Horticulture is the science and art of growing plants (fruits,
vegetables, flowers, and any other cultivar). It also includes plant
conservation, landscape restoration, soil management, landscape and
garden design, construction, and maintenance, and arboriculture. In
contrast to agriculture, horticulture does not include large-scale
crop production or animal husbandry.
Horticulturists apply their knowledge, skills, and technologies used
to grow intensively produced plants for human food and non-food uses
and for personal or social needs. Their work involves plant
propagation and cultivation with the aim of improving plant growth,
yields, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects,
diseases, and environmental stresses. They work as gardeners, growers,
therapists, designers, and technical advisors in the food and non-food
sectors of horticulture.
Horticulture even refers to the growing of
plants in a field or garden.
5 See also
7 Further reading
8 External links
The word horticulture is modeled after agriculture, and comes from the
Greek χόρτος, which in Latin became hortus "garden" and
cultūra "cultivation", from cultus, the perfect passive participle of
the verb colō "I cultivate". Hortus is cognate with the native
English word yard (in the meaning of land associated with a building)
and also the borrowed word garden.
Horticulture involves nine areas of study, which can
be grouped into two broad sections: ornamentals and edibles:
Arboriculture is the study of, and the selection, plant, care, and
removal of, individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody
Turf management includes all aspects of the production and maintenance
of turf grass for sports, leisure use or amenity use.
Floriculture includes the production and marketing of floral crops.
Landscape horticulture includes the production, marketing and
maintenance of landscape plants.
Olericulture includes the production and marketing of vegetables.
Pomology includes the production and marketing of pome fruits.
Viticulture includes the production and marketing of grapes.
Oenology includes all aspects of wine and winemaking.
Postharvest physiology involves maintaining the quality of and
preventing the spoilage of plants and animals.
Horticulture has a very long history. The study and science of
horticulture dates all the way back to the times of
Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great of
ancient Persia, and has been going on ever since, with present-day
horticulturists such as Freeman S. Howlett and Luther Burbank. The
practice of horticulture can be retraced for many thousands of years.
The cultivation of taro and yam in Papua New Guinea dates back to at
least 6950–6440 cal BP. The origins of horticulture lie in the
transition of human communities from nomadic hunter-gatherers to
sedentary or semi-sedentary horticultural communities, cultivating a
variety of crops on a small scale around their dwellings or in
specialized plots visited occasionally during migrations from one area
to the next (such as the "milpa" or maize field of Mesoamerican
cultures). In the Pre-Columbian Amazon Rainforest, natives are
believed to have used biochar to enhance soil productivity by
smoldering plant waste. European settlers called it Terra Preta de
Indio. In forest areas such horticulture is often carried out in
swiddens ("slash and burn" areas). A characteristic of
horticultural communities is that useful trees are often to be found
planted around communities or specially retained from the natural
Horticulture primarily differs from agriculture in two ways. First, it
generally encompasses a smaller scale of cultivation, using small
plots of mixed crops rather than large fields of single crops.
Secondly, horticultural cultivations generally include a wide variety
of crops, even including fruit trees with ground crops. Agricultural
cultivations however as a rule focus on one primary crop. In
pre-contact North America the semi-sedentary horticultural communities
of the Eastern Woodlands (growing maize, squash and sunflower)
contrasted markedly with the mobile hunter-gatherer communities of the
Plains people. In Central America, Maya horticulture involved
augmentation of the forest with useful trees such as papaya, avocado,
cacao, ceiba and sapodilla. In the cornfields, multiple crops were
grown such as beans (using cornstalks as supports), squash, pumpkins
and chilli peppers, in some cultures tended mainly or exclusively by
Since 1804 The Royal Horticultural Society, UK charity leads on the
encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of
horticulture in all its branches and shares this knowledge through
its community and learning programmes, world class gardens and shows.
The oldest Horticultural society in the world, was founded in 1768, is
the Ancient Society of York Florists. They still have four shows a
year in York, UK. Desh Bhagat School of Horticultural Sciences at
Desh Bhagat University, Punjab is a prestigious institution in India
to encourage the research and promote horticulture techniques
throughout the country.
The professional body representing horticulturists in Great Britain
and Ireland is the Institute of
Horticulture (IOH). Also, the IOH
has an international branch for members outside of these islands.
The International Society for Horticultural Science promotes and
encourages research and education in all branches of horticultural
The American Society of Horticultural Science promotes and
encourages research and education in all branches of horticultural
science in the Americas.
The Australian Society of Horticultural Science was established in
1990 as a professional society for the promotion and enhancement of
Australian horticultural science and industry.
