to choose from including 3 that have never previously been grown by the club! We also have a greater selection of plants for shade, and a more diverse color selection! We hope to see you then!

Every year the Horticulture Club grows a variety of annuals for two plant sales, the Spring Plant Sale in April and the Poinsettia Sale in late November or early December. The Spring Plant Sale includes many varieties of summer annuals that are grown and monitored by students until they are ready and blooming beautifully.

The Spring sale is hosted in the Loudoun campus Greenhouse (LG1 to the left of the Loudoun Science LS building) and coincides with the annual Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival in downtown Leesburg which the club participates in through a sale and information booth.

The Poinsettia sale includes many unique and classic varieties of the favorite winter flower and is also hosted inside the Loudoun Greenhouse during the last week of November to the first week of December. The specialty Poinsettias are grown and monitored by students until they are ready for the sale.

For more information about the events, please contact Horticulturist Kyra Longacre at klongacre@nvcc.edu, 703.948.7754.

Career Coach