Horticultural Services Colleges and Universities

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Horticulture is the study of plants and their uses. However, unlike botany–the science and study of plant life–horticulture focuses on the different ways that plants are cultivate for human use. Horticulture is practiced by individuals who plant their own gardens as well as large corporations that produce food for sale throughout the world. Horticulture involves a diverse array of activities including growing and cultivating plants for food (e.g., herbs, vegetables fruits, grains, etc.) as well as growing non-food plants such as flowers, trees, and grass for landscaping.

Horticulturalists use their skill and knowledge improve crop production, engineer genetically enhanced plants that can withstand intense drought, improve the quality of plant foods and produce plants/herbs with medicinal application. Horticulturalists and horticulture scientists must have a indepth understanding of mathematics, biology, geology, chemistry, and physics–as well as industry specific sciences including plant pathology, genetics, entomology, and soil science, among many other related disciplines.

Areas of Study

The two general areas of horticulture are ornamentals (non-food plants) and edibles (crop plants). These areas can be further grouped into the following categories:

  • Arboriculture
  • Floriculture
  • Turf Management
  • Olericulture
  • Landscape horticulture
  • Postharvest physiology
  • Oenology
  • Pomology
  • Viticulture

Horticulturists work in various sectors, including government, higher education, or private industry. For those seeking a career in horticulture, obtaining formal education in marketing, business, commerce, and health care will greatly enhance career opportunities.

Higher education programs in horticulture focus on the general production and processing of domesticated plants, flowers, shrubs, groundcovers, foliage, trees, and related plant materials; the management of technical and business operations connected with horticultural services.

The following colleges and universities provide majors and degree programs in horticultural and horticulture services.

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