Horticulturists find work in two distinct areas: agriculture and landscape design. The training for both of these specialties is the same but the day-today activities are different. People with a Bachelor of Science degree in botany, biology, or agriculture may find employment as horticulturists after college. A strong training in the basic sciences, especially chemistry and biology, is necessary.
An agricultural horticulturist is responsible for investigating the best techniques for managing the aboveground aspects of agriculture. These include pruning, mulching, trellising, plant spacing, and pollination. His or her partners in this endeavor are the agronomist, who is concerned with fertilization, irrigation, and drainage, and the integrated pest manager who is concerned with plant pathogens and pests. Each must know the essentials of the others' fields and all must work together to produce profitable food and fiber crops.
The landscape horticulturist is concerned with all aspects of plant growth: aboveground aspects and fertilization, irrigation, and drainage. The landscape horticulturist must also have training in art and architecture. It is essential to know the requirements of decorative plants. Horticulturists work for commercial nurseries; schools or businesses with a "campus" or landscaped grounds; entertainment centers such as theme parks; and local, state, and federal governmental agencies (such as public works departments) for the creation of green spaces and color spots along highways, in city parks, or in residential areas.
Acquaah, George. Horticulture: Principles and Practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997.
Garner, Jerry. Careers in Horticulture and Botany. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1999.