Horticulture vs Botany: The Differences That Set Them Apart Revealed!

If you’re quite particular or interested with plants, you may have come across of the inescapable terms: horticulture vs botany. And as much as synonymous and confounding these words are, these terms also come with differences that you may not have heard of yet; something that are of great importance especially if you’re studying agriculture.

But if you’re a layman or a gardener who is just wanting to be knowledgeable about the subject matter, these differences should acquaint you in more beneficial ways than one. As it goes, it’s a must that you’re equipped with the right information whether you’re simply owning a home garden or culturing a farm.

Let’s now look into how horticulture and botany fare at each other relative to their similarities and differences.

Horticulture vs Botany: By Definition

The study of plants by definition, botany is a section in science in which it concentrates on the structure, classification, ecology, genetics, physiology, and distribution of plants. Some of the plants that are included in this study are conifers, flowering plants, ferns, mosses, and algae among others.

Microscope and test tubes surrounded by plants in a test lab.

In this segment, you’ll also be introduced with asexual propagation along with sexual reproduction. The former is focused on simple mitotic cell division while the latter talks about meiotic cell division, the forming of gametes, and the subsequent plant production.

On the other hand, horticulture is mainly involved in the cultivation of your farm or garden. In addition, it belongs right into the three different major branches of the plants’ growth. Essentially, when you talk about horticulture, you’re mainly concerned with the plants’ aesthetic growth such as floriculture and flower cultivation.

It also consists of the food growth right in your home’s garden. As horticulture is essentially all about aesthetics, the reward that comes from it is emotional and recreational especially for home gardeners.

Horticulture can mostly be found right in the cities and suburbs in which most residences are growing house plants that are either laid on ground or in window boxes.

Horticulture vs Botany: By Hobby

When you decide to become a horticulturist, this should demand you to come after a degree of agricultural science. Now, when you get to finish the degree through a college program, you’re likely to work with producers in the agricultural segment.

Attractive young woman in a flower center.

With this degree, you’re able to beef up the farmers’ yields while you also grow plants for nursery owners.

Botanists, on the other hand, would mean that you have to pursue a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in zoology, plant biology, and botany. As it comes with each available course and job afterwards, becoming a botanist requires you to work both of them efficiently.

And whether you’re functioning within a team or independently, make certain that you’re able to read maps effectively; you should also learn and be good at working outdoors regardless of what the weather is at that moment.

Being a botanist will also get you jobs in private companies, biological centers, government segments, and research labs.

Horticulture vs Botany: By Similarities and Differences

Now that I have already tackled the definition of horticulture and botany head on, it’s time to know the similarities and differences between the two.

In essence, botany can be applied more in small areas. As such, this purse science is conducted more by home gardeners. In contrast, horticulture is enjoyed by farmers that conduct their activities in a plant production that is not only larger but is also relatively smaller than that of an agricultural cultivation.

Young salad growing in a very large plant nursery in Germany

Another notable difference between the two is the type of plants that are being used. As for botany, the plants that are involved are naturally beneficial for human consumption while horticulture, being regarded as an applied science, can be both edible and ornamental or both. The latter is also meant for wider areas.

Also, horticulture is more involved in studying and applying asexual propagation although it still studies some of the topics on sexual reproduction by which in degree is generally lesser.

Simply put, horticulture is where plants and humans are joined together; it’s more on how humans cultivate and use these plants either for consumption or for aesthetic purposes. Botany is strictly about the study of the plants themselves.

Horticulture vs Botany: By Essence

In a bulleted format, I’ll try to separate botany from horticulture and vice-versa. This section should clear whatever questions you may have in our previous sections:


  • An applied science that emphasizes on both the consumable and attractive sections of plant life.
  • Comprises of garden management and cultivation.
  • People marvel and learn about the plant’s growth.
  • Serves as a platform between the connection of plants and humans.
  • As a hobby, it aids on the improvement of the farmers’ yields.
  • Should hold a degree in agricultural science; degree holders are allowed to work with the workers from the agricultural industry.


  • Tackles broader topics that involve living plant organisms.
  • Studies plants along with their classification, composition.
  • The use of plants is learned relative to their usages in gardening.
  • Serves as an area in which you gain more knowledge about the plants.
  • By simply the utilization of a singular cell, botanists are able to trigger a plant growth.
  • Should hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the areas of zoology or plant biology, or botany.


Florist Woman hands with sprayer, spraying on flowers.

Horticulture and botany are definitely two different things. And while they mostly resemble essentially, knowing how they differ with each other should not only allow you to understand them effectively but should ultimately help you to know where your career or hobby would be headed to.

Meanwhile, these abovementioned sections are well-divided enough to lead you where the real difference lies between horticulture and botany. And right when someone finally asks you how to contrast them, I hope this article aids you more than sufficiently.

Did you like this post? If you have anything to add, share, or ask, please feel free to sound them off in the comment section below!

Dan Harris

Hi. I'm Dan Harris. My wife and I started gardening 5 years ago. Neither one of us had any gardening background but we loved the idea of growing our own organic food. Over the years, our garden has almost doubled in size and I’ve learned a lot from my season’s successes and failures. I’ve been excited to share my own beginning knowledge and special skills with all garden lovers.

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