Horticulture has grown into a specialised and lucrative branch of plant agriculture dealing with garden crops, generally fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants. The word is derived from the Latin hortus, “garden,” and colere, “to cultivate.” As a general term, it covers all forms of garden management, but in ordinary use, it refers to intensive commercial production. In terms of scale, horticulture falls between domestic gardening and field agriculture, though all forms of cultivation naturally have close links.
Horticulture is divided into the cultivation of plants for food (pomology and olericulture) and plants for ornament (floriculture and landscape horticulture).
Pomology deals with fruit and nut crops. Olericulture deals with herbaceous plants for the kitchen, including, for example, carrots (edible root), asparagus (edible stem), lettuce (edible leaf), cauliflower (edible flower buds), tomatoes (edible fruit), and peas (edible seed).
Floriculture deals with the production of flowers and ornamental plants; generally, cut flowers, pot plants, and greenery.
Landscape horticulture is a broad category that includes plants for the landscape, including lawn turf but particularly nursery crops such as shrubs, trees, and vines.
The specialization of the horticulturist and the success of the crop are influenced by many factors. Among these are climate, terrain, and other regional variations.