Create plant displays

Business Sectors (Suites): Horticulture
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 31 Jan 2019


This standard covers the creation of plant displays which could include interior or exterior plants. The displays could range from borders in a formal or informal garden, hanging baskets, planting containers etc. Within this standard you will need to know how to interpret plans and drawings (specifications).

If you are working with chemicals or machinery you should be trained and hold certification, where required, in accordance with legislation.

You must carry out your work in a way which will minimise the impact on the natural environment and enhance its nature, conservation and recreational value.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. establish employer requirements for the plant displays
  2. select plants and materials to meet specifications
  3. check plants and materials are in a condition that is fit for use
  4. select, prepare, use and maintain tools, equipment and machinery that are appropriate, safe and correct for the work
  5. wear suitable clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  6. prepare the plants and materials according to specifications
  7. handle and transport plants and materials safely and correctly
  8. check that grouping and positioning is appropriate to the plants and environmental conditions and enhances the impact of the display you are creating
  9. keep the plants and materials in a condition appropriate for use
  10. use methods of support that maintain the plants' growth, appearance and meet the specification for the plant display you are creating
  11. label plants if required
  12. carry out work in a manner which causes minimal impact on the surrounding area, other users of the site and anyone else affected
  13. maintain communication with those involved in, or affected by, your work

  14. process waste and excess materials safely in accordance with instructions

  15. restore the site to an appropriate condition following the creation of plant displays
  16. carry out your work in accordance with relevant environmental and health and safety legislation, risk assessment requirements, codes of practice and organisational policies

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. the importance of establishing the employer requirements for the creation of plant displays 2. the principles underpinning effective interior or exterior plant displays 3. the impact of the stages of plant development on the plant displays 4. how to select plants and materials appropriate to different displays and sites 5. the different containers and growing mediums for plant displays and how to ensure they are fit for purpose 6. how to select, prepare, use and maintain tools, equipment and materials required to set up plant displays safely and correctly  7. how to prepare materials for creating plant displays 8. how to handle and transport the plants and materials safely and correctly 9. how to position features and groupings of plants in a way which is appropriate to them, the environment and the intended visual impact of plant displays 10. how to check support methods are consistent with the plant display and the health and vigour of the plants 11. how to decide when plant labelling is necessary and how to label correctly 12. the importance of maintaining communication with those involved in, or affected by, your work 13. how to handle, transport and dispose of waste in accordance with relevant legal and organisational requirements 14. the importance of restoring the site to a clean and tidy condition 15. the importance of following environmental and ecological best practice to help minimise the impact of your work on the environment 16. your responsibilities under relevant health and safety legislation, codes of practice and organisational policies


A       select and use the following types of materials when creating plant displays:

  1. nutrients
  2. containers
  3. irrigation systems
  4. supports
  5. plant material
  6. growing medium

B.      select, prepare and plant the following types of plants within a plant display:

  1. tropical 
  2. temperate
  3. shade lovers
  4. sun lovers

C.      establish the following types of plant displays:

  1. temporary

  2. permanent

D.      arrange the following types of plants displays:

  1. formal bedding
  2. hanging baskets
  3. other containers
  4. wall shrubs
  5. climbers
  6. mixed borders

E.      group and position plants appropriately, taking into consideration the following environmental conditions:

  1. adjacent features 
  2. light
  3. humidity
  4. air movement
  5. temperature

F.      install the following types of features within a plant display:

  1. water
  2. non-water

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Plant displays: interior or exterior.

Specifications: drawings, schedules, method statements, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), manufacturers' guidelines, organisational policies.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Gardener, Groundsman, Landscaper, Park Ranger

SOC Code



plant; horticulture; shrubs; beds; containers; interior; exterior