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Plant Physiology in one week

Plants in nursery - Plant physiology in one week

There is a trend towards doing more with less. We have ever-growing expectations for our crops: more yield, higher quality, but with lower inputs. Having sufficient knowledge of the functioning of plants and thus of plant physiology is essential for optimum crop management.

About this course

This study programme addresses the various aspects of plant physiology. Plant physiology deals with the functioning of plants and how they react to changes in environmental factors such as light, water and soil. After the course the participants have enough knowledge of the functioning of the plant and plant physiology to be able to control better, to monitor and if necessary adjust or redirect the growth/crop in order to get optimal yield results.

Course content

This study programme will give you the knowledge and insights into plant physiology that you need to enable you to make informed choices when you are optimising the cultivation process. We will teach you the theory that you will subsequently prove in practice, for instance together with your fellow students during lecturer-led group discussions. Practical sessions are also part of the study programme. By trying out the theory on your own crop and those of your fellow course members during the teaching periods, we ensure that we can tailor the study programme in the best way possible for your own situation in practice.

The course consists of 5 modules:

  1. Photosynthesis
  2. Water management
  3. Respiration & hormones
  4. Plant cells and DNA
  5. Soil and plant nutrition

Course content per module


Photosynthesis is the engine behind plant production, with light as the driving force converting water and carbon dioxide into plant metabolic compounds. During this photosynthesis course we will explain the theory behind this process and how this can be translated into practice. For example, how can you manage photosynthesis by manipulating the climate?


  • To understand the process of photosynthesis
  • To understand the effects of the inputs and outputs of this process and what you can achieve with this

Water management

Plants consist of 90% water. Without water, a plant is unable to grow and survive. But how does a plant ensure that all its organs have a sufficient supply of water? How does a plant absorb water? How can you ensure optimal water management in a plant? What factors affect this process?


  • To understand water management in plants
  • To understand how you can monitor this
  • To understand how you can respond to this

Respiration & hormones

The process of respiration in plants uses the photosynthetically produced sugars in combination with oxygen to make energy available for plant maintenance and growth. Many other factors are involved in the growth of a plant than simply an increase in biomass and volume; parts of the plant develop into flowers, fruits, leaves, stems or roots. How does a plant do this? We are far from knowing everything, but is clear that the development of the plant’s organs is regulated by internal factors (hormones) and external factors (light, gravity). Plant growth and development is carefully and continuously regulated by hormones. Examples are the transition from juvenile to adult plant, plant growth in the direction of light, ageing of plants and their response to environmental stress. Hormones are involved in every major plant process. During this course, we will focus on the most important plant hormones and external drivers of plant development and how these can be used to regulate plant development.


  • To discover the most important internal and external drivers of plant development
  • To understand how you can respond to this

Plant cells and DNA

The same instructions for structure and functioning are included in every cell of a plant in the form of the genetic material, DNA. When the plant grows, the same genetic material is also passed on to the new cells. However, during growth, flowers are formed in one place and leaves are produced elsewhere.

  • How is the genetic information coded in the DNA translated into the plant’s traits?
  • How is this genetic information passed on?
  • Can humans influence genetic traits and how they are expressed and if so, how?

For instance, certain genetic traits can result in tastier fruits and/or a higher yield. If it is known which genetic code produces this result, we can examine if this code is also present in a crop.

Soil and plant nutrition

A correct balance between soil/substrate, fertilising and crop is important for optimum crop growth and development. A good balance also ensures highly efficient nutrient use and maintains the quality of the soil/substrate, thus saving money for the plant breeder. This course deals with essential facts related to the soil and fertilising the soil: a recap on the essential elements and types of fertilisers needed by plants and why. How are nutrients absorbed and where are they stored and/or used up? How do you recognise and prevent deficiency symptoms? What about nutrient availability in the soil/substrate?


  • To discover soil and fertilising requirements, thus preventing problems such as deficiency symptoms
  • To discover how nutrient uptake occurs in plants and the routes used for this
  • To understand what determines nutrient availability for the plant in the soil/substrate
  • To provide guidelines for achieving an optimum balance between the soil/substrate and fertilising your crop

For who?

This study programme has been set up for anyone who has to deal with plant production and who wants to gain further knowledge of plant physiology, e.g. horticultural entrepreneurs, cultivation/crop managers/specialists, (head) growers and crop production employees. The language of the course is English.

Course duration

The course consists of four days in one week. Course days are from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm:

  • Monday January 27
  • Tuesday January 28
  • Wednesday January 29
  • Thursday January 30

It is possible to visit IPM Essen at Friday 31 January ( not facilitated).


This course is taught at higher professional (HBO) undergraduate level. Participants should therefore have a minimum of upper secondary vocational level (MBO) or equivalent.


If you have completed all the courses, you will receive the certificate in Plant Physiology from HAS University of Applied Sciences Knowledge Transfer and Consultancy.

Projectmanager Bedrijfsopleidingen

L. (Lamiaâ) Fareh El Btioui

Projectmanager Bedrijfsopleidingen


T: +31 88 890 37 74

Photo Lamiaâ Fareh

Take the next step!


Date of commencement
To be determined
4 days
€ 2.795,00
excl. VAT*

Price specification

Course price
€ 2.495,00
Catering arrangement
€ 300,00
Total price
€ 2.795,00
excl. VAT*

All amounts mentioned are excluding VAT. Training costs, including course material, are exempt from VAT. All other costs are charged with 9% VAT.

Including field visits, course material, lunches, diners (excluding VAT, hotels). 
Please contact before buying your (flight) tickets.

Any bank/administration fees are for your own account.

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