How To Become A Garden Therapist – Horticultural Therapy

How To Become A Garden Therapist For Health Care

How to become a garden therapist is a rewarding and fulfilling career path for those who are passionate about the therapeutic benefits of plants and gardening. Horticultural therapy is a practice supported by scientific evidence that employs gardening activities to promote physical, knowledge, and emotional health. If you desire to this profession, you can begin by acquiring these skills and knowledge.

PowerPACPlus’s Summary

  • Horticultural therapists, also known as HTs, use therapeutic horticulture to assist individuals with physical & mental disabilities.
  • Working with HTs can improve the population’s physical rehabilitation, brand development, social interaction, and performance.
  • It takes a combination of education, training, and experience to become a HT.
  • AHTA offers a degree in this field on a voluntary basis, and horticulture therapy is a practice supported by evidence.
  • In the United States, annual paid money ranges from $35,000 to $57,000

What Do Horticultural Therapists Do?

Horticultural therapists, also known as HTs, assist in the rehabilitation of individuals with physical and mental disabilities.

  • They use therapeutic horticulture to assist individuals with their vocational, physical, and mental needs
  • The population can experience positive changes in physical therapy, cognitive development, social interaction, and occupational performance by working with HTs.
  • A HT is comparable to a psychologist or therapist, but specializes in the therapy use of plants and gardens.

How To Become A Garden Therapist For Health Care

How To Become A Garden Therapist For Health Care

To be a horticultural therapist involves a combination of education, training, and experience. Here are the steps you can take:

  1. Get an Education: Most employers require at least a bachelor’s degree in horticultural therapy, botany, or a related field. Look for degree programs that offer courses, plant science and human science. Some schools or colleges offer degrees specifically in this aspect.
  2. Gain Experience: It’s important to have hands-on experience working with trees and people. Look for and make registration volunteer opportunities in community garden programs. You can also seek out internships or part-time jobs.
  3. Get Certificate: Many employers prefer or require a certificate from the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA). To become certified, you must have a degree or a related field, complete 480 hours of concentration in horticultural therapy experience, and pass the AHTA’s certified exam.
  4. Apply for Jobs: Look for job openings in rehabilitation centers, schools, or community gardens. You can also consider starting your own business.
  5. Keep Learning: Stay up-to-date with the latest research and trends. Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars to continue your education and improve your skills.

What Skills Do You Need In The Horticulture Field?

To be a successful horticultural therapist, you will need a combination of horticultural knowledge and therapeutic skills. Here are some of the key skills and qualities that are important to have:

  • Knowledge: You should have a good understanding of plant-care, design, and horticulture techniques.
  • Skills: You should be able to use techniques and activities to help people achieve their goals, whether it be improving physical strength, building self-esteem, or reducing anxiety.
  • Empathy: You should be able to understand and relate to the needs and feelings of your clients, and be able to provide them with emotional support.
  • Communication: You should have good communication skills, including active listening and the ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner.
  • Creativity: You should be able to develop new and innovative activities and programs to meet the unique needs of your clients.
  • Patience: You should be patient and understanding, as progress may be slow and require consistent effort.
  • Organization: You should be able to plan and manage programs, schedules, and resources effectively.

Certification or License

The AHTA offers voluntary certification in this field. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in horticulture or a related field and 480 hours of supervised internship experience in order to become professionally registered with the American horticultural

Horticultural therapy is an effective, natural way to help individuals with a wide range of psychology and illnesses. It can aid people develop social skills, improve their physical mobility and regain confidence. It is a relatively new field of study and work that is expanding rapidly.

Is Its Evidence Based?

Yes, it is an evidence-based practice that has been shown tobe effective in improving physical, psychological, and social well-being. Research studies have found that it can lead to a range of positive outcomes, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood, increased social engagement, and enhanced cognitive and physical function.

Jobs or Career

Some horticultural therapists are self-employed, while others are employed by a healthcare agency or charity. A therapist can earn between $35,000 and $57,000 annually in this highly rewarding profession.

HTs are employed in hospitals, hospice and palliative care programs, public and private colleges, assisted living and senior centers, and palliative education programs.

They are often part of a team that provides other services, such as social work, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. They are analytical and resourceful, with a collaborative work style and strong leadership abilities.

Below is the video about volunteering and horticulture Therapy Empower Patients to grow for your reference and have a general view of this job


The salaries in the United States range from $12,925 to $351,332, with a median income of $62,970. The middle 57% of HTs earn between $62,970 and $158,986 per year, whereas the top 86% earn $351,332 per year.

You can increase your paid money by gaining more experience or by switching employers. Gaining a higher level of education or focusing on managing your own rutgers horticultural therapy practice can also increase your earnings.

Do Horticulturists Make Good Money?

Yes. In the United States, horticulturists earn $36,583 per year on average, or $17.59 per hour. The bottom 10% of horticulturists, earn approximately $22,000 annually, while the top 10% earn $60,000 annually.

Location influences a horticulturist’s expected income. In Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New Jersey, horticulturists earn the most.


A degree in horticultural therapy will equip you with the skills and knowledge to work in social, therapeutic gardens, and vocational horticultural settings. You will learn to assess the needs of clients, create treatment plans, and engage clients in activities.

With a degree you can find employment in retirement communities, community centers, colleges, shelters, and halfway houses.

Where To Work?

Horticultural therapists work in a variety of buildings, including gardens, facilities or institutions such as hospitals, clinical practice, hospices, correctional facilities and career rehabilitation centers. They use nature-based activities to promote health and healing.

Nurses, doctors and social workers often refer patients to horticultural therapists for additional treatment options for physical & mental health conditions. The therapist will then create individualized plans to meet the specific needs of each patient using plants, soil and natural elements as part of their therapy sessions.

Who Can Benefit From This Coursework?

This course is designed to help people learn the fundamentals and how it can be used in a professional setting. Professionals in the field of gardening design and horticultural therapy can benefit from this course as it focuses on how plants and gardens can help with recovery, mental health and therapeutic practices.

It will also provide insight into how to set-up gardens for use in therapeutic settings, as well as an understanding of the principles.

My experience

I recently registered with the therapy AHTA, and I am thrilled as a part of this incredible organization. I am eager to utilize my multidisciplinary background in plant pathology and therapeutic treatment to help diagnose and treat the plants that are brought to me. This new opportunity will allow me to utilize my skills, and I have a strong desire to help others in this capacity.

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  1. Establish Objectives There are two different types of healing gardens: restorative and facilitating.
    Hardscape. Beginning with the hardscape, consider it as an outdoor room.
  2. Include Water, Sound, and Illumination.
  3.  Bring in wildlife.
  4. Offer seating.
  5. Develop Focal Points
  6. Select Trees.

The evidence suggests that HTs are effective in increasing mental well-being and participation in meaningful activities, but did not result in significant affective changes during therapy or increase social interactions among people with mental illness.

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