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Ornamental plant production division: bedding and balcony plants, here cultivation of Impatiens New Guinea hybrids in the greenhouse

Under horticulture , also garden culture and horticulture (from Latin hortus " garden " and Latin cultura "processing, maintenance, agriculture") called, all professions are combined in some form with the living plant have to do and not to the classical field economy count.

The horticultural plant production mostly takes place in enclosed market gardens , while the agricultural arable farming takes place in fields in the open countryside. From an economic point of view, horticulture differs from agriculture through more intensive cultivation methods and the significantly higher area yield. Due to the large-scale cultivation of classic horticultural plants (such as berries, medicinal plants or ornamental flowers) and intensive cultivation of classic field crops (for example in the development of new cultivation concepts in the Third World), there is no sharp distinction between the two branches of the agricultural economy. Which plants are included in field cultivation and which in horticulture also depends on the regional economic forms and is different around the world.

The plant cultivation part of horticulture, like agriculture, is part of the primary production , the horticultural use of the plants by florists , landscape gardeners and cemetery gardeners is part of the service sector of the economy.

Horticulture in Germany

Typical selection of plants and flowers in summer at a nursery in Germany.

In Germany, horticulture accounts for around 1% of the agricultural area, 10% of the economic volume of the whole of agriculture . The house and allotment garden area exceeds the cultivated area of ​​commercial horticulture in Germany many times over. In the Netherlands , horticulture and the related industries and services make up around 18% of the gross national product .

In 2003, the production value of horticultural services in Germany was 5.2 billion euros. The gardening and landscaping sector accounted for 77% and the cemetery nurseries generated the remaining 23%.

In 2003 horticultural and fruit growing products generated a production value of 4.6 billion euros. The cut flowers and ornamental plants had the largest share. Followed by vegetables, nursery products and fruits.

The German Horticultural Museum in Erfurt shows the historical development of horticulture in Central Europe. It is located on the site of the traditional Erfurt horticultural exhibition , so the city as a whole is strongly influenced by horticulture. The Leibniz Institute for Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Cultivation is based here, and the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences also offers the horticulture course.


The horticultural organizations can be divided into hobby and horticultural associations.

Commercial horticulture : The most important professional associations for commercial horticulture in Germany are the Central Horticultural Association (ZVG), which unites a large part of the horticultural professional associations , and the Federal Association of Gardening, Landscaping and Sports Field Construction (BGL).

At the European level, the ZVG is affiliated with the Comité des organizations professionnelles agricoles (COPA). The profession is represented internationally by the Association Internationale des Producteurs de l'Horticulture / International Organization of Horticultural Producers (AIPH).

Young gardeners are represented at the federal level by the Association of German Young Gardeners (AdJ). At the European level there is the youth association Communautè Europèenne des Jeunes de L'Horticulture / European Community of Young Horticulturists (CEJH).

In addition, there are a number of other working groups, interest groups and societies on special topics within the industry.

There are also a number of research and specialist authorities that exist at federal and state level. Horticulture is often assigned to the agricultural departments.

Three universities and six universities of applied sciences / universities of applied sciences in Germany offer the horticulture course . Until the implementation of the Bologna Process, these courses were completed with the academic degrees Dipl.-Ing. (FH) at universities of applied sciences and with the Dipl.-Ing. agr. or Dipl.-Ing. univ. at universities. As part of the implementation of the Bologna Process, both types of university are now offering Bachelor and Master courses.

At the state level there are state advisory organizations (official advice), such as B. chambers of agriculture in northern Germany or agricultural administrations in the south. Technical schools are often affiliated to these professional or state-sponsored institutions. At these technical schools, degrees can be obtained as a master craftsman (one-year training) or technician (two-year training) in production horticulture (vegetable growing, fruit growing, ornamental plant cultivation, perennial gardening or tree nursery, cemetery gardening) or in gardening and landscaping. After a doctorate, the Dr. rer. hoard. can be acquired - other titles are also common.

Horticultural cultivation areas

Cultivation structure in horticulture 2003

Since reunification, the area of ​​the Federal Republic of Germany has been 357,000 km²; 55% of it is agricultural area, 30% forest area and 10% settlement and traffic area. The soils vary from light sandy soils to fertile loess and clay soils to heavy marsh and clay soils. Germany lies in a moderate climatic zone. The maritime influence of the Gulf Stream decreases towards the east, which causes precipitation to drop and irradiation and temperature amplitude to increase between summer and winter. These conditions make it possible to grow a wide range of products. For the cultivation areas, however, the risk of late and early frost, sufficient vegetation duration, the state of the technical means (greenhouse) and proximity to consumers are also decisive.