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, and develop skills in, the
ever-expanding art and science of horticulture.
The New Zealand
Horticulture Initiative (GlobalHort) fosters more efficient
and effective partnerships and collective action among different
stakeholders in horticulture. The organization has a special focus on
horticulture for development (H4D), i.e. using horticulture to reduce
poverty and improve nutrition worldwide. To be efficient, GlobalHort
is organized in a consortium of national and international
organizations to collaborate in research, training, and
technology-generating activities designed to meet mutually-agreed-upon
objectives. GlobalHort is a not-for-profit organization registered in
Genetically modified trees
Genomics of domestication
^ hortus. Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short.
A Latin Dictionary on
^ Harper, Douglas. "horticulture". Online Etymology Dictionary.
^ Entry for yard Dictionary.com (presenting information supposedly
from Random House Dictionary)
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 10, 2012.
Retrieved September 21, 2012.
^ Fullagar, Richard, Judith Field, Tim Denham, and Carol Lentfer
(2006) Early and mid Holocene tool-use and processing of taro
(Colocasia esculenta), yam (Dioscorea sp.) and other plants at Kuk
Swamp in the highlands of Papua New Guinea Journal of Archaeological
Science 33: 595–614
^ von Hagen, V.W. (1957) The Ancient Sun Kingdoms Of The Americas.
Ohio: The World Publishing Company
^ Solomon, Dawit, Johannes Lehmann, Janice Thies, Thorsten Schafer,
Biqing Liang, James Kinyangi, Eduardo Neves, James Petersen, Flavio
Luizao, and Jan Skjemstad, Molecular signature and sources of
biochemical recalcitrance of organic carbone in Amazonian Dark Earths,
Geochemica et cosmochemica ACTA 71.9 2285–2286 (2007) ("Amazonian
Dark Earths (ADE) are a unique type of soils apparently developed
between 500 and 9000 years B.P. through intense anthropogenic
activities such as biomass-burning and high-intensity nutrient
depositions on pre-Columbian Amerindian settlements that transformed
the original soils into Fimic Anthrosols throughout the Brazilian
Amazon Basin.") (internal citations omitted)
^ Glaser, Bruno, Johannes Lehmann, and Wolfgang Zech, Ameliorating
physical and chemical properties of highly weathered soils in the
tropics with charcoal – a review, Biology and Fertility of Soils
35.4 219-220 (2002) ("These so called Terra Preta do Indio (Terra
Preta) characterize the settlements of pre-Columbian Indios. In Terra
Preta soils large amounts of black C indicate a high and prolonged
input of carbonized organic matter probably due to the production of
charcoal in hearths, whereas only low amounts of charcoal are added to
soils as a result of forest fires and slash-and-burn techniques.")
(internal citations omitted)
^ McGee, J.R. and Kruse, M. (1986)
Swidden horticulture among the
Lacandon Maya [videorecording (29 mins.)]. University of California,
Berkeley: Extension Media Center
^ Thompson, S.I. (1977) Women, Horticulture, and Society in Tropical
America. American Anthropologist, N.S., 79: 908–10
^ "The Royal Horticultural Society, UK charity focussed on the art,
science and practice of horticulture". The Royal Horticultural Society
^ "Ancient society of York Florists,oldest horticultural society in
world,longest running horticultural show in world established
^ ISHS Archived September 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Australian Society of Horticultural Science – Australian Society
of Horticultural Science".
^ "Home – NJHA".
^ "RNZIH – Royal New Zealand Institute of
Horticulture – Home
^ "The Global
C.R. Adams, Principles of
Horticulture Butterworth-Heinemann; 5th
edition (11 Aug 2008), ISBN 0-7506-8694-4.
The Institute of Horticulture
ISHS – International Society for Horticultural Science
The Royal Horticultural Society
British Library – finding information on the horticulture industry
History of Horticulture
HORTIVAR – The FAO
Horticulture Cultivars Performance Database
Horticulture Initiative – GlobalHort
Horticulture Information & Resource Library
Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary
Horticulture and gardening
Types of gardens
Genetically modified tree
List of organic gardening and farming topics
Vegan organic gardening
Index of pesticide articles
List of fungicides
Plant disease forecasting
Agriculture and agronomy portal
Close to nature forestry
Woodland Carbon Code
Growth and yield modelling
pulp and paper
Wood process engineer
History of botany
Hypanthium (Floral cup)
Plant growth and habit
Alternation of generations
History of plant systematics
International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants
International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN)
- for Cultivated
International Association for
Plant Taxonomy (IAPT)
Plant taxonomy systems
Cultivated plant taxonomy
by author abbreviation