What is Horticulture?
Horticulture is the science and art of producing edible fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, and ornamental plants, improving and commercializing them. It is the only plant science that incorporates both the science and aesthetics of plants. Horticulture consists of two parts, “Hortus” meaning garden, and “Colere” meaning to grow or to cultivate (Cultura meaning cultivation ). The word horticulture is first conceived by Peter Laurenberg. Horticulture is that branch of Agriculture that concerns the garden crops directly used by man for food, for medicinal purposes, or for aesthetic purposes.
The horticulture industry consists of three areas: pomology, olericulture, and ornamental horticulture.
- Production of edible fruit crops – Pomology ; (pomum = fruits, logy = science)
- Production of vegetable crops – Olericulture ; (oleris = pot herb)
- Production of ornamental crops – Floriculture and Landscaping
- Preservation of horticulture produce for consumption – Fruit Technology
Pomology is a branch of horticulture that deals with various aspects of fruits starting planting, harvesting, storing, processing, and marketing of fruit and nut crops. The term pomology is a combination of two Latin words “pome” is for fruits and “logos” for culture. “Poma” in Greek means fruits later subsequently it transfers into “Pome” in Latin word means fruits, logos for study. Both large and small fruits are considered fruit crops. Peaches, apples, and pears are examples of large fruits. Small fruits include strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
Walnuts, almonds, and pecans are popular nut crops. Pomology is instrumental to the cultivating of fruit, developing new or improved varieties, developing disease-resistant fruit, and discovering new pruning or grafting techniques. Pomology enhances fruit quality, extends the production season, and develops new methods to decrease costs. It is an important part of fruit cultivation for centuries.
Olericulture The area of horticulture that involves the production of vegetable food crops is olericulture. Olericulture includes the planting, harvesting, storing, processing, and marketing of vegetable crops. The amount of hand labor needs to get vegetables harvested and to market in a timely manner are a large part of this olericulture science. The term vegetable is applied to the edible herbaceous plant or plant parts thereof, which are consumed generally in the unripe stage after cooking.
Sweet corn, lettuce, tomatoes, and snap beans are examples of vegetable crops. Olericulture started in this form, by the importance of feeding the people. Spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla, and coffee are usually in a separate category. Medicinal plants are categorized separately, as well. Edible root crops, like potatoes and carrots, are included in the vegetable-growing area of horticulture. Soil, watering, and fertilizer are addressed in depth through much of olericulture information.
Floriculture is a branch of Horticulture which deals with commercial growing, marketing, and arranging flowers, potted plants, and ornamental plants, which includes annuals, biennials, and perennials, trees, shrubs, climbers, and herbaceous perennials. Floriculture includes the cultivation of plants and flowers which are used for the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and perfume industry, and also for decorative and aesthetic purposes such as bouquets and floral arrangements.
There are different types of crops. All of them are grown in a different way and for a different purpose:
- Bedding plants
- Potted plants
- Foliage plants
- Cut flowers
- Herbaceous ornamental perennial plants
1. Bedding and Garden Plants
Bedding and garden plants are the largest segments of the floriculture industry. As productions run from January through June, they have a short production and sales season and sales from May and June for much of the markets. Some of the annual flowers can be grown in spring, summer, or fall, while others can flower during the entire season but it depends on the species. Bedding plants include; Petunia, Lobelia, Busy Lizzie, Geranium, Impatiens, Antirrhinum, Rudbeckia.
2. Potted Crops
The potted plant industry is growing enormously. They are produced all year-round or seasonally depending on the environmental requirements of the plants or the season with which they are associated. Potted crops are more expensive than several other types of floricultural crops because of the time it takes for them to reach a mature stage of flowering and growth. Also, potted plants are important for instant gardening and for indoor, as well as, outdoor decoration as they can be easily carried to places, which need to be landscaped immediately Potted plants may be either ornamental foliage or flowering.
They are used for indoor decoration at homes, offices, hotels, commercial complexes, malls corporate offices, and other locations for various functions and events. Potted crops are for instance: Poinsettias, Easter lilies, Shamrocks, Cyclamen chlorophytum, croton, dracaena, ferns, ficus, kalanchoe, maranta, money plant, aralia, azalea, begonia, and calathea.
3. Indoor Foliage
Plants that are grown for their leaves which have an interesting shape or are colorful are known as foliage plants and they are often of tropical or subtropical origin. Some species of indoor foliages can actually be grown all year-round in the landscape depending on cultivation and environmental predisposition. In temperate climates, indoor plants are displayed in homes, offices, and interior escapes and atriums. Indoor plants can also be used for seasonal outdoor displays in temperate zones. Some examples include Bromeliads, Devil’s Ivy, Ferns, Philodendrons, Pothos.
4. Cut Flowers
Cut flowers can be used in several different ways including floral arrangements, croissants, and boutonnieres. They are mostly used in formal events and can be seen used in weddings, birthdays, funerals, and other more formal events. Flowers are harvested with stalks especially use for arrangement in vases and are lasting. These constitute a major share of the total world trade in floricultural products. Important cut flower crops are rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, alstroemeria, orchid, gerbera, lilium, anthurium, gladiolus, narcissus, bird of paradise, baby’s breath, heliconia, anemone, ranunculus, tulip, calla lily.
5. Herbaceous Ornamental Perennials
Most Herbaceous Ornamental Perennial crops are propagated in greenhouses and moved outside for the rest of the production cycle in order for them to be fully grown and ready for sale. Perennial survives to depend on their hardiness, which means that they are sensitive to winter and can wither if exposed to harsh winter climates and low temperatures. Some examples of herbaceous perennials are Columbine, Phlox, Hostas, Bleeding Hearts, Coneflower.
The design and alternation of a portion of land by use of planting material and land reconstructions are known as landscaping. Landscaping is a task of combining science and art. Landscape horticulture includes designing plans for landscapes, installing landscapes as specified in the plans, and maintaining the landscapes. Landscape plans can turn ideas into visuals and ensure that scale and layout have been thought through prior to construction.
Your landscaper will create a plan for your yard that suits your needs and provides solutions to common landscaping problems, such as slopes, wind, sun, or lack of space. Examples of common landscape plant materials include Maples, oaks, forsythia, honeysuckle, English ivy, peonies, and Kentucky bluegrass. Most plants used in landscape horticulture are obtained from nurseries. A nursery is a place that specializes in starting plants and growing them until they are ready to be transplanted to landscapes.