Horticulture vs Botany: Similarities and Differences

The difference between a Horticulturist and a Botanist relates to how they work with plants. A botanist is dedicated to the study of plants while horticulturists use scientific studies that aim to improve the growth of plants and flowers. In particular, horticulturists work to educate farmers about best practices for agricultural crops.

However, it is worth exploring this subject in depth to better understand the important roles of each. So what exactly is the difference between horticulture and botany?

Can one be a horticulturist and botanist at the same time? What career can you pursue to become either of the two? What is the horticulture vs botany similarities and differences?

In this article, I will outline a comparison between horticulture and botany, and although both terms don’t mean the same, they have similarities.

What is Horticulture?

Horticulture is a Latin word meaning garden cultivation and which features three main plant growing activities.

  1. Growing plants for food.
  2. Growing plants for aesthetic purposes for example; floriculture and flower cultivation.
  3. Maintenance and landscaping of fields and gardens for example; playing fields and golf courses.

As outlines, horticulture contributes to our daily living since we obtain food from it. Anyone can undertake horticulture without studying or acquiring a degree.

Some of the factors that horticulturists focus on when planting and nurturing plants include humidity, temperature, light, quality of the soil and precipitation.

What Career do you Pursue to Become a Horticulturist?

Horticulturists study how to cultivate or grow vegetables, fruits, spices, herbs, cut flowers, landscape trees, shrubs, and vines among others.

Some of the jobs in horticulture do not require you to have any formal education.

However, if you want to become a professional horticulturist, you can undertake a diploma or degree in agriculture science.

Many colleges and universities offer this program, and you can check the college near your state that offers agriculture science.

Which Field of Work Best Suits a Person With a Degree In Horticulture?

With a degree in agriculture science, you can work with producers in the agriculture industry. You can also work with farmers to help them improve their yields and also grow plants for nursery owners.

You can also work at government agencies that deal with horticulture and agriculture.

Other occupations include:

  • Garden manager
  • Floral designer
  • Landscape designer
  • Greenhouse manager
  • Community garden planner

What are the Responsibilities of Horticulturists?

Horticulturists are responsible for growing and nurturing a variety of plants and flowers. They can either work in or out of greenhouses.

In the landscaping sector, they work with chemicals and large lawn care equipment. They also use chemicals and fertilizers to nurture plants and flowers. Other responsibilities include;

  • Creating flower arrangements or outdoor arrangements of shrubs and bushes.
  • Mowing and watering lawns for business or residential clients.
  • Planting trees and laying grass seeds
  • Weeding and trimming flowers, lawns, and shrubs.

What is Botany?

Botany is the study of plants including genetics, structure, physiology, classification, ecology, and distribution.

It is a broad scientific field, and the plants that are mostly studied include fungi, algae, lichens, mosses, conifers, ferns, and flowering plants.

It not only deals with the study of plants but also their groupings, heredities, supply, environmental science and their composition.

What Career do you Pursue to Become a Botanist?

To become a botanist, you have to get a diploma, degree or a master’s degree in plant biology, zoology, and botany.

Which Field of Work Best Suits a Person with a Degree in Botany?

With a degree or masters, you will have the skills and ability to grow plants using single cells. Such skills will be useful in fields such as plant pathology, horticulture, forestry, and biotechnology.

More so, you can focus on plant pollination where you determine how various plants are affected by certain pollutants. Such skills qualify you to work as an adviser to lawmakers guiding them on how to protect the environment.

You can also work in biological centers, private companies, research labs and government agencies.

The incredible fact about this scientific field is that it is essential in our society since it can help improve and boost the supply of food and medicine. It can also solve issues of air pollution.

What are the Responsibilities of Botanists?

Botanists often focus on one type of plant and mostly work in the fields. They also undertake studies in laboratories and in most cases, work for government agencies to ensure that the National Environment Policy Act is upheld. Some of their responsibilities include;

  • Tracking and locating endangered or new species of plants.
  • Restoring and conserving botanical habitats, for example, rainforests.
  • Documenting agricultural crop production.
  • Reviewing studies and articles on the changes in the soil and rainfall trends and how it affects plants.

Horticulture Vs Botany-Similarity

  • They both deal with plants
  • The science-based knowledge is interchangeable. For example, horticultural science students can apply the scientific knowledge taught to botany courses, and the vice-versa is true.
  • They can both work in the same department. A botanist can work in horticulture departments and vice-versa.

Horticulture Vs Botany -Differences

Horticulture Botany
Applied science Pure science
Solely focuses on edible and ornamental plant life. Deals with living plant organisms, from the smallest bacteria to the largest trees.
It is a combination of science and art focusing on cultivating and nurturing gardens and plants. Includes studying the structure and physiology of plants

Final Thoughts

The comparison of horticulture vs botany is quite interesting since both fields deal with plants. However, if you like to grow plants more than just studying them, then you are interested in horticulture.

Most horticulturists are involved in growing plants and maintaining plantations. On the other end, botanists are mainly inclined to research and teaching.

You can undertake horticulture as a profession or a hobby, and in most cases, you don’t have to get any formal education.

However, to become a professional, you can enroll for a diploma or bachelor’s degree. Botany is quite practical and requires you to have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

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Sources and References:

  • Horticulture vs Botany: The Differences That Set Them Apart Revealed! – tidythegarden.com

  • Horticulture Vs. Botany: What’s The Difference? – sumogardener.com