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Horticulture is the science and art of producing, improving, marketing, and using fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants. It differs from botany and other plant sciences in that horticulture incorporates both science and aesthetics.

The art of cultivating and using high value plants to improve human life; while creating global solutions for sustainable, nutritious food sources and healthy, beautiful environments.

Horticulture is defined as that branch of agriculture concerned with growing plants:

  • That are used by people for food.
  • Used for medicinal purposes.
  • Used for aesthetic gratification.

Types of Horticulture

Lifestyle and Amenity Horticulture

Floriculture primarily engaged in the production of ornamental plants and other nursery products, such as bulbs, florists’ greens, cut flowers, foliage, shrubbery, potted flowering plants, indoor houseplants, and vegetable seeds and plants. These types of plants may be grown under cover greenhouse, frame, cloth house, lath house or outdoors.

Edible Horticulture

Olericulture and pomology

  • Floral Industry

Horticulture - Ornamental Edible Medicinal

Horticulture - Ornamental Plant Growers

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What is Horticulture?

Specialty crops are defined by law as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. Fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops and floricultural crops are all considered to be horticultural crops.

Horticultural Products

Horticultural products include all products, raw or processed, that arise from the horticultural industry. Edible fresh produce crops that are destined from farm to table . Other ornamental crops such as cut flowers are focused on farm to vase.  Other horticulture crops are grown as ingredients for  a different final purpose. These crops can be juiced, sliced or pureed, fermented, frozen, preserved, canned, dried, irradiated, or used in an ornamental flower arrangement.

Horticulture is divided into specializations. Botanical nomenclature.

  • Vegetables are described as herbaceous plants.
  • Fruits, for horticultural purposes, are described as plants from which a more or less succulent fruit or closely related botanical structure is commonly eaten as a dessert or snack.
  • Plants such as tomato, squash and cucumber are considered vegetables despite the fact that the edible portion is defined botanically as a fruit.

Horticultural Crops

Horticultural crops include:

  • Tree, Bushes and Perennial Vine Fruits.
  • Perennial Bushes and Nut Trees.
  • Vegetables (roots, tubers, shoots, stems, leaves, fruits and flowers of edible and mainly annual plants).
  • Aromatic and Medicinal Foliage, Seeds and Roots (from both annual or perennial plants).
  • Fresh Cut Flowers, Potted Ornamental Plants, and Garden Bedding Plants (involving both annual or perennial plants).
  • Trees, Shrubs, Turf and Ornamental Grasses propagated and produced in nurseries for use in landscaping or for establishing fruit orchards or other crop production units.
  • Cultivated or gathered mushrooms (edible fungi) are most often classified as horticultural crops.

Horticulture Vs.  Agronomy

Some crops such as soybeans are suitable for fresh edible consumption and are grown intensively in market gardens, but those same crops are most grown extensively as field crops for oil and protein production. Other crops like corn are grown for the fresh edible market, but parts of the crop are used for canning or freezing. Crops grown for fresh edible consumption fall under horticulture whereas crops grown for grain or forage fall under agronomy.

Horticulture Growing

Horticultural crops are usually intensive in terms of investment, labor, and other growing requirements and are often confined to smaller parcels of high quality land. Horticultural crops are most protected and cultivation occurs in glasshouses or plastic tunnels. Horticultural products usually have a much higher per unit value than crops grown in outdoor less intensive systems. Horticultural production units are called gardens, orchards, groves, vineyards, greenhouses, nurseries, and sometimes plantations.

Environmental Horticulture

Environmental horticulture or urban horticulture to capture a second realm that more specifically addresses environmental enhancement issues. Environmental or urban horticulture supports activities like home gardening, landscaping, arboriculture, and interior decorating with plants.

Urban parks, gardens and street trees are considered essential for creating a good living environment in communities around the world and are tended by the Horticulture Department of many cities and towns. Another realm of horticultural science with great environmental and commercial importance involves the collection, preservation, organization, characterization and improvement of horticultural plant genetic resources. Thus, plant exploration, botanical gardens and arboreta, naming authorities, gene banks, genomics and plant breeding are the domain of many people employed in horticulture. Horticultural science exists to build and maintain human knowledge, skills and biological resources in support of horticulture industry and environment enhancement.

Horticulture Marketing

  • Retail Garden Centers and Nurseries
  • Other Mass Marketers
  • Direct to Consumer Sales
  • Landscape Contractors
  • Supermarkets

Horticulture. Agriculture. Farming. Ornamental Flowering Plants. Foliage. Sustainable Eco Flowers. Organic. Fruits. Vegetables. Specialty Nursery Crops.

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