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What is Horticulture ?

According to the Horticulture definition “The science and art of growing, producing, marketing, and utilizing high-value, intensively grown food, and ornamental plants in a sustainable manner is known as Horticulture”.


Annual and perennial plants, fruits and vegetables, decorative indoor plants, and landscape plants are all examples of horticulture crops.


Horticulture farming also aims to enhance the quality of life, as well as the beauty, sustainability, and recovery of our ecosystem and the human condition.


Plants, crops, and green spaces help to sustain and enrich our lives by providing healthy food, beautifying our homes and communities, and lowering our carbon footprint.


Introduction to Horticulture

  • Horticulture is based on agriculture, and its name comes from the Latin terms Hortus and culture, which mean "garden" and "cultivation," respectively.

  • Horticulture does not involve large-scale crop production or animal husbandry, unlike agriculture.

  • Horticulture does not involve large-scale crop production or animal husbandry, unlike agriculture. Horticulture, on the other hand, emphasizes the use of small plots with a diverse mix of mixed crops, while agriculture focuses on a single large primary crop at a time.

  • Horticulture has been studied and practiced for thousands of years, and it is thought to have played a role in the transition from nomadic human cultures to sedentary, or semi-sedentary, horticultural communities. 

  • Horticulture is classified into many types, each of which focuses on the production and processing of various plants and foods for particular purposes. 

  • Multiple organizations around the world teach, encourage, and support the advancement of horticulture in order to preserve science. 

  • Plant propagation and cultivation are used in horticulture to increase plant growth, yields, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses. 

  • Luca Ghini, Luther Burbank, and Tony Avent are well-known horticulturists.


Scope of Horticulture

  • Horticulture crops produce a higher yield per hectare than field crops.

  • Horticulture crops are extremely valuable because of their high nutritional value. Fruits and vegetables, in particular, provide us with a lot of vitamins and minerals.

  • Horticulture is very important because it improves the beauty of the environment.

  • Small and marginal farmers can benefit from horticulture crops.

  • Crop varieties with a wide variety of applications are available in the Horticulture section.

  • Horticultural crops benefit the environment by minimizing waste, conserving soil and water, and enhancing the farmer's socioeconomic status.

Types of Horticulture

The horticulture industry is a synthesis of scientific, technological, and production activities aimed at ensuring consumer satisfaction. There are various types of Horticulture techniques. Here let us discuss a few of the important branches of horticulture. 

1) Arboriculture

  • Individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants are studied, cultivated, and managed in arboriculture. 

  • Arboriculture is the study of how plants develop and adapt to their surroundings and cultural practices. 

  • Picking, planting, preparation, fertilization, pest and pathogen control, pruning, shaping, and removal are all examples of arboriculture techniques. 

  • Arboriculture is mainly concerned with arborists maintaining individual woody plants and trees for long-term landscape and amenity purposes, typically in gardens, parks, or other inhabited areas, for people's enjoyment, safety, and benefit.


2) Turf Management

  • Turf management, often known as pitch-care, refers to the effort required to keep a sporting surface suitable for use. 

  • Turf management refers to the work that goes into the cultivation and  

             maintenance of turfgrass for sports, entertainment, and amenity purposes.      


3) Floriculture 

  • Floriculture, or the floral industry, is a branch of horticulture concerned with the cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants for gardens and floristry.

  • Floriculturists spend most of their time cultivating new varieties through plant breeding.

  • Bedding plants, houseplants, flowering gardens, and pot plants, cut cultivated greens, and cut flowers are all examples of floriculture crops. 

  • Floriculture crops, in contrast to nursery crops, are usually herbaceous.

4) Landscape horticulture 

  • Landscape horticulture is the practice of designing outdoor spaces, landmarks, and structures with the intention of achieving environmental, social-behavioral, or aesthetic objectives. 

  • It includes the systematic design and general engineering of various structures for building and human use, as well as the investigation of current social, ecological, and soil conditions and processes in the landscape, as well as the design of other measures that will achieve the desired results.

5)  Olericulture

  • Olericulture is a branch of vegetable gardening that deals with the cultivation of non-woody plants for human consumption.

  • Olericulture is the science of growing, storing, refining, and selling vegetables. It covers all aspects of crop establishment, including cultivar selection, seedbed preparation, and seed and transplanted vegetable crop establishment.

  • It also includes organic gardening and organic farming, sustainable agriculture and horticulture, hydroponics, and biotechnology, as well as industrial and non-traditional vegetable crop production, such as organic gardening and organic farming, sustainable agriculture and horticulture, hydroponics, and biotechnology.

6)  Pomology

  • Fruit and its cultivation are studied in pomology, a branch of botany.

  • Fruit tree growth, enhancement, cultivation, and physiological studies are the key topics of pomological study.

  • Fruit tree improvement aims to increase fruit quality while also controlling harvest times and lowering production costs.

7)  Viticulture

  • Viticulture is a branch of the science of horticulture that deals with the cultivation and harvesting of grapes. 

  • Monitoring and managing pests and diseases, fertilizing, irrigation, canopy management, fruit production, and characteristics, determining when to harvest, and vine pruning during the winter months are all part of the viticulture method.


8) Oenology

  • Oenology is a branch of the science of horticulture where we study wine and winemaking. 


9) Postharvest Physiology 

  • Post-harvest physiology is the scientific study of the physiology of living plant tissues after harvest in order to preserve plant quality and avoid spoilage.

  • It has direct applications in postharvest handling, such as determining the optimal storage and transportation conditions to maximize shelf life.


Horticulture Farming in India

  • Horticulture has enhanced farmers’ economic status by increasing per capita consumption of fruits and vegetables from 40 to 85 grams of fruits and 95 to 175 grams of vegetables during the year.

  • Horticulture has played an important role in women's empowerment by providing opportunities for jobs in mushroom cultivation, floriculture, and vegetable seed production, among other items.

  • The horticulture sector contributes more than 24.5% of agriculture's gross domestic product (GDP) while accounting for just 8.5% of the total region.

  • Tropical and temperate fruits and vegetables are grown in India. On an area of about 4 million hectares in India, more than fifty varieties of vegetables are grown; major vegetable crops include potato, onion, peas, cauliflower, tomato, brinjal, okra, cabbage, and cucurbits.



Horticultural science is the only plant science that includes both plant science and plant aesthetics. It is the science and art of growing, developing, and commercializing edible fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, and ornamental plants. Horticulture is an applied science, meaning that the knowledge gained by horticulturists is used to improve plant production, marketing, and the quality of human and animal life on Earth. Horticulture has a regular effect on our lives by supplying healthy fruits and vegetables, providing visual pleasure, and encouraging leisure activities.

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FAQs on Horticulture

1. What is Horticulture?

Horticulture is the science and art of growing, developing, and commercializing edible fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, and ornamental plants.

2. What are the Different Types of Horticulture?

Different types of horticulture are:

  • Arboriculture 

  • Turf management 

  • Floriculture 

  • Landscape 

  • Olericulture 

  • Pomology

  • Viticulture 

  • Oenology 

  • Postharvest physiology

3. What are the Uses of Horticulture Techniques?

The important uses of horticulture are as follows:

  • Growing fruits and vegetables, in particular, offers essential nutrients for a well-balanced diet. Diets deficient in fruits and vegetables are linked to some of the world's most common and crippling nutrient-related diseases.

  • Farmers who grow high-value crops like fruits, vegetables, flowers, or herbs regularly make more money than those who grow other commodities. Horticulture has the potential to diversify both agriculturally and economically.

4. What is Pruning? What are the objectives of Pruning?

Pruning is the selective removal of certain parts of a plant to give it a suitable shape in order to improve the tree’s structure. It is a horticultural technique which is done to remove unwanted plant growth and boosts healthy growth of the plant. Plant parts that have decomposed can also be pruned away.


Pruning goals include:

  • To maintain the balance of flowering and fruiting.

  • To obtain a consistent yield of fruits.

  • To get rid of pest-infested branches.

  • In order to provide adequate sunlight for plant growth.

  • To maintain a healthy balance of vegetative and reproductive growth stages.

5. Who is the father of horticulture?

From 1903 to 1905, Liberty Hyde Bailey served as the first President of the Society for Horticultural Science, which was later renamed as the American Society for Horticultural Science. All over the world, he is known as the "Father of American Horticulture" and the "Dean of Horticulture."

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