Competitive Exams Botany Notes: Horticulture
Horticulture is the art and science of the cultivation of plants.
Horticulturists work and conduct research in the fields of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic engineering, plant biochemistry, and plant physiology. The work particularly involves fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, flowers, trees, shrubs, and turf. Horticulturalists work to improve crop yield, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses.
The study of horticulture: Horticulture involves six areas of study, which can be grouped into two broad sections-ornamentals and edibles:
- Arboriculture the study and selection, planting, care, and removal of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants.
- Floriculture (includes production and marketing of floral crops)
- Landscape horticulture (includes production, marketing and maintenance of landscape plants).
- Olericulture (includes production and marketing of vegetables).
- Pomology (includes production and marketing of fruits)
- Postharvest physiology (involves maintaining quality and preventing spoilage of horticultural crops).
Horticulturists can work in industry, government or educational institutions or private collections. They can be cropping systems engineers, wholesale or retail business managers, propagators and tissue culture specialists (fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and turf), crop inspectors, crop production advisers, extension specialists, plant breeders, research scientists, and of course, teachers.
Disciplines which complement horticulture include biology, botany, entomology, chemistry, mathematics, genetics, physiology, statistics, computer science, and communications, garden design, planting design. Plant science and horticulture courses include: Plant materials, plant propagation, tissue culture, crop production, post-harvest handling, plant breeding, pollination management, crop nutrition, entomology, plant pathology, economics, and business. Some careers in horticultural science require a masters (MS) or doctoral (PhD) degree.
Horticulture is practised in many gardens, “plant growth centres” and nurseries. Activities in nurseries range from preparing seeds and cuttings to growing fully mature plants. These are often sold or transferred to ornamental gardens or market gardens.