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What are the four areas of horticulture?

Have you ever wondered what horticulture actually means? While you may have come across this term through your passion for gardening, or stumbled upon it at your local plant centre, we promise it’s more fascinating than you’ve probably imagined!

Because it’s not one thing, Horticulture in fact covers a vast array of plant science – its scope can fall anywhere between the home vegetable patch and running a large commercial garden. A unique blend of science and art, in practice it requires a deep understanding of different environments and their effects on plant life. 

Because the scope can be so large, experts have narrowed down the different ‘types’ of horticulture, sometimes also called ‘branches’ (get it!). Each one of these branches has a specific subject matter and a specific purpose. 

So in this blog, we’ll be breaking down the 4 main areas of horticulture, plus providing valuable information about the horticulture industry in Australia as published by Plant and Food Research, and finally, we will explain how you can learn this fascinating, ground-breaking knowledge with an online course in horticulture too. 

Let’s get started.

1) Pomology

Pomology is a sweet section of horticulture that most people will recognise as fruit & nuts. It involves understanding the nuances of planting, harvesting, storing, processing, and marketing fruit and nut crops.

Peaches, walnuts, almonds, strawberries – all have specific needs and require different approaches to help them thrive. These popular crops form a lucrative part of the horticulture industry. 

For instance, did you know that fresh fruit export earnings in New Zealand hit $3.7 billion last year? The biggest fruit exports are kiwifruit, apples and avocado. And in 2020 New Zealand exported 552,800 tonnes of kiwifruit, valued at $2.53 billion.

2) Olericulture

Vital to food production, olericulture centres around those healthy, wholesome vegetable crops. Understanding the ideal methods for bountiful vegetable crops is a central part of the horticulture business in New Zealand, as we export around $724 million worth of vegetables a year. 

Our biggest crops include onions, potatoes, peas and squash, with New Zealand households spending an estimated $890 million on these wonderful fresh and chilled vegetables.

3) Floriculture

Are you always admiring beautiful blooms? Then floriculture could be the perfect niche for you. Centring on the science of growing and nurturing flowers, other greenery and all kinds of pot plants – you could learn the secrets to terrific tulips, regal roses, and more!

Did you know that the flower, turf and nursery sector isn’t just about looks either? In fact, it holds a significant part in the New Zealand economy, generating around $188 million of production value. That includes plant nurseries, garden centres, seeds, bulbs and cut flowers.

4) Landscape horticulture

Ever wonder who develops those beautiful parks, manages those classical gardens or creates those monumental showcases of greenery for businesses?

Landscape horticulturists design, construct and take care of landscapes in public, private and business spaces. Whether it’s your home, an estate, for a charity or business, or for the local government’s public spaces.

They understand how to choose the right plants for every space, based on their suitability, effect and aesthetic appeal – all to a brief set by their client. 

A special subdivision of this horticulture branch also works to create environments that aid mental health and wellbeing. Through home gardening, urban greenery and community landscaping, many of the activities involved in horticulture are used as therapeutic tools to help both patients and vulnerable members of society find calm and tranquillity.

Are you excited by the prospect of understanding these nuances of plant life? Do you want to combine your creative energy with invaluable skills? Then you might be interested in online horticulture certificate programs.

What is clear, from these four branches, is just how integral the horticulture industry is. 

In fact:

‘In 2020, the New Zealand horticultural industry reached a new high, with total produce estimated to exceed $10 billion for the first time’

Source: FreshFactsNZ

New Zealand’s horticulture industry has always had a strong reputation for producing premium crops and ensuring high standards across all stages of the supply chain. This means the opportunity to work with both small-scale family farms or medium to large scale operations offers plenty of diverse career choices in a highly regarded sector.

But to join this lucrative and extremely rewarding space requires knowledge.

Being one of the more comprehensive and specific horticulture courses online, our certificates have been specifically designed from the ground up by industry professionals to put you on the right track. 

You’ll develop a strong foundation in plant science and elevate your expertise. Whether you want to simply create your own home oasis with an online horticulture certificate, or begin a thriving enterprise with our horticulture business course – you can find the skills you are looking for from expert tutors. 

Learn from fascinating modules in plant science, soils, weeds & pest control, as well as acquiring the ability to identify specific plants, shrubs, trees, flowers & fruits. Unearth the secrets of soil management, propagation, lawn maintenance & fabulous flower health to help grow these different species effectively.

Studying horticulture online with us means you can learn at a time that suits you, as you’ll have 24-hour access and tutor support whenever you need it. Plus, with affordable payment plans, you can easily start learning without changing your lifestyle and current commitments. So you can learn around work and family time, and use your spare time in a productive, proactive and green-fingered way! 

Sounds good? Then enrol now, or speak to our friendly support team who can help you identify the right course for you.


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