Continuing and Distance Education 

PSS121 Indoor Plants

Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Horticulture Professor Emeritus
Dept. Plant and Soil Science, 212 Jeffords, UVM, Burlington VT 05405
802-318-8453 (best, quickest response by email)

One credit

Due Dates: See Blackboard course site

Tests and assignments may be turned in any time prior to the due dates.  A
ny submissions after these dates will have points deducted for lateness, or not be accepted, at the discretion of the instructor. Plan for the unexpected (illness, computer crash, unexpected travel, etc).   

meetings: none, completely online, at student's own pace and timing (office hours: none, by email as needed)

texts: none, all online


1.  learn how to care for houseplants
2.  learn how to recognize the more common foliage and flowering plants, or cut flowers, you see in malls, stores, and restaurants, or that you may use at home
Whether you are looking to become a green industry professional, or just grow plants at home, this course provides the basics of design, plant care, and plant problems along with a foundation palette of plants.

How it works:

This completely online, self-paced course combines lecture notes and specific details on about 90 indoor plants. Extensive descriptions, cultural information, and lists of species and cultivars are given for key plants in groups such as foliage, cacti, succulents, orchids, cut flowers, and flowering potted plants.  Names and information have been updated over the 20+ years this course has been offered.  Quizzes, plant identification quizzes, and exercises are taken online (through Blackboard). They are untimed and open book, designed to test and reinforce your familiarity with and ability to use the extensive content, and to reinforce key plants, plant features and topics. Email contact between professor and students is used as needed, for reminders, to answer questions, and to share information. The syllabus on Blackboard, AND the Getting Started tips, will serve as your contract for the course and should be read thoroughly.  Students are expected to follow the UVM Code of Academic Integrity (

Access: Blackboard (your UVM passwords) for syllabus, tests, exercises, links to notes

Lecture Notesaccess directly here or through Blackboard, with passwords (not your UVM ones) found on the Blackboard site

(1500 maximum points for course, grades determined on standard 10 point scale ie 90-100=A, 80-89=B, etc. with for example 80-82=B-, 83-86=B, 87-89=B+)

content quizzes (6, 100 points each) 600 points
ID quizzes (3, 100 points each) 300 points
Final 200 points
Final ID 200 points
Exercises (3),  200 points

"It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education ... is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks."-- Albert Einstein

"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." --John Dewey, 1859-1952, American educator and philosopher (buried on campus behind Ira Allen Chapel)