Maximizing Yields

Course Curriculum

This self-paced virtual course teaches you how to optimize growing conditions to help your plants thrive, starting with mediums, nutrients, and irrigation. We look at how we can create a root zone environment that provides the nutrients and water your plants need to optimize their growth. We discuss the various planting mediums used for cannabis cultivation and consider factors when selecting one. We examine the nutritional needs of the cannabis plant and the importance of having the ideal concentration and pH in a liquid nutrient solution. We explore the options available for irrigation and nutrient delivery and weigh the pros and cons of automation versus hand-watering.

Then, we outline the conditions for optimal growth that you as a cultivator can monitor and control — light, CO2, temperature, nutrients, water, and salinity — and examine the role of each in the development of the cannabis plant. We also cover the relationship between these optimal growth conditions to understand better how changes in one affect the other.

From there, we explore the anatomy and physiology of the cannabis plant. We discuss its major vegetative and reproductive organs, as well as some of the smaller structures found within those organs, like chloroplasts and stomata, vital to the processes that fuel growth. We also discuss the physiology of each part and the role they play in the plant’s life cycle.

We dive deeper into the physiological role of water and carbon dioxide, emphasizing transpiration and photosynthesis. Finally, we take a brief look at how plants adjust their physiological processes in response to changes in their growing environment.

Finally, we cover plant propagation, which is the act of intentionally creating new plants. We examine the difference between sexual and asexual reproduction and discuss propagation techniques that can be used to accomplish each. After a brief discussion of breeding plants to produce seeds, we demonstrate how to root clones and define the optimal conditions for rooting. The class concludes with an introduction to tissue culture, a propagation technique that is quickly gaining popularity in the commercial cannabis industry.

About Our Self-Paced Electives

Self-Paced Programs are asynchronous, meaning you may log on and complete the courses anytime, anywhere that is convenient for you. You can access the course online as soon as you enroll.

Programs consist of reading materials developed by our expert faculty, accompanied by videos, texts, and recommended resources.

All self-paced programs include live links to a wealth of information that allow you to dig deeper into subjects of particular interest.

Each program also includes a Virtual Video and Resource Library with corresponding recorded lectures from our faculty.

Self-paced students receive access to virtual field trips, grow labs, the Oaksterdam Alumni Network, and more.

Completion of all requirements results in OU certification.

Maximizing Yields


In this self-paced virtual course, you will learn how to optimize growing conditions to help your plants thrive. We cover mediums, nutrients, irrigation, light, CO2, and other factors that you as a cultivator can monitor and control. We take a deep dive into the anatomy and physiology of the plant so you know how and why these factors affect development. We also explore plant propagation, including seeds, clones, and the latest in tissue culture.

This photo depicts gloved hands holding healthy cannabis buds

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