Virtual Plant Science

The Plant Science Contest is organized into three parts:

  1. Judging
  2. Plant Identification
  3. Written

The contest provides opportunities for youth to increase their knowledge of horticultural plants and horticultural/plant science techniques, expand their ability to identify various plants, and interact with other youth interested in plant science. 

Questions? Please contact

Competition Coordinators: Terry Berke at 

Register by May 13, 2020 by 5:00pm

2020 Virtual Contest

  1. On May 14, registered participants will receive: (1) PDF of photos of judging classes; (2) PDF of photos of plants to identify; (3) answer sheet
  2. Email completed answer sheet to Terry Berke by May 27.
  3. Results will be shared during the Awards Ceremony on May 31 at 6pm.
  4. Evaluation forms will be emailed by June 12 by the respective contest coordinator. Certificates and pins will be mailed to UCCE 4-H county offices by June 30 (depending on shelter-in-place restrictions).

Note: this is not a qualifier for the National Youth Horticultural Association contest.

About the 4-H Plant Science Contest

The 4-H Plant Science Contest teaches youth...

  • Applied biological/agricultural sciences including production of all plants.
  • Insight into agriculture and develop understanding of the basic principles of plant physiology as they relate to plant growth and development.
  • An understanding of the methods and values of scientific research and its influence on plants and soils.
  • The use of biotechnology as it pertains to the development of new and improved plant varieties.
  • The role of plant nutrients, water and soil in plant growth and the geographic areas suited for plant growth.
  • The use of integrated pest management practices (IPM) as part of an overall crop production system.
2018 Plant Science contest
2018 Plant Science contest
National Qualifier - POSTPONED

The virtual plant science contest WILL not serve as the qualifier. Check back later on information for the qualifying event.

2020 National Junior Horticultural Association contest

October 9-11, 2020
Wilmington, DE

The four highest scoring senior-age 4-H youth (15-18) will be eligible to be part of the California State 4-H Plant Science team representing California at the National Junior Horticultural Association contest on October 9-11, 2020. See their flyer for the 2020 event for more information.

2019 Horticulture National team with Coach Terry Berke
2019 Horticulture National team with Coach Terry Berke

The California 4-H team at the National Junior Horticulture Association convention in St. Louis in October 2018 took home the 1st place team trophy! In addition, they placed 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 6th in the individual competitions.

The 4-H team at the 2019 convention placed 3rd, behind Maryland and Kansas.

In addition to the qualifying California 4-H team members, other 4-H youth can attend the convention and participate in demonstration, speech, cooking, and several other contests.


National Junior Horticultural Association (NJHA)

NJHA Study Manual - A good online resource for 4-H members interested in doing independent research on plant science

University of California (UC) Master Gardener Program - The UC Master Gardener Program extends UC research-based information about home horticulture and pest management to the public.