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Horticulture vs Agriculture


When it comes to agriculture vs horticulture, most people think of these terms as the same. It is usually because horticulture is classified as a subdivision of agriculture that deals with plant gardening. With that, many of the horticulture methods are used in the agricultural process and vice versa. But in reality, horticulture is very different from agriculture. And to understand both these Horticulture vs Agriculture terms better, let us make a comparison between the two Horticulture vs Agriculture.

Agriculture vs Horticulture:

First, let us take a look at what agriculture is in detail.


Agriculture is what we call the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. It used to be the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization. At that time, the farming of domesticated species used to create food surpluses that became the reason for people living in cities.

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To be more specific, agriculture is known best to be the science of growing food crops and rearing animals for farming. The process involves the whole web of processes employed in the redirection of the natural food chain flow and rechanneling of energy. What happens is the natural food web starts when the sun provides sunlight to plants. It is then converted into sugars. Then it is processed into plant food through a process known as photosynthesis. Now the herbivore animals are going to eat the plants as their food. And then the carnivores’ animals will eat those herbivores for food. Similarly, the dead animals and plants will then be decomposed by bacteria. Which then returns to the soil as plant nutrients. This is how the whole chain repeats afresh. You might also be interested in best online botany courses.

Two Categories of Agriculture:

We can divide agriculture into two different categories.

  • One is conventional agriculture.
  • The other one is sustainable agriculture.

Conventional Agriculture:

It deals with altering some environmental factors which include trees, soil tilling, and irrigation. With that, all such activities which favor single crop growing like wheat, corn, and rice are also included in this category.

Sustainable Agriculture:

Sustainable agriculture is where the ecological principles are employed in farming. It is also known to be agro-ecology. The aim of this agriculture is to promote sustainable farming practices. It includes planting a variety of crops together so as to keep the garden spare at any time.


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Moving towards horticulture which is known as the science which employs special techniques and unique methods for the cultivation of plants. It also includes different methods to properly condition the soil for seed planting or planting tubers. When we talk about horticulture, what usually comes to mind is the cultivation, plant propagation, production of crops, breeding of plants. With that, plant physiology, biochemistry, and genetic engineering are included too. The plants that are looked at include different types of vegetables, flowers, trees, turfs, shrubs, fruits, and nuts.

To get the highest quality crop yields, the horticulturalists have to carry out extensive research in their domain. This extensive and time-taking research also enables them to improve their nutritional value to humans. It is up to the horticulturalists to make the crops pest and disease resistant. They are the ones to make sure that the crops also adjust to environmental stresses.

Main Difference:

Now that you know what both Horticulture vs Agriculture terms are, let us focus on the main difference between the two Horticulture vs Agriculture terms. The most notable difference between the two is that horticulture usually deals with small-scale gardening. It deals with enclosed gardens even though it is not a requirement. On the other hand, agriculture is always done on a large scale where an extensive amount of crops is cultivated.

With that, you should also know that horticulture is actually the subdivision of agriculture that deals with the gardening of plants. In short, agriculture deals with the cultivation of crops and animal farming. And horticulture deals with just cultivation.


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Final Thoughts:

As you can see, both the Horticulture vs Agriculture terms may look the same but believe it or not, they are different from one another but not too much. And it is up to us to understand what both these terms are and their purpose.