Horticultural Therapy Program, Mental Health & Social Benefits

Horticultural Therapy

Horticultural Therapy Program is designed to help individuals with mental health issues and provide social advantages. It involves engaging in activities like planting, weeding, and harvesting that are associated with gardening and horticulture. 

Powerpacplus’s Summary

  • What exactly is Horticultural Therapy?
  • Horticultural Therapy’s Advantages
  • Horticultural therapy is an emerging area of mental health treatment and study, and anyone interested in pursuing it may get certification via NYU Langone.
  • Horticultural Therapy Types
  • How Can I Participate in Horticultural Therapy?

What is Horticultural Therapy?

Horticultural Therapy is the use of gardening and horticulture activities to improve physical, and emotional health. A horticultural therapist is a professional who works with individuals to develop and implement a therapeutic horticulture program.

This involves working with plants in botanical gardens, greenhouses, and other outdoor settings to help with rehabilitation and therapeutic goals.

Horticultural therapy can be used to help those with Alzheimer’s disease, depression, or other physical or mental illnesses. The American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) certifies horticultural therapists in order to ensure they have the necessary training and understanding of how plants can be used therapeutically.

The AHTA also provides educational resources for people interested in learning more about this field. Horticultural therapy has a wide range of advantages for those who take part in it — from improved physical health to enhanced mental wellbeing.

Benefits of Horticultural Therapy

Physical Health

Horticultural Therapy (HT) is a therapeutic modality that uses the use of horticulture to provide physical, psychological and cognitive health advantages. This therapy can be used in rehabilitation, therapy and in therapeutic gardens.

NYU Langone offers an Horticultural Therapy Certificate program that provides participants with the knowledge and skills needed to become certified as an HT practitioner. The certificate program includes classes on plant selection, maintenance, arrangement and design as well as how to apply HT as a therapeutic modality.

Students will learn how to apply fundamental principles to improve health outcomes for individuals who seek out physical health advantages from this type of therapy. Students will also gain experience working with a variety of populations in various settings such as hospitals, community centers, schools and other facilities.

Upon completion of this certificate, students will gain the necessary skills to become certified Horticulture Therapists and help people achieve their physical health goals through the use of horticultural activities.

Mental Health

Horticultural therapy is a growing field of mental health treatment and research, and those looking to pursue it can get certified at NYU Langone.

Professional registration requires a horticultural therapy certificate from an accredited program such as the Horticultural Therapy Institute in North Carolina. Through this certification, practitioners learn how to design and implement sensory gardens for garden therapy sessions with people who have developmental disabilities.

The sessions are designed to help improve social skills, fine motor skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, and more.

Furthermore, horticultural therapists may also be qualified to conduct group activities that involve gardening tasks such as planting flowers or vegetables.

With these qualifications and knowledge, horticultural therapists can make an important difference in the lives of their clients.

Social Benefits

Horticultural therapy is a form of therapy that uses plants and nature-based activities to help improve overall well-being.

NYU Langone offers a Horticultural Therapy Certificate program, which provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals of horticultural therapy and its therapeutic applications.

The program includes course descriptions in human science, garden therapy, sensory gardens, social skills, and more. The Horticultural Therapy Institute in North Carolina State also offers courses in horticultural therapy and related topics.

Additionally, Rutgers University in New Jersey offers a certificate and therapeutic horticulture for individuals interested in learning about therapeutic gardens for people with disabilities or special needs.

With the knowledge gained, individuals can become certified horticultural therapists who are able to use their skills to create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces that promote social interaction, and physical activity.

Types of Horticultural Therapy

Horticultural Activities

Horticultural activities are becoming increasingly popular among health care and human service professionals.

The Horticultural Therapy Institute in North Carolina is another great option for anyone looking to learn more about horticultural activities.

They focus on the use of plants and nature for therapeutic purposes, as well as sensory garden design. New Jersey’s Rutgers University also offers courses in horticulture and plant science which could be beneficial for someone looking to pursue a career in the field.

These organizations have proven to be invaluable resources for those seeking to gain knowledge and insight into horticultural activities within the context of health care and human services.

Horticultural Activities

Greenhouse/Garden-Based Therapy

Greenhouse/Garden-Based Therapy is a form of therapy that involves the use of gardens, sensory gardens, and other outdoor spaces. Garden therapy has been used for many years to help people cope with physical, emotional, and mental issues.

The Horticultural Therapy Institute in North Carolina offers a course description of their program which focuses on the human science behind garden therapy. This type of therapy is also available in New Jersey and other parts of the country.

Health care professionals, human service workers, and physical rehabilitation specialists can all benefit from this type of therapeutic intervention. The main focus is relaxation and providing a space for healing to occur. Depending on the needs of the person receiving care, a caretaker may be assigned to provide additional support in managing depression or anxiety symptoms.

Greenhouse/Garden-Based Therapy

Plant Therapy

Plant Therapy is a form of therapy that uses plants and gardens for therapeutic purposes. Sensory gardens are often used to stimulate the senses of the participant, while garden therapy encourages relaxation and healing.

The Horticultural Therapy Institute in North Carolina offers a course description outlining the use of plant horticultural therapy, which combines human sciences with aspects of health care, human service, physical rehabilitation and relaxation.

These services can help patients relax and learn how to take better care of themselves through gardening activities. Plant horticultural therapy can be an effective way to reduce stress and promote physical rehabilitation.

How to get involved in Horticultural Therapy?

Horticultural therapy is a great way to get involved with nature and be more mindful of one’s own well-being.

To get involved in horticultural therapy, start by researching organizations that are active in your area.

Many universities and colleges offer courses related to horticulture and its therapeutic applications.

Additionally, many professional organizations offer workshops, seminars, and certification programs related to horticultural therapy.

Once you have completed the necessary training and education, you can begin volunteering with local organizations or working with professionals in the field to gain experience.

You may even consider becoming certified as an official horticultural therapist so you can work independently or start your own business offering therapeutic gardening services!


Horticultural therapy, also known as garden therapy, was initially developed in North Carolina by Dr. Benjamin Rush in the late 1700s.

He believed that sensory gardens could provide a sense of relaxation and well-being, and he went on to create a course description in human science which was later adopted by psychiatrists, caretakers and other health care professionals for use in asylums.

Over time, horticultural therapy began to be used outside of asylums with great success in New Jersey and around the world.

It is a growing profession, with salaries varying depending on the region and employer.

A horticultural therapist in North Carolina may make around $25,000 a year for basic garden therapy duties such as creating and caring for sensory gardens and leading therapy sessions in conjunction with psychiatrists and psychological therapists.

In New Jersey, a horticultural therapist may make more, up to $50,000 per year or more depending on experience.

Horticultural science is an important field of study which covers a wide range of topics. The three main areas are crop production, plant sciences, and pest and disease management. 

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