Horticultural Therapy as a Career

A love of plants and compassion for others may inspire someone to consider a career in horticultural therapy; however, these are not the entire basis of a career decision. Horticultural therapists require extensive training in applying horticulture-based activities as treatment interventions to improve and enhance the physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being of diverse client populations. For a full understanding of the role, please refer to AHTA's formal definition.

A therapeutic session might begin with an assessment of an individual’s functioning level. Next, a customized plan is developed to target specific goals. The plan might incorporate a range of activities from plant propagation and maintenance to floral design and plant sales.

The most successful horticultural therapists are analytical and well-organized, demonstrating strong leadership skills and a collaborative work-style. Moreover, throughout their career, they maintain a high level of skill in therapeutic diagnoses and the potential impact of impairments on quality of life, as well as knowledge of plant science and horticulture techniques.

Horticultural therapists work as members of clinical teams and rehabilitation teams. They work as educators, community providers of horticultural therapy services, and as independent consultants. Horticultural therapists are empathetic, patient, and self-confident and must be flexible and resourceful, and at time entrepreneurial, to facilitate an enriching experience for the individuals receiving their services. 

To learn more about the training that is required, please visit our Education and Professional Registration sections.