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What is Horticulture?

Horticulture is the branch of agriculture dealing with garden crops, generally fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants. It covers all forms of garden management, but in ordinary use, it refers to intensive commercial production. In terms of scale, horticulture falls between domestic gardening and field agriculture, though all forms of cultivation naturally have close links.

Horticulture is divided into the cultivation of plants for food and plants for ornament. Pomology deals with fruit and nut crops. Olericulture deals with herbaceous plants for the kitchen, including, for example, carrots (edible root), asparagus (edible stem), lettuce (edible leaf), cauliflower (edible flower buds), tomatoes (edible fruit), and peas (edible seed). Floriculture deals with the production of flowers and ornamental plants; generally, cuts flowers, pot plants, and greenery. Landscape horticulture is a broad category that includes plants for the landscape, including lawn turf but particularly nursery crops such as shrubs, trees, and vines.

The specialization of the horticulturist and the success of the crop are influenced by many factors. Among these are climate, terrain, and other regional variations.


Scope of Horticulture

  • Arboriculture is the study of, and the selection, plant, care, and removal of, individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants.
  • Turf management includes all aspects of the production and maintenance of turfgrass for sports, leisure use, or amenity use.
  • Floriculture includes the production and marketing of floral crops. Study of flower cultivation.
  • 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 fruits.
  • Viticulture includes the production and marketing of grapes.
  • Postharvest physiology involves maintaining the quality of and preventing the spoilage of plants and animals.