Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Horticultural Therapy

  • Candice Shoemaker
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_103-2



Horticultural therapy is the practice of using horticultural activities for human healing and rehabilitation. Reference to the healing power of gardens and nature can be found as far back as ancient Greek times and through to recent times. In the United States, earliest articles published regarding the value of horticulture and gardening to human health are from the 1800s.

This entry will present the historical background of the profession of horticultural therapy in the United States, mention the key people in establishing the profession, define horticultural therapy, review the theoretical framework, and consider the future of the profession.


Treatment, rehabilitation, and/or residential care of individuals with disabilities during the 1800s up to around the 1950s often relied on agriculture as a major part of the facility. However, the farm was important for providing...


Occupational Therapist Occupational Therapy Gardener Program Fruit Tree Planting Horticultural Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA