A Horticulture career is for those who have a passion for plants. The word horticulture is derived from the Latin word “Hortus” that means “Garden” and “Cultus” that means “Cultivation”.
Thus, horticulture is a part of agriculture science that is concerned with the cultivation of Garden crops. Garden crops include fruits, vegetables, and all the plants grown for ornamental purposes as well as spices,plantation,medicinal and aromatic purposes.
Unlike the field crops cultivation that is based on extensive cultivation, horticulture requires intensive care in planting, carrying out cultural operations, and manipulating growth. Harvesting,packing,marketing,storage and processing.
Also, horticulture does not require large-scale crop protection or animal husbandry like agriculture. Horticulture lays stress on cultivation on small size plots with a diverse mix of mixed crops, while agriculture focuses on a single large primary crop at times.
Horticulture and Horticulturist
What is horticulture?
Horticulture is a branch of agriculture science that deals with the cultivation of plants,vegetables,flowers,fruits,herbs,shrubs,bushes and ornamental trees. Horticulture includes landscaping for gardens, maintaining nurseries, green houses,orchards,and plantations and cultivation of flowers.
Horticulture now also includes direct or indirect application in food-technology industries as production, harvesting and storing of vegetables that are highly mechanized and merged into food technology.
Who is a Horticulturist?
A horticulturist is a person who has skills and uses them in the production of plants. A horticulturist improves the plant growth,quality,nutritional value, yield, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses.
Horticulturists start from gardeners and end up as designers. They work as growers, therapists, designers and technical advisors.
Horticulturists grow and process flowers, ornamental plants, fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants.They prepare soil, nurture and grow plants, collect the produce(flowers,fruits,vegetables, etc.,), process them and distribute them for selling and other purposes.
Branches of Horticulture
Horticulture is a vast subject. This field is divided into three major branches.
Floriculture is the cultivation of flowers. It is the branch of ornamental horticulture concerned with growing and marketing flowers.
Olericulture is the science of growing vegetables. It teaches us to grow,store,process and market plants for food. The vegetables are mostly annual, non-woody plants from which one harvests a crop.
Pomiculture or Pomology
Pomology is the science of producing and marketing seed bearing food that grows on woody perennial plants like trees, bushes and vines.
What is the importance of Horticulture?
Horticulture plays a very important role in our daily life. Here are a few of its benefits.
- Horticulture cultivates fruits and vegetables that help in our balanced diet by providing vital protective nutrients.
- Horticulture is key to several industries like canning, essential oil,dehydration,refrigeration,wine,cashew nut, transport, etc. that provide employment to many people.
- The flowers, ornamental plants and gardens play a very important role in reducing air pollution and refreshing the minds of people.
- Horticulture crops also contribute to the aesthetic side of rural and home life of the community.
- Horticulture generates employment opportunities.
- Horticulture helps in the effective utilisation through hardy fruits and medicinal plants.
Types of Plants in Horticulture
We can further categorize the plants cultivated in horticulture into the following.
Annuals are plants that live for one year or less, that makes its vegetative growth flowers and produces seed within one year from the sowing date and then the plant dies. Examples of Annuals are brinjal,tomato,coleus etc.
Biennials plants are those plants that require two years or parts growing seasons with more or less of a dormant or resting season between to complete their life period. Examples are onion,beet,carrot,cabbage radish etc.
Perennials persist from year to year and go on producing crops of seed from year. Perennials may be herbaceous or woody and perennials may be trees or shrubs or vines. Examples are Mango, Chiku etc.
Deciduous plants shed their leaves once a year when they go to rest. This is in the cold season. Their leaves change their colour when temperature falls and become yellow and fall off. The tree becomes bare and looks dry. Examples are apple,plum,peach, and sirls.
Evergreen plants are those who do not have a definite resting season and they do not leave their leaves during a particular season. All physiological activities go on continuously and the tree never becomes completely devoid of leaves and bare. Examples are mango,chiku,citrus etc.
How to become a Horticulturist?
One can start horticulture education after completing intermediate/12th level education. You must complete your 12th in science stream (Physics, chemistry and Math/biology/agriculture) to opt for admission in bachelor’s degree in agriculture as well.
Most candidates have to take an entrance test namely ICAR AIEEA 2022 conducted by ICAR to start a career in horticulture. However, some colleges conduct their own admission for horticulture.
Bachelor’s Courses in Horticulture
Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Horticulture for 3 years
Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) in Technology for 4 years
Master’s Course in Horticulture
Master’s of Science (M.Sc.) in Horticulture in 2 years
Postgraduate Diploma in Horticulture and Landscaping Gardening for 2 years.
M.Sc. Agriculture in Horticulture (Floriculture and Landscaping) for 2 years.
For admission to postgraduate courses in horticulture, one has to pass the bachelor’s degree in the relevant discipline with minimum 60% marks.
Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Horticulture
Candidates who want to pursue Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in horticulture can do so after completing their post-graduation in the same discipline.
List of Top Colleges offering courses in Horticulture
|Serial No||College name||Courses||Course fees (1st year)|
|1||Indian college research Institute ( (IARI), New Delhi||MSc Agriculture
| Rs 43,150
|2||Tamil Nadu Agriculture University ( (TNAU), Coimbatore||B.Sc in Agriculture
U.G diploma in agriculture
| Rs 50,255
|3||Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana||B.Sc. in Agriculture
M.Sc. in Agriculture
|4||Anil Dharmalingam Agriculture College and Research Institute (ADAC&RI),
|BSc in Agriculture||Rs 70,825|
|5||Daffodil College in Horticulture, Kamrup, Assam||BSc in Agriculture||Rs 94,000|
|6||Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and technology, Pant Nagar, Uttarakhand||BSc in Agriculture
MSc in Agriculture
|7||University of Calcutta, Kolkata||MSc in Agriculture||Rs 8,694|
|8||Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra||MSc in Agriculture||Rs 19,100|
|9||Mumbai University, Mumbai, Maharashtra||PG Diploma in Agriculture||Rs 11,700|
|10||BIRSA Agriculture University ( BAU), Ranchi, Jharkhand||MSc in Agriculture||Rs 15,500|
Why should one become a Horticulturist?
The Scope of Horticulturists in India
Horticulture is the fastest growing sector in agriculture. Presently India is next only to China in area and production of vegetables and fruits crops. We produce 10% of fruits and 14% vegetables of the world production.
Here are few facts of horticulture in India:
- India is the largest producer of mango, banana,sapota,acid lime and cauliflower.
- India is the second largest producer of onion and third in cabbage production globally.
- India produces nearly 70 different varieties of vegetables.
- We are the largest producer of rice in India
Horticulture Career Prospects
Horticulture has a lot of scope. Whether you want a full time or part time horticulture job, whether you own a piece of land or not, you can take up this line and live a decent life.
In recent years there is a rapid expansion of horticulture as an industry. As there is more awareness among the people of the impact of pollution on the environment, Horticulture is becoming more popular.
The career as a horticulturist is extremely lucrative as not only is there a rise in demand for plants,flowers,fruits but also the technology behind it is also becoming more and more sophisticated. The growth in the export industry is also creating employment opportunities.
There is a demand for qualified and trained horticulturists with attractive remuneration in both public and private sectors. There are also job openings in the UK and US and qualified horticulturists.
Top ten career paths in Horticulture
Horticulturists have very high demand in various industries in India. You have a number of job opportunities and career options after completion of the course. Let us take a closer look at a few of the most wanted types of jobs in horticulture in India.
Pomology is the study of the production of fruit crops in the field. These are of two types.
- Tree fruits like mango,chiku,citrus etc.
- Small fruits produced on shrubs like Phalsa, Asberry, Grapes, Strawberry.
Pomologists are responsible for the cultivation of new fruits and nuts as well as maximising the production of existing ones. Their job duties include the following.
- Developing new fruit and nut cultivars
- Studying pruning practices,fertilisation and other activities to ensure that the trees and crops remain healthy.
- How to deal with crop pests, infections and diseases.
- What are the best ways to harvest fruits and nuts?
- Analysing shelf lives and storage conditions to ensure the longevity of crops life.
- Survival of crops in adverse climate conditions.
- Studying the conditions for growth of various fruit and nut trees.
- How to water, prune and transplant crops.
Essential skills required to become Pomologists
Here are the skills that are required for a Pomologist.
- Excellent research and laboratory skills
- Strong analytical skills
- Interest in fruit cultivation
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Outdoor skills
- Attention to detail
- Good report writing skills for creating research reports.
- Excellent Speaking skills
- Inquisitiveness and persistence
- An up-to-date knowledge of Industry trends.
Olericulture is the study of vegetable crops like brinjal, tomato,potato,radish,chilli., etc. An Olericulturists deals with the production,storage,processing and marketing of vegetables.
Vegetable crops can be classified into 9 major types.
- Potherbs and greens like spinach and collards
- Salad crops like lettuce, celery
- Cole crops like cabbage and cauliflower
- Root crops (tubers) like potatoes, beets, carrots, radishes
- Bulb crops like onions, leeks
- Legumes like beans, peas
- Cucurbits like melons, squash, cucumber
- Solanaceous crops like tomatoes, peppers potatoes
- Sweet corn
Essential skills required to become Olericulturists
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Good outdoor skills
- Attention to detail
- Good report writing skills
- Excellent speaking skills
- Inquisitiveness and persistence
- An up-to-date knowledge of industry trends
Floriculture is the study of cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants both for commercial purposes or as a hobby. There has been a steep rise in the demand for floriculturists as a result of the rise in domestic need of flowers like roses,gerbera,carnation,gladiolus,orchids and lilies.
You can choose any of these careers after completing your course.
- Floral Designers
- Interior Decorator
- Production Managers
- Management Analysts
- Floral Wholesaler
- Sales Representatives
- Landscape technicians
Floriculturists can work in nurseries,Botanical gardens, farm companies, Genetic companies. Agriculture product companies. They can teach in colleges and universities as professors. They can work in cosmetics and perfume manufacturing companies. You can also set your own business in growing flowers in the export market.
4. Landscape Gardening
Landscape gardening is the study of designing and laying out home gardens, public gardens, parks, road side plantation, avenues etc. Landscape gardening has many sub divisions.
- Landscape design
- Landscape ecology
- Landscape engineering
- Landscape planning
- Landscape archaeology
- Nature scaping
- Sustainable landscaping
5 . Post-Harvest Technology
Post-Harvest technologist is the study of canning of fruits and vegetables like fruit juice,jam,marmalade,candy,dehydration etc., product groups like confectionery, chocolates and cocoa products, soya- based products, mineral water, high protein foods etc.
Food scientists are responsible for understanding processes contributing to food deterioration and spoilage and devising appropriate measures and methods of preservation in order to ensure availability, acceptability and safety of food.
They are also responsible for post-harvest reduction encompassing the usage of optimum harvest factors, reduction of losses in handling, packaging transpiration and storage with modern infrastructure machinery, processing into a wide variety of products, home scale preservation with low-cost technology.
Silviculture is the study of cultivation and management of forest trees like teak wood, Ficus, eucalyptus, etc.
The roles of Silviculturist include control of crop composition and production of species of more economic value, Afforestation of blank under stock areas, Production of quality timber, control of rotation timber, creation of man-made forests and introduction of exotics, Protection of site and intangible returns.
7. Plantation Crops Cultivation.
Plantation crops are tea,coffee,coconut,arecanut,rubber,oil palm, etc. Plantation crops like coir-based products and coffee have export potential which helps us earn foreign exchange, Also plantation crops cultivation provide employment throughout the year.
8. Spices and Condiments
Spices and condiments are high value crops like Cardamom,clove,nutmeg,coriander,cumin,etc.. These are used as adjuncts in food for flavour, aroma, and taste.
9. Aromatic and medicinal plants
Gugal,aonia,baheda,harde,licorice are examples of aromatic and medicinal plants. These crops have medicinal properties in them that are capable of curing various diseases in humans.
Sericulture is Silk farming. Sericulture deals with the rearing of silkworms and production of silk. Sericulture plays an important role in the rural economy in India. It offers numerous employment opportunities in government, research centres, sericulture units, agriculture sector banks, etc.
Certified Horticulturist salary
The average salary of a horticulturist in India is Rs 400,000 per annum.The entry level horticulturist with 1 to 4 years experience earns up to Rs 2,75,00 per annum.A mid level career horticulturist with 5 to 9 years of experience can earn up to Rs 409,746 per annum. An experienced horticulturist with 10 to 19 years of experience can earn up to Rs 6,75000 per annum.
Horticulture science includes both plant science and plant aesthetics. It is an applied science which means that all the knowledge gained by horticulturists can be used to improve plant production, marketing, and quality of human and animal life on earth,
Also, In India the scope and business of the horticulture industry is increasing day by day. The market has a high demand for horticulturists making it one of the fastest growing segments. This has resulted in creating more employment opportunities and career growth for the youth.