Horticulture Science | Everything you need to know

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Are you a nature lover? Do you have a passion to improve the environment? To help to discover new ways to enhance plant life? If so, then Horticulture Science is a great career choice for you.

Horticulture Science is an applied plant science that blends the art and science of plant growth. It’s the study of plant life to improve growth, quality and resistance to pests.

Generally, it focuses on intensive plant growth for human use. Whether its for food or aesthetics, horticulture science is involved. Besides, its eco-friendly nature helps improve the environment.

Besides plant growth, the ever-changing science has many other branches to learn, research and improve.

Horticulture Science

Usually, Horticulture science focuses on

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Flowers
  • Ornamental plants

And much more.

Notably, Horticulture Science helps improve ways to grow and maintain plants. Moreover, it also helps preserve and store plant produce to improve their shelf-life. All this while creating beautiful green spaces that enhance quality of life.

It helps growers increase their profits by intensive plant growth in a much smaller space than farms. While many businesses practice Horticulture Science for its commercial profits, it can also be done at home. In other words, you could set up your own greenhouse in the backyard to grow plants.

Moreover, horticulture science encourages a healthy diet by freshly grown produce. Besides, most of the produce is also exported to bring in foreign exchange. That’s why it is crucial for a country’s economy.


What is horticulture science?

Put simply, Horticulture science is an applied science on plant growth. It focuses on intensive cultivation for food or aesthetics. The study involves all kinds of plants to discover new ways to improve growth. Usually, in an eco-friendly way.

propagation in horticulture science

The study is also applied for landscapes, gardens, horticulture therapy and much more. And this applies to small gardens all the way to large greenhouses and farms. Hence, it’s a vast science involving many green industries.

Studying horticulture science gives you the skills to intensively grow plants in innovative ways. Especially through hydroponics, vertical gardens, propagation and breeding. And these skills help improve crop quality, yield, nutritional value and resistance to pests and diseases.

Since the industry is so huge, there are plenty of job and business opportunities. Ranging from food and medicinal to environmental, healthcare and therapy services. There are jobs out there you may not even know exist!

Speaking of jobs, Check out my Horticulture Careers Guide.

Indeed, Horticulture science has something for everyone. For instance, it also includes social services like consultancy, marketing, healthcare, therapy and education. This makes it a great way to contribute to society through nature’s gift.

Horticulture science applies to landscapes

Besides growing plants for food, horticulture science also applies to landscapes and garden design. And it’s the green spaces that improve our health and well-being. This in turn enhances the quality of life and makes cities more liveable.

What’s more, horticulture science has many research topics related to plants. Some of the popular ones include plant genetics, biotechnology and pest management.


Why study horticulture science?

Horticulture science majors learn the science behind growing many kinds of plants. What’s more, most universities include an internship in their courses. And this hands-on experience gets you a head-start in your career.

Pursuing a Horticulture Science degree opens a world of opportunities for you. Whether its crop production, marketing, research or running a greenhouse. The boundaries are only limited by your imagination!

Small greenhouse for beginners

Some jobs in the industry don’t need a degree. However, getting a formal education makes you eligible for a wider range of jobs. In addition, the practical skills will help you excel in your career much further.

While working with nature is rewarding and fun, the science challenges your brain. So, as you fulfil your passion, you also help the environment. Especially by creating green spaces to leave a positive effect on the society.

Horticulture science programs include plant structure, genetics, ecology, biology, production and much more. Students learn various ways to grow and maintain all kinds of plant species.

Why study horticulture science?

Primarily, the most crucial tasks in horticulture science is the ability to identify plant species. Because it is the first step for any task involving plants.

In fact, some courses focus only on plant identification. Moreover, these courses also include origins and growth conditions needed for every plant. So, you won’t be puzzled when you hear a plant’s scientific name.

With practice, you will learn to find the perfect balance of elements like sunlight, water, soil and nutrients. As well as learning to design green spaces using landscape elements. In fact, Landscape Horticulture is another branch under Horticulture science.

As the demand for fresh produce continues to grow, so does the industry. Creating more and more jobs along the way. That’s why there’s a need to meet the demands by innovation and tech.


Certificates and Degrees

Earning a Horticulture Science degree prepares you for a wide range of careers in the industry. Generally, the degree program is incomplete without an internship. That’s why most universities include them as a part of the course.

