Practical Horticulture / Edition 7

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Practical Horticulture, Seventh Edition, is a classic, scientifically oriented book for basic horticulture. It presents readers with the fundamentals of horticultural science and its applications in both the commercial and home sectors. Easy-to-read, the books’s ample illustrations, chapter objectives, and chapter-ending review questions, help readers learn the concepts. Some exciting new features to this edition include:

  • Updated with timely coverage of hot environmental topics.
  • The latest information on horticultural science for indoor and outdoor plants.
  • A new chapter on careers in horticulture has been added.

This is a great resource for anyone interested in horticulture!

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Editorial Reviews

A textbook for a course in horticultural design for non-majors, and a reference for both amateur and professional ornamental gardeners. Explains the fundamentals of horticulture and techniques for growing plants inside and outside. Updated from the 1993 edition (first in 1986) with new photographs and bibliographical references, and new information on floral arrangements and pesticides. Illustrated mostly in black and white with four pages of color prints. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From The Critics
In this update of the 2000 edition, the Rices add new material on defining a "plant" in light of current research into genetic relationships among organisms, ethics in horticulture, commercial plant production technology, pesticide safety, and a summary of US legislation regarding agricultural pesticides. Includes b&w photos, Web resources, a list of North American plant societies, and a glossary. Two-page color American Horticultural Society plant heat-zone and USDA plant hardiness zone maps bookcase the text. First published in 1986. The authors' academic roots are not given. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1 The “Green Industry” and Careers in Horticulture

CHAPTER 2 Botanical Nomenclature, Anatomy, and Physiology

CHAPTER 3 Plant Growth and Development

CHAPTER 4 Climate and Plant Growth

CHAPTER 5 Plant Propagation

PART II Growing Plants Outdoors

CHAPTER 6 Outdoor Soils and Fertility

CHAPTER 7 Diagnosing and Treating Outdoor Plant Disorders

CHAPTER 8 Vegetable Gardening

CHAPTER 9 Growing Tree Fruits and Nuts

CHAPTER 10 Bush and Other Small Fruits

CHAPTER 11 Flower and Herb Gardening

CHAPTER 12 Home Landscape Planning

CHAPTER 13 Landscape Installation and Maintenance

CHAPTER 14 Lawns and Lawn-Substitute Plants

PART III Growing Plants Indoors

CHAPTER 15 Indoor Plant Maintenance

CHAPTER 16 Media, Fertilizers, and Watering

CHAPTER 17 Light and Indoor Plant Growth

CHAPTER 18 Controlling Indoor Plant Pests and Diseases

CHAPTER 19 Decorating with Growing Plants and Fresh Flowers

CHAPTER 20 Greenhouses and Related Climate-Controlling Structures

Appendix A: Professional Organizations for Horticulturists

Appendix B: Professional and Trade Journals in Horticulture

Appendix C: State Extension Services



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The fifth edition of Practical Horticulture marks over 20 years that the book has been in print, as well as a major turning point in broadening the text. It was originally conceived as a university text for nonmajors courses in horticulture with the idea that the students would acquire a sound (if limited) foundation in aspects of horticultural science such as physiology, nomenclature, anatomy, growth and development, and so on (Part 1). In addition to this, they would learn of the applications of the principles of horticulture to home horticulture both outdoors (Part 2) and indoors (Part 3)—applications that might eventually be useful in their lives after university.

But the clarity and readability of the text, combined with the great number of instructional photos and illustrations, have brought it to the attention of horticulture instructors who teach this course in a myriad of ways and at a variety of levels.

For this reason, in the fifth edition I have chosen to not only update but to broaden the text, keeping the basic core horticultural science in Part 1, but enhancing it with more information about the profession of horticulture and with descriptions of the techniques in commercial production horticulture. You will find the following improvements in this substantially revised fifth edition.

  • A new section with the current (but ever-changing) definition of what a "plant" is in the light of modern investigation into the genetic relationships among earth's organisms
  • A list of the national and international professional organizations for the specializations within horticulture, and a list of trade and professional journals
  • An introduction to ethics in horticulture, and an example of one professional organization's ethical guidelines
  • Sections on commercial production technology for container-grown landscape plants, bedding plants, field vegetables, high-density tree fruit production, commercial seed production, and greenhouse pot plants.

In addition, there is new material in the text on safety in regard to the mixing and application of pesticides, pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables, and power landscape maintenance equipment. A sample pesticide label diagram (in the form required by the Environmental Protection Agency) and a summary of national legislation over the past 30 years in regard to pesticides in agriculture have been included also.

Allied information on nonchemical pest and disease control and the increasing role of beneficial insects (with photos of some of them in action), a table of biological control agents such as nematodes and predator wasps, and a section on fungicidal inoculants for prevention of root diseases round out this enhancement.

The soils chapter has been enlarged to include sections on the role of soil organisms in plant growth, disussions of field capacity and matric potential in irrigation, current and traditional soil conservation techniques, and a traditional soil texture diagram.

Appreciation is expressed to Erric Ross, Mt. Hood Community College; Craig A. Tolley, County College of Morris; Dawn Gatherum, Weber State University; Ellen B. Peffley, Texas Technical University who reviewed the text.

The authors hope that the updating and broadening of the text will be appreciated by those who currently use it, and will make it more applicable to a wider range of courses taught by professors and teachers of horticultural science in all of North America.

Laura Williams Rice
Sept 21, 2001

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