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Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables and herbs, as well as ornamental trees and lawns. The study and practice of horticulture have been traced back thousands of years. Horticulture contributed to the transition from nomadic human communities to sedentary, or semi-sedentary, horticultural communities.von Hagen, V.W. (1957) The Ancient Sun Kingdoms Of The Americas. Ohio: The World Publishing Company Horticulture is divided into several categories which focus on the cultivation and processing of different types of plants and food items for specific purposes. In order to conserve the science of horticulture, multiple organizations worldwide educate, encourage, and promote the advancement of horticulture. Some notable horticulturists include
Luca Ghini Luca Ghini (Casalfiumanese, 1490 – Bologna Bologna (, , ; egl, label= Bolognese, Bulåggna ; lat, Bonōnia) is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna egl, Emigliàn (masculine) egl, Emiglièna (feminine) rgn, Rumagnòl (masc ...
and
Luther Burbank Luther Burbank (March 7, 1849 – April 11, 1926) was an American botanist Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise t ...

Luther Burbank
.


Definition and types

Horticulture involves plant propagation and cultivation to improve plant growth, yields, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses. It also includes
plant conservation Conservation biology is the study of the conservation of nature and of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent ...
, landscape restoration,
soil managementSoil management is the application of operations, practices, and treatments to protect soil and enhance its performance (such as soil fertility or soil mechanics). It includes soil conservation, soil conditioner, soil amendment, and optimal soil heal ...
,
landscape A landscape is the visible features of an area of , its s, and how they integrate with or man-made features.''New Oxford American Dictionary''. A landscape includes the physical elements of ly defined s such as (ice-capped) , , such as s, s, ...

landscape
and
garden A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the cultivation, display, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The single feature identifying even the wildest wild garden A wildlife garden (or wild garden) is an Biophy ...

garden
design, construction and maintenance, and
arboriculture An arborist practicing tree care: using a chainsaw">tree_care.html" ;"title="arborist practicing tree care">arborist practicing tree care: using a chainsaw to fell a eucalyptus tree in a park at Kallista, Victoria. Arboriculture () is the cultivati ...

arboriculture
. The word ''horticulture'' is modeled after
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of , whereby farming of species created food that enabled people to live in cities. The began thousands of ...

agriculture
; it derives from the Latin words ''hortus'' and ''cultura'', which mean “garden” and “cultivation”, respectively. In contrast to agriculture, horticulture does not include Intensive crop farming and large-scale crop production or
animal husbandry Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, animal fiber, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock. Husbandry has a long ...
. Additionally, horticulture focuses on the use of small plots with a wide variety of mixed crops while agriculture focuses on one large primary crop at a time.


Types of horticulture

There are several major areas of focus within the science of horticulture. They include: *
Olericulture Olericulture is the science of vegetable Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matt ...
: the production of vegetables. *
Pomology Pomology (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman R ...
, also called ''fruticulture'': the production of fruits and nuts. *
Viticulture Viticulture (from the Latin word for ''vine'') or winegrowing (wine growing) is the cultivation and harvesting of grapes. It is a branch of the science of horticulture. While the native territory of ''Vitis vinifera'', the common grape vine, rang ...

Viticulture
: the production of grapes (largely intended for winemaking). *
Floriculture Floriculture, or flower farming, is a discipline of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists ...

Floriculture
: the production of flowering and ornamental plants. *
Turf management Turf management or pitchcare describes the work needed to keep a pitch (sports field), sporting pitch ready for use. This article looks at the various types of sporting pitches and the type of challenges which they present. The skills needed vary ...
: the production and maintenance of turf grass for sports, leisure and amenity use. *
Arboriculture An arborist practicing tree care: using a chainsaw">tree_care.html" ;"title="arborist practicing tree care">arborist practicing tree care: using a chainsaw to fell a eucalyptus tree in a park at Kallista, Victoria. Arboriculture () is the cultivati ...