German horticultural companies use around 1.3% of the total agricultural area. In 2003 the area used for horticulture reached a size of 2,245 km².

A total area of ​​95.45 km² was used for the production of ornamental plants and cut flowers. The remaining area was used for tree nurseries, orchards and private gardens.

In addition to the full-time farms, farms and part-time horticultural businesses are involved in production. The total number of establishments participating in production has decreased by about 2/3 since 1961. The reason for this development is the concentration and specialization of the full-time businesses and the strong competitive pressure that the smaller businesses are no longer able to cope with. While the number of farms is shrinking, the size of the individual farms increases, which led to the fact that in 1994 the same area was cultivated as in 1961. The under glass areas initially increased sharply in the 1960s. However, due to the sharp increases in energy prices and increased competition, development has slowed down. The number of workers has decreased, among other things because of the strong rationalization and mechanization.

Vegetable growing

In Germany, the total area of ​​vegetable production is around 1006 km². This means that a self-sufficiency rate of almost 40% is currently achieved in vegetable growing, with the average German consuming almost 94 kg of vegetables per year, and the trend is rising. The revenues from the nationwide vegetable growing amount to around 1.3 billion euros annually.

Area under cultivation of the most important vegetables in the field. The bars for white cabbage (above) and asparagus (below) are not labeled . (Source: Federal Statistical Office)

Outdoor cultivation:

Despite its very short supply period in spring, asparagus is the focus of outdoor cultivation with over 150 km², followed by carrots, white and cauliflower . The production areas of the other vegetables such as spinach , cucumber or lettuce are each well below 50 km².

From a regional perspective, most of the vegetable growing operations are to be found in North Rhine-Westphalia. The entire Lower Rhine Plain is characterized by a mild climate and very good soils, especially production for the fresh market is carried out there on a large scale. Another center of German vegetable growing is located in the Vorderpfalz, where the cultivation of early vegetables is very widespread due to light, quickly heated soils and favorable climatic conditions. Germany's largest asparagus growing area is located around Hanover and Braunschweig, while the Dithmarschen region in Schleswig-Holstein is known for its extensive cabbage cultivation.

Cultivation areas of the most important types of vegetables under glass (source: Federal Statistical Office)

Under-glass cultivation:

Because of the climatic conditions in Germany, many types of vegetables have to be grown in greenhouses, or at least out of season. This is especially true for species that need warmth such as tomatoes or cucumbers, but lettuce and lettuce are also often grown under glass. Growing greenhouses in winter is not profitable, however, as the radiation supply between November and January is insufficient to guarantee production without additional heating. The largest under-glass area is cultivated in Baden-Württemberg with 459 ha, followed by Bavaria (257 ha).

Fruit growing

Fruit growing area for sales cultivation

With almost 69,000 hectares, the German fruit-growing areas comprise more than 30% of the total horticultural production area. On average, every German citizen consumes around 100 kg of fresh fruit annually, although consumption has increased significantly in recent years due to the increased health awareness of consumers. The different climate and soil requirements of the fruit species require a carefully considered choice of location, which is why the commercial cultivation of fresh fruit within the Federal Republic of Germany is concentrated in a few favorable areas. The largest contiguous fruit-growing area in Germany is located in Lower Saxony on the Elbe . There in the Altes Land there are optimal climatic conditions for the cultivation of apples , cherries and berries, with an annual mean temperature of 7.5 ° C and a precipitation rate of more than 700 mm / yr, and the river marshland there are also ideally suited for these species.

With over 31,000 hectares of cultivation area, the apple is far ahead of all other local fruit species. It does not have high temperature requirements (7.5 ° C annual mean), but it requires a sufficient and even water supply and humus-rich, well-aerated soils. The most important apple-growing areas are the Alte Land in Lower Saxony, the Lake Constance fruit region and the area around Meckenheim in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Sweet and sour cherries are very similar in their demands to apples, but more sensitive to late frosts . They are mainly produced in Hesse near Kassel and around Wiesbaden, but also in the Altes Land.

The cultivation of table pears and noble pears in Germany is very limited, as pears require a mild wine-growing climate (annual mean temperature at least 9–9.5 ° C) and, due to their very early flowering period, are extremely vulnerable to late frost. They are therefore grown almost exclusively in some parts of Baden-Württemberg, z. B. in the Neckar fruit region and in the Upper Rhine Plain, which is the warmest growing area in Germany with an average annual temperature of 10 ° C.

The temperature requirements of plums and plums are not particularly high, as is the case with apples and cherries, they also prefer nutrient-rich soils with good water storage capacity and are produced in the Neckar fruit region in Baden-Württemberg, among others.

Tree fruit clearly outweighs strawberries and bush berries with only 11% and 4% of the acreage, respectively

When it comes to berries , strawberries are particularly widespread, with over 13,000 hectares of cultivation area. They can be cultivated very early under flat covers and have no special requirements other than an adequate water supply. Strawberries are increasingly being produced in Lower Saxony around Oldenburg, in Schleswig-Holstein near Lübeck and in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

The cultivation of bush berries is represented to a lesser extent in almost all cultivation areas, as most species have a large cultivation width. Cultivated blueberries are excluded , as they require a very low pH value and therefore require very careful fertilization. You will e.g. B. cultivated in the Lüneburg Heath .

Flower and ornamental plant cultivation

German ornamental plant gardeners cultivate a wide range of green and flowering potted plants, green plants, bedding and balcony plants as well as cut flowers, especially in greenhouses but also outdoors. By changing the plants in the greenhouse can use the so-called. Treiberei offered (z. B. hellebores, early bloomers, lilac branches) the customer already significantly before the actual growing season flowering plants or pre exaggerated.

In the case of ornamental plant cultivation companies, a distinction must be made between production companies with indirect sales. They produce one or more species and varieties and sell their plants to resellers such as auctions, wholesale markets, garden centers, hardware stores, food retailers or retail nurseries. Due to their specialization, production companies are often highly mechanized and automated.

The second group are so-called retail outlets with direct sales to customers. Some of them produce a wide variety of plants and sell them to private customers. The range is supplemented by purchases. This includes hard goods such as terracotta, but also perennials, woody plants, fruit trees, young vegetable plants and herbs. Advice and sales are in the foreground because of the direct contact with the customer. Many horticultural businesses have grown historically and serve both tracks - production for wholesale and retail.

Ornamental plants are grown all over Germany. There are no regional priorities for growing ornamental plants. While in North Rhine-Westphalia there are more production companies that supply garden centers and auctions, there are still a large number of retail outlets in Bavaria.

Ranking of the plant species used by area of ​​application in Germany

In the horticultural survey of the Federal Statistical Office, 5882 ornamental plants were last counted in Germany. Around 41,000 people recently worked there.

Cemetery nursery

In Germany there are around 35 million graves in around 32,000 cemeteries. About 18% of the graves are tended by gardeners. You take on the planning, the creation and, as explained above, the maintenance. It is important to implement customer requests and horticultural guidelines for grave design. In the case of the grave and the seasonal planting, it is important to select the range of plants appropriate to the location. Many citizens conclude a permanent grave maintenance contract and place the responsibility in the hands of the cemetery gardener.

At the end of 2004 there were around 265,000 contracts with an average term of 16.2 years. Regional trust agencies monitor the work of the cemetery gardeners in order to guarantee customers that the contracts will be fulfilled. Cemetery gardeners are increasingly taking over the general maintenance of greenery in cemeteries.



In the nurseries millions of coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs each year grow. Many tree nurseries have specialized in a certain species or a certain cultivation. This has resulted in many different tree nurseries that market a range of over 200,000 different items in their range. Depending on the specialization of the nursery, trees are produced in this way, which are then sold either as seedlings or as perennial avenue or park trees. There is the possibility to concentrate on different deciduous trees or conifers, which are then used as flowering or ornamental trees for parks, public facilities and private gardens. Furthermore, fruit trees are grown in special tree nurseries. This can be pome, stone, berry or nuts. Another type of tree nursery focuses on wild trees that grow and market their plants for renaturation and greening roadsides and rivers. Tree nurseries that focus on forest trees are used for wood production or sustainable forestry.

Production within the nursery follows the principle of environmentally friendly production. High-quality products should be produced and nature and resources should be used in an environmentally friendly manner. It is therefore important to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and to establish biological and mechanical pest control measures. It is the nursery's job to pass on healthy and resilient trees to the consumer so that problems at the new locations are kept to a minimum.

The following activities must be performed within a tree nursery:

Soil preparation / propagation / potting / watering / breeding / planting / fertilizing / pruning / sorting / clearing / plant protection / storage / advice / marketing / sale / transport / shipping / training / accounting

Various propagation methods are used so that a high quality plant can be produced and later marketed.

The most important tree nursery companies are organized in the Bund deutscher Baumschulen (BdB). The approximately 1400 BdB companies annually cultivate millions of deciduous and coniferous trees, which are then marketed specifically according to their area of ​​use.

Quality regulations

In Germany, the quality of woody plants is guaranteed by the "quality determination for tree nursery plants". The sponsorship “Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung Landschaftsbau e. V. “work out the quality regulations. These quality regulations are constantly updated. Various standards and regulations must be complied with. In various viewing gardens throughout Germany, the Federal Plant Variety Office coordinates tree viewing in order to observe various trees and shrubs in different climatic areas and specifically evaluate innovations for both production and later use.

In order to guarantee good quality to the customer, the “Bund deutscher Baumschulen” awards protected quality marks to its member companies to identify tested tree nursery products. Customers can then assume healthy and well-growing plants that have been tested for their varietal authenticity and purity. In order to obtain and maintain this protected quality mark, the tree nurseries / products are checked for the quality of their products at regular intervals and can then be called "German Brand Tree Nurseries". All companies that belong to the Federation of German Tree Nurseries meet the requirements of the association in terms of quality and production.

There is another quality feature especially for roses. A rose can receive the ADR Rose quality seal if, after a test procedure, it scores positive in terms of health, flowering, fragrance, flowering behavior and growth. This test can take years to determine all of the factors to be considered. 100 different roses are now allowed to carry this quality mark.

Economic strength of tree nurseries in Germany (as of 2004)

Of 3,398 tree nurseries in Germany (2004), 2,400 were full-time businesses. The total production area was 25,520 hectares, of which:

  • Fruit trees 1049 hectares
  • Ornamental trees 11,310 hectares
  • Forest plants 2519 hectares
  • Conifer trees for Christmas tree cultivation 2537 hectares
  • Roses 570 hectares
  • Other crops 7535 hectares

The tree nurseries had a total of 32,500 employees and 1,729 trainees. The production output corresponded to a total production value of € 1.3 billion; the annual production volume was:

  • Fruit trees: 29,506,000 plants
  • Ornamental trees: 241,556,000 plants
  • Forest trees: 770,652,000 plants

Garden, landscaping and sports field construction

In contrast to all other types of horticulture dealt with here, gardening, landscaping and sports field construction, usually called GaLaBau for short, does not deal with plant production , but with the construction, redesign and maintenance of green and open spaces .

The gardening, landscaping and sports field construction builds and maintains, among other things:

  • the outdoor facilities of residential buildings , public buildings (hospitals, schools, churches, etc.) and of industrial and commercial buildings; including roof and facade greening ,
  • other public and private green spaces , such as gardens, parks, cemeteries, leisure and sports fields (playgrounds, leisure facilities, green belt areas, tennis and soccer fields, combined sports facilities, golf courses, etc.), greenery on roads and paths, ponds and streams .

In addition to new facilities and redesigns , landscaping companies are also specifically responsible for tree care , measures for nature and environmental protection, landscape maintenance and occasionally for winter road clearance.

Contract structure for gardening and landscaping 2003 (Source: Federal Association of Gardening, Landscaping and Sports Field Construction)

In GaLaBau, professional associations (e.g. the Federal Association of Gardening, Landscaping and Sports Field Construction in Germany ) have been set up to draw attention to good quality with the association's own symbols. Due to increasingly difficult framework conditions and increasing competitive pressure, it is becoming more and more difficult to assert yourself as a sole proprietorship. The largest number of orders from gardening and landscaping companies come from the private sector. However, public-sector projects often have a larger construction cost than private projects.

The market for horticultural products

In horticulture, a distinction is made between the producer, wholesale, intermediate and retail level. Measured in terms of retail prices, around 6.7 billion euros were spent on the market for cut flowers and ornamental plants in Germany in 2009. Another 1.9 billion euros were turned over in the market for perennials, ornamental and fruit trees (source: AMI GmbH).

Germany occupies a top position worldwide when it comes to the consumption of green products. The domestic volume, based on the producer price, is around 2.9 billion euros. Around 36% of all cut flowers and ornamental plants sold on the German market come from domestic production. The greater part, however, is imported from the Netherlands. A smaller part comes from numerous other countries. These countries take over the cover of the market in the winter months, when the external influences call into question a profitable domestic production. Cut flowers are imported from "Israel, Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya and other countries that do not belong to the European Union."

Horticultural products are very important in Germany. This appreciation is also reflected in the considerable increase in per capita expenditure on cut flowers and ornamental plants. In the last 25 years there has been a growth rate of 44% to 84 euros per inhabitant. The average German citizen spends 14 euros a year on tree nursery products (excluding forest trees). In 2004, 69% of German citizens visited a flower shop, a nursery, a tree nursery or a garden center. "This was the result of the investigation of the private expenditure for flowers and plants of 10,000 representatively selected people, which the Society for Consumer Research carries out annually on behalf of the Central Market and Price Reporting Office for products of the agriculture, forestry and food industry."

The fruit and vegetable market

Fruits and vegetables are essential components of our diet. Nutritionists are demanding a greater proportion of fruits and vegetables in our diet. The increased consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of various diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Since the beginning of the nineties there has been an increasing per capita consumption of fruit and vegetables in the Federal Republic. The annual consumption of vegetables alone is 99.6 kg per inhabitant (as of April 2018). But that's still below the amount that nutritionists are asking.

Compared to other European countries, Germany ranks lower in terms of its consumption of fruit and vegetables.

"The degree of self-sufficiency, d. H. the share of domestic production in total consumption depends on the harvest volume and is therefore subject to annual fluctuations. ”About 18% of the fruit consumed, including tropical fruit, is produced in Germany. This does not include the income from orchards, from house gardens and allotment gardens. In vegetable production, the degree of self-sufficiency is much higher, at 40%. As a result, a large part is imported from abroad to complement our domestic production. Around 4.3 million tons of fresh vegetables and vegetables for the canned food market are imported into Germany every year. These deliveries are valued at around EUR 4.0 billion. The main suppliers for fresh vegetables are the Netherlands, Spain and Italy. Establishing community and international marketing regulations for fruit and vegetable products ensures market transparency and fair trade. This applies to the domestic market as well as to foreign trade.

An overview of the marketing of horticultural products

For some time now, the fruit and vegetable markets have been increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer central shopping centers in the food trade. Today around 90% of producers sell their products this way. In the case of potted plants and cut flowers, too, there is an increased sales concentration on the retail trade, hardware stores and retail chains. Market shares were lost in street trading and market trading. So far, however, they still hold half of the market at the retail level. DIY stores and garden centers have also gained in importance for the sale of tree nursery products.

In order to create a counterbalance to the high-turnover market partners and to deliver a large number of consistent quality at a certain point in time, it is necessary to bundle the small businesses with appropriate coordination and information. Efficient producer organizations are the answer to the concentration at the retail level and the prerequisite for the competitiveness of domestic producers against the growing import supply.

The federal government has recognized this development and is promoting existing producer organizations and their formation. According to the regulations of the common European market organization for fruit and vegetables, the following measures carried out by the producer organizations are promoted in particular:

  • Improving the quality of products,
  • Introduction of environmentally friendly economic practices,
  • Improving the market position of producer organizations (e.g. marketing)
  • Bundling the supply (e.g. improving the supply-side market position)

Retail nurseries also join together in producer organizations in order to obtain a better market position.

Commercial horticulture

Cultivation of Impatiens New Guinea hybrids in the greenhouse

A distinction is made between the following sectors in German horticulture today:

The formerly independent division “seed cultivation and plant breeding ” has now been integrated into the individual production horticulture divisions. The floristry is counted as a craft .

Horticulture in Austria

In Austria , the production of plants and vegetables in the greenhouse and tree nursery are part of horticulture. In contrast to other countries, fruit growing is not part of horticulture in Austria. Compared to the rest of agriculture, the cultivation methods are more intensive and the area yields are higher. The products of horticulture are among the primary agricultural products.


Horticulture is a very small-scale industry in Austria, which was subject to constant change from 1982 to 2010. While the number of farms fell dramatically by 36%, the area used for horticulture fell less sharply (−14%). However, not all federal states in Austria are equally affected by this structural change. Around 9,700 people are employed in Austrian horticulture. 7,000 of them are non-family members. Every year 750 apprentices are in training.

Number of horticultural businesses from 1982–2010
state 2010 2004 1998 1992 1982
Burgenland 74 38 54 74 75
Carinthia 76 83 97 131 147
Lower Austria 346 356 483 576 574
Upper Austria 206 169 234 251 264
Salzburg 45 58 84 94 102
Styria 270 234 311 377 321
Tyrol 78 96 124 123 123
Vorarlberg 56 52 71 84 64
Vienna 263 347 439 541 579
Austria as a whole 1,440 1,444 1,897 2,251 2,249
Horticultural area in hectares from 1982–2010
state 2010 2004 1998 1992 1982
Burgenland 119.84 65.70 42.91 63.50 52.29
Carinthia 56.06 73.95 92.27 151.06 125.30
Lower Austria 515.58 545.97 670.74 734.51 720.71
Upper Austria 584.02 500.28 658.57 631.74 471.65
Salzburg 51.89 82.09 92.91 79.99 61.56
Styria 361.00 241.91 320.45 328.64 271.05
Tyrol 31.23 44.21 78.16 80.89 76.59
Vorarlberg 40.54 48.49 92.82 65.70 42.63
Vienna 383.84 568.71 677.78 759.91 666.25
Austria as a whole 2,144.01 2,171.31 2,726.61 2,895.94 2,488.03

Specialist divisions

Flower and ornamental plant cultivation

Sales greenhouse with bed and balcony flowers

Ornamental plant gardeners produce annual and perennial plants and cut flowers in the greenhouse and in the field. In 2010 there were 730 nurseries with the predominant production direction flowers and ornamental plants. This means that the number of businesses has fallen by 15% from in six years. The farms cultivate an area of ​​400 ha (-32 ha compared to 2004). Ornamental plant gardeners can be found equally in all nine federal states.

About 50% of the companies are exclusively production companies, which are represented as agricultural companies by the Chamber of Agriculture . The other half are production companies with horticulture in the areas of garden design, green space maintenance, cemetery gardening and flower making ( floristry ), which are also represented by the Chamber of Commerce .

A distinction is made between production companies that market their goods to retail chains, the (flower) trade, via wholesale markets or via producer organizations, and retail companies that sell the plants directly to the end customer. The assignment of the establishments is not always clear, as both rails are often served. In contrast to many other countries, the retail outlet predominates in Austria . More than 80% of the companies market their goods exclusively or at least partially directly to the end consumer. The distribution of production companies via producer organizations is meaningless and almost only companies in Vienna and the neighboring Lower Austria sell via the wholesale market. Large production companies in Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria and Vienna often sell directly to retail chains or to retail nurseries.

The main production focus of the ornamental plant gardeners is on potted plants and there in particular on bedding and balcony flowers. Although the demand for bed and balcony flowers has become more diverse, pelargoniums and begonias are still the most important plant groups. In spring and autumn, violas and primroses are among the gardener's main products, and poinsettias and potted chrysanthemums in winter. The importance of the production of potted herbs and young vegetable plants is increasing.

Cut flowers and greenery are only produced to a limited extent in Austria - mostly for the company's own bindery. Nurseries that specialize in the production of cut flowers have become rare in Austria. The main crops outdoors are cut shrubs, cut greens, roses, dried flowers and dahlias, and in greenhouses the focus is on tulips, roses, chrysanthemums, gerberas and daffodils.

Flowers and ornamental plants are conventionally produced in Austria. Organic production and integrated production are insignificant. The use of beneficial insects is increasing rapidly.

In Austria there is also a three-year apprenticeship as a cemetery and ornamental gardener, which is specially designed for the specific requirements of cemetery gardening.


Nursery goods on sale

Nurseries produce perennial plants for ornamental and commercial use. In 2010 there were 285 holdings with 1,184.62 ha (+ 60 holdings and +75.6 ha compared to 2004) in Austria. The combination of production operations with garden design plays an important role and is carried out by around 50% of the companies. Tree nurseries mainly market their products directly to the end consumer (over 90%) or directly to garden designers and nurseries (approx. 50%) or retail chains (less than 10%). All other marketing options are irrelevant. The combination of several marketing channels is common.

The range of production includes conifers, deciduous trees, fruit trees; Avenue trees and roses. Perennials are usually produced by specialized perennial nurseries and bought or traded by tree nurseries. Similar to the cultivation of ornamental plants, tree nurseries mainly produce conventionally.

Vegetable growing

Tomato production in a greenhouse

In Austria , a distinction is made between the production of horticultural vegetables in protected cultivation and field vegetables in the open. In 2010 there were 399 horticultural vegetable farms that cultivated an area of ​​560 ha. The majority of these companies are located in Vienna and the neighboring Lower Austria, Styria and Burgenland. In the other federal states, vegetable gardening is of little importance. The nurseries are almost exclusively production companies. There are hardly any production companies with horticultural trades. Horticultural vegetables are mainly marketed through producer organizations, to retailers or directly to end customers. Sales directly to retail chains via wholesale markets or to the processing industry play a subordinate role. The combination of several paragraph structures is also possible.

The focus of production is on tomatoes (loose and vine tomatoes ), lettuce cucumbers , peppers (green and colored), radishes , head lettuce and lamb's lettuce . In order to be able to market the vegetables through producer organizations, vegetable gardeners produce according to the guidelines of the AMA seal of approval , which is based on integrated production. The use of beneficial insects is widespread.


Horticulturalists are compulsory members of the Chamber of Agriculture, which is legally obliged to represent the interests of gardeners. In addition to this legal representation of interests, there are a large number of voluntary organizations whose main tasks are representation of interests, public relations and advertising.

  • Federal Association of Austrian Gardeners : umbrella organization of voluntary interest groups and horticultural organizations
  • Blumenmarketing Austria: Platform of eight regional horticultural associations for advertising and public relations
  • Association of Austrian Tree Nursery and Perennial Gardeners: voluntary, Austria-wide representation of the interests of tree nurseries and perennial gardeners
  • The Burgenland Gardeners: voluntary representation of the interests of gardeners in Burgenland
  • Working group blossom magic Burgenland: Advertising group of gardeners from Burgenland
  • The Carinthian gardeners: voluntary representation of the interests of gardeners in Carinthia
  • Support community for garden: Advertising community of Carinthian gardeners
  • Gardeners Association of Lower Austria: voluntary representation of the interests of gardeners in Lower Austria
  • OÖ Gärtner: voluntary representation of the interests of gardeners in Upper Austria
  • Flower marketing Upper Austria: Advertising association of Upper Austrian gardeners
  • The Salzburg gardeners and vegetable farmers: voluntary representation of the interests of gardeners in Salzburg
  • The Styrian gardeners and tree nurseries: voluntary representation of the interests of gardeners in Styria
  • Advertising association for flower arrangements gardeners: Styrian advertising association
  • The Tyrolean gardeners: voluntary representation of the interests of gardeners in Tyrol
  • The Vorarlberg gardeners: voluntary representation of the interests of gardeners in Vorarlberg
  • Advertising community of Vorarlberg gardeners and florists: joint advertising community of gardeners and florists in Vorarlberg
  • The Wiener Gärtner - Gartenbauvereinigung Wien: voluntary representation of the interests of gardeners in Vienna
  • Working group of women gardeners in Vienna: Association of women gardeners from Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland
  • Tree nursery group south-east: Association of tree nurseries from southern and eastern Austria
  • Baum & Strauch: Association of 15 tree nurseries


In Austria there are several options for training in horticulture.

  • Apprenticeship: After completing general schooling, apprenticeship can begin in a nursery. It lasts three years and includes attending vocational school. The training concludes with the skilled worker examination. After three years of practice, the master class and the master’s examination can be taken.
  • Horticultural technical school: The training to become a horticultural worker takes four years in horticultural technical schools and includes a 14-month internship. The Langenlois Horticultural School, the Ritzlhof Horticultural School and the Ehrental Agricultural School offer the training. After sufficient practice, the master course can be attended or there is the possibility of attending the advanced course in the HBLFA Schönbrunn and taking the matriculation and diploma examination.
  • Horticultural business school: The training is offered jointly by the Großwilfersdorf horticultural school and the Grottenhof-Hardt agricultural college . The training lasts three years, with the first year in the horticultural school and the other two years in the agricultural college. After graduating from school, one year of relevant