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**Historical Overview of Horticulture:**
Horticulture began with plant domestication 10,000-20,000 years ago.
– Domestication occurred independently across civilizations.
– Early practices included various land management techniques and indigenous knowledge.
– Historical uses included plants for beauty, religious purposes, and symbolism.
Horticulture’s history overlaps with agriculture and botany, with divergence in Europe during the Middle Ages.

**Aspects and Techniques in Horticulture:**
– Propagation methods include sexual and asexual techniques.
Plant selection criteria involve morphology, rarity, and utility.
– Considerations for soil type, climate, light, and moisture are essential.
– Environmental factors impact plant development and techniques control these variables.
– Techniques for temperature, light, water management, and soil analysis are crucial for plant growth.

**Advanced Practices in Horticulture:**
– Enclosed environments like greenhouses manipulate weather, light, and temperature.
– Soil management includes fertilizers, crop rotation, and soilless mixes.
– Control methods for temperature, light, and water are vital for plant development.
– Technologies like CRISPR/Cas9 revolutionize gene editing for horticultural crops.
– Horticultural organizations and publications contribute to the field’s advancement.

**Importance and Impact of Horticulture:**
Horticulture contributes to poverty reduction, nutrition improvement, and sustainable agriculture.
– It offers diverse job opportunities with varying salaries and is crucial for postharvest technology.
– Horticultural societies promote community engagement, environmental sustainability, and food security.
– Gene editing technologies like CRISPR/Cas9 have transformative effects on horticultural crops.
– Research in horticulture drives innovation, knowledge sharing, and advancements in crop production.

**Challenges and Future Trends in Horticulture:**
– Climate change, pests, diseases, water access, and market fluctuations are key challenges.
– Labor shortages and skilled workforce requirements are challenges faced by horticultural businesses.
– Sustainable practices are essential to minimize environmental impact in horticulture.
– Innovations like CRISPR/Cas9 and advancements in technology shape the future of horticulture.
Horticulture’s economic contribution, aesthetic value, and employment opportunities are significant.

Horticulture (Wikipedia)

Horticulture is the art and science of growing plants. This definition is seen in its etymology, which is derived from the Latin words hortus, which means "garden" and cultura which means "to cultivate". It is important to note that there are various divisions of horticulture because plants are grown for a variety of purposes. These divisions include, but are not limited to: gardening, plant production/propagation, arboriculture, landscaping, floriculture and turf maintenance. For each of these, there are various professions, aspects, tools used and associated challenges; Each requiring highly specialized skills and knowledge of the horticulturist.

A horticulture student tending to plants in a garden in Lawrenceville, Georgia, March 2015
The Rock Garden, Leonardslee Gardens

Typically, horticulture is characterized as the ornamental, small-scale/non-industrial cultivation of plants, as compared to the large-scale cultivation of crops/livestock that is seen in agriculture. However, there are aspects of horticulture that are industrialized/commercial such as greenhouse production across the globe.

Horticulture began with the domestication of plants around 10,000-20,000 years ago. At first, only plants for sustenance were grown and maintained, but eventually as humanity became increasingly sedentary, plants were grown for their ornamental value. Horticulture is considered to have diverged from agriculture during the middle-ages when people started growing plants for pleasure/aesthetics, rather than just for sustenance.

Emerging technologies are moving the industry forward, especially in the way of altering plants to be more adverse to parasites, disease and drought. Modifying technologies such as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR/Cas9), are also improving the nutrition, taste and yield of crops.

There are many horticultural organizations and societies found around the world, that are formed by horticulturists and those within the industry. To name a few, these include: The Royal Horticultural Society, International Society for Horticultural Science, The American Society of Horticultural Science, The Horticultural Society of India, The Global Horticulture Initiative, The Chartered Institute of Horticulture and The Australian Society of Horticultural Science.

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