The segment of horticulture concerned with commercial production, marketing, and sale of bedding plants, cut flowers, potted flowering plants, foliage plants, flower arrangements, and noncommercial home gardening.
Commercial crops are grown either in the field or under protected cultivation, such as in glass or plastic structures. Field production is confined to warm climates or to summer months in colder areas. Typical field crops are gladiolus, peonies, stock, gypsophila, asters, and chrysanthemums. Greenhouse production is not as confined by climate or season, but most greenhouses are located in areas that have advantages such as high light intensity, cool night temperatures, or ready access to market. Jet air transportation resulted in major changes in international crop production.
Pronounced improvements in cultivars have been realized because of excellent breeding programs conducted by commercial propagators and by some horticulture departments. Modern cultivars have traits such as more attractive flower colors and forms, longer-lasting flowers, better growth habit, increased resistance to insects and disease organisms, or ability to grow and flower at cooler night temperatures. Breeding (plant)
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