Arboriculture
: the cultivation and care of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants, primarily for landscape and amenity purposes. *
Landscape horticulture A landscape is the visible features of an area of Terrestrial ecoregion, land, its landforms, and how they integrate with Nature, natural or man-made features.''New Oxford American Dictionary''. A landscape includes the physical elements of geo ...
: the selection, production and care of plants used in landscape architecture. *
Postharvest physiology s in Jiangxia District, Hubei, China In agriculture, postharvest handling is the stage of crop production immediately following harvest, including cooling, cleaning, sorting and packing. The instant a crop is removed from the soil, ground, or separ ...
: the management of harvested horticultural crops to retard spoilage while stored or transported.


History

The history of horticulture overlaps with the
History of agriculture The history of agriculture records the domestication Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to ...
and
History of botany The history of botany examines the human effort to understand life on Earth by tracing the historical development of the discipline of botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science Science (from the Latin word ...
. The origins of horticulture lie in the transition of human communities from a nomadic lifestyle as
hunter-gatherers A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
to sedentary, or semi-sedentary, horticultural communities. In the Pre-Columbian Amazon Rainforest, natives used
biochar Biochar is charcoal or soil, and firing it (circa 1890) Charcoal is a lightweight black carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and t ...

biochar
to enhance soil productivity by smoldering plant waste. European settlers called this soil
Terra Preta de Indio ''Terra preta'' (, locally , literally "black soil" in Portuguese) is a type of very dark, fertile artificial ( anthropogenic) soil Soil (often stylized as SOiL) is an American rock band that was formed in Chicago (''City in a Garden''); ...
. In forest areas, such horticulture was often carried out in
swidden Slash-and-burn agriculture is a farming method that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest A forest is an area of land dominated by tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, st ...
s, or "
slash and burn Slash-and-burn agriculture is a farming method that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest A forest is an area of land dominated by trees. Hundreds of definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating ...
" areas. In pre-contact North America, the semi-sedentary horticultural communities of the Eastern Woodlands, who grew maize, squash, and sunflower, contrasted markedly with the nomadic
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
communities of the Plains people.
Mesoamerican Mesoamerica is a historical and important region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and ...
cultures focused in the cultivating of crops on a small scale, such as the “
milpa Milpa is a crop-growing system used throughout Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical and important region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characterist ...

milpa
” or maize field, around their dwellings or in specialized plots which were visited occasionally during migrations from one area to the next. In Central America,
Maya Maya may refer to: Civilizations * Maya peoples The Maya peoples () are an ethnolinguistic group of indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are cu ...
horticulture involved augmentation of the forest with useful trees such as
papaya The papaya (, ) (from Carib via Spanish), papaw, () or pawpaw () is the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy ...

papaya
,
avocado The avocado (''Persea americana''), a tree likely originating from southcentral Mexico, is Biological classification, classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. The fruit of the plant, also called an avocado (or avocado pe ...

avocado
, ,
ceiba ''Ceiba'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their a ...

ceiba
and . In the cornfields, multiple crops such as beans, squash, pumpkins and chili peppers were grown, and in some cultures, these crops were tended mainly or exclusively by women.


Horticultural organizations

There are various organizations worldwide that focus on promoting and encouraging research and education in all branches of horticultural science; such organizations include the
International Society for Horticultural Science The International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) is the world's leading independent organization of horticultural scientists. Its aim is "to promote and encourage research and education in all branches of horticultural science and to f ...
and the American Society of Horticultural Science. In United Kingdom, there are two main horticulture societies. The Ancient Society of York Florists is the oldest horticultural society in the world and was founded in 1768; this organization continues to host four horticultural shows annually in York, UK. Additionally, The Royal Horticultural Society, established in 1804, is a charity in United Kingdom that leads on the encouragement and improvement of the science, art, and practice of horticulture in all its branches. The organization shares the knowledge of horticulture through its community, learning programs, and world-class gardens and shows. Th
Chartered Institute of Horticulture
(CIoH) is the professional body which represents horticulturists in Great Britain and Ireland while also having an international branch for members outside of these islands. The Australian Society of Horticultural Science was established in 1990 as a professional society to promote and enhance Australian horticultural science and industry. Finally, the New Zealand Horticulture Institute is another known horticultural organization. In India, Horticultural Society of India (now Indian Academy of Horticultural Sciences) is the oldest society which was established in 1941 at Lyallpur, Punjab (now in Pakistan) but was later shifted to Delhi 1949. The another notable organisation in operation since 2005 is the Society for Promotion of Horticulture based at Bengaluru. Both these societies publish scholarly journals viz., Indian Journal of Horticulture and Journal of Horticultural Sciences for the advancement of horticultural sciences. The National Junior Horticultural Association (NJHA) was established in 1934 and was the first organization in the world dedicated solely to youth and horticulture. NJHA programs are designed to help young people obtain a basic understanding of horticulture and develop skills in this ever-expanding art and science. The Global Horticulture Initiative (GlobalHort) fosters partnerships and collective action among different stakeholders in horticulture. This organization has a special focus on horticulture for development (H4D), which involves using horticulture to reduce poverty and improve nutrition worldwide. GlobalHort is organized in a consortium of national and international organizations which collaborate in research, training, and technology-generating activities designed to meet mutually-agreed-upon objectives. GlobalHort is a non-profit organization registered in Belgium.


See also

*
Agronomy Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical ...
*
Floriculture Floriculture, or flower farming, is a discipline of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists ...

Floriculture
*
Forest gardening 's forest garden in Shropshire Shropshire (; alternatively Salop; abbreviated in print only as Shrops; demonym Salopian ) is a landlocked historic county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other pu ...
*
Gardening Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists ar ...

Gardening
* Genetically modified trees * Genomics of domestication *
Hoe-farming Hoe-farming is a term introduced (as german: Hackbau; as opposed to ''Ackerbau'') by Eduard Hahn in 1910 to collectively refer to primitive forms of agriculture, defined by the absence of the plough. Tillage in hoe-farming cultures is done by simp ...
*
Horticultural botanyHorticultural botany is the study of the botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds an ...
*
Horticultural flora A horticultural flora, also known as a garden A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the cultivation, display, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The single feature identifying even the wildest wild garden A ...
* Horticultural oil *
Horticultural therapyHorticultural therapy (also known as social and therapeutic horticulture or STH) is defined by the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) as the engagement of a person in gardening Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating ...
* Indigenous horticulture *
Landscaping Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including the following: # Living elements, such as flora Flora is all the plant life present in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occ ...

Landscaping
*
Permaculture Permaculture is an approach to land management and settlement design that adopts arrangements observed in flourishing natural ecosystems. It includes a set of design principles derived using Systems theory, whole systems thinking. It applies t ...
*
Plant nutrition Plant nutrition is the study of the chemical elements and Chemical compound, compounds necessary for plant growth, plant metabolism and their external supply. In its absence the plant is unable to complete a normal life cycle, or that the element i ...
*
Plug (horticulture) Plugs in horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists grow flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables and herbs, as well as orna ...
* Tropical horticulture *
Turf management Turf management or pitchcare describes the work needed to keep a pitch (sports field), sporting pitch ready for use. This article looks at the various types of sporting pitches and the type of challenges which they present. The skills needed vary ...
*
Vertical farming Vertical farming is the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers. It often incorporates controlled-environment agriculture, which aims to optimize plant growth, and soilless farming techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and ae ...


References


Further reading

* C.R. Adams, ''Principles of Horticulture'' Butterworth-Heinemann; 5th edition (11 Aug 2008), .


External links


The Institute of Horticulture

ISHS – International Society for Horticultural Science

The Royal Horticultural Society


– information on the
horticulture industry The horticulture industry embraces the production, processing and shipping of and the market for fruits and vegetables. As such it is a sector of agribusiness Agribusiness is the business of agricultural production which involves the production, p ...

History of Horticulture

HORTIVAR – The FAO Horticulture Cultivars Performance Database

Global Horticulture Initiative – GlobalHort

Horticulture Information & Resource Library

Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary
{{Authority control Agronomy Agriculture by type