Horticulture Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

In this lesson, you'll learn about the field of horticulture. Read on to find out about what horticulturists are and what they do, and to find out some interesting facts about plants.

Do You Have a Green Thumb?

Have you ever planted a garden or taken care of a house plant? Both of those activities are part of horticulture. The word 'horticulture' comes from the Latin word hortus, which means 'garden.' A horticulturist is someone who cares for plants and studies ways to make them grow better.

A Garden

Horticulturists study many types of plants, including fruits, nuts, herbs, vegetables, and spices. Plants that are used for medicines and teas are also grown by horticulturists. Ornamental plants like flowers and bushes, which are just grown for decoration, are also studied to try to make them more beautiful or easier to grow.

What Do Horticulturists Actually Do?

If you were a horticulturist, you might experiment with different kinds of soil to see if you could create healthier plants. You might also try to create a new type of plant by grafting, or attaching a stem from one plant onto another. Some horticulturists spend years just trying to develop a flower of a particular color, or a plant that has striped leaves.

A Grafted Tree

Horticulturists work with all types of plants, including ones with flowers. Some flowering plants can only live for one growing season outside. These are called 'annuals,' because you have to replant them every year. Some common annuals that you might know include marigolds, sweet peas, and petunias.

Plants that come up year after year are called perennials. These include tulips, daisies, and columbine.

Learning to Be a Horticulturist

While you don't need a college degree to have a garden and to enjoy working with plants, many horticulturists take classes to help them improve their knowledge and skills. To help plants grow better, you need to know a lot of science, including information about chemicals in the soil and water, different kinds of plants, insects that can help or hurt plants, and ways to grow new plants.

Horticulturists Work With Plants

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