Besides, you get a head-start with practical hands-on experience. Another interesting fact is that there are many kinds of workplaces. You could work in a greenhouse, nursery, research lab, landscaping agency, gardens and much more.

Both certificate and degree programs are popular options for aspiring students. With a major focus being on intensive plant growth and care.

Certificate and Degrees in Horticulture Science

Here are some of the degree and certificate options for a student:

  1. Undergraduate certificate
  2. Associate degree
  3. Bachelor’s degree
  4. Master’s degree
  5. PhD

An Undergraduate Certificate or an Associate Degree gives you the basic skills and knowledge on horticulture science. Such as managing and maintaining a greenhouse or landscape. Usually, these programs are designed for entry-level jobs.

Whereas, a bachelor’s degree goes a step further with sustainable and eco-friendly ways of plant growth. Most programs give you a list of specializations to choose from. Such as greenhouse production, pest management, horticulture therapy and much more.

On the other hand, Master’s programs include a detailed study in specific areas. Like plant physiology, genetics, biotechnology and the list goes on. Generally, higher-level and managerial positions require a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Even further, you could opt for research by enrolling for a PhD program. Earning a PhD means you have mastered horticulture. What’s more, it encourages you to discover innovative solutions to common problems in the industry.


Careers in horticulture science

Whether you want to run a greenhouse, nursery, design landscapes or do research. Horticulture science has career options for everyone. Since horticulture involves many industries. Sometimes, you may find jobs you never knew existed!

In a way, this is good for someone willing to explore the career options. Perhaps, you may find a new business idea. And this can take your passion to the next level! Moreover, the existing innovations like hydroponics, propagation and intensive breeding are good for any business.

Horticulture Science careers

Here are some of the careers in horticulture science:

  • Nursery or Greenhouse Management
  • Landscape Design and maintenance
  • Horticulture Therapist
  • Turf management
  • Floral Design
  • Golf course technician
  • Botanical garden worker
  • Arborist
  • Forest Ranger
  • Consultant
  • Education/Teaching
  • Pest Management
  • Regulatory agent

And if you haven’t already, check out my Horticulture Careers Ultimate Guide for more careers.


Business opportunities

Whatever the industry, starting a business is always a challenging task. There are many things you should consider before getting started.

Such as finding a good location for your store and deciding what products or services to offer. Moreover, it’s vital to do a thorough market research. Besides, you need to do your homework on the popular and most profitable crops.

Greenhouse business

Keep in mind that you must follow local regulations under any cost. After all, you don’t want fines to eat into your profits. Every country has different rules. So, make sure you do your research well!

During research, some of the questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Are there any similar businesses around?
  • What products or services do they offer?
  • What is their business model and plan?
  • Is there any restriction on greenhouse sizes?
  • Does my business follow local regulations?
  • What’s the competition?
  • How do I make my business stand out from the crowd?
  • How can I attract more customers and increase sales?
  • Which plants or products am I not allowed to sell?
  • Are there any restrictions on some fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals?

A greenhouse is the most common horticulture business. Read how to setup Greenhouse nursery business.

Initially, the best way to learn is to work for another business. That is, by working in a nursery, greenhouse, gardens or landscaping companies.

As you gain experience, you will learn how these businesses work. And this is a great motivation to start your own business!

In fact, some universities offer degrees focusing on the business side of horticulture science. Such degrees help graduates make careers in:

  • Administration
  • Business Development
  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Communications
  • Sales

Horticulture science research areas

As horticulture focuses on intensive growth of every kind of plant, there are many related industries. And this gives room to research in every possible field of horticulture science. With a wide range of research areas, you will be spoilt for choice!

Through research, you could contribute to the industry and make yourself proud. The growing demand for fresh produce has challenged researchers for years. As a result, research has led to creative solutions.

Horticulture science research areas

You could help discover sustainable solutions in horticulture science. In turn, businesses can increase their crop quality and yields. Hence, the society benefits with better health and quality of life.

Some of the popular research areas include:

  1. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
  2. Landscapes and Urban Horticulture
  3. Plant Genetics
  4. Crop Production and Management
  5. Biotechnology
  6. Plant Breeding
  7. Postharvest Technology
  8. Organic Horticulture
  9. Agroecology
  10. Food Systems
  11. Weed science

I hope you are inspired to take Horticulture Science as a career. Which career did you like the most? Are you interested in research? Or starting a business? Let me know in the comments below.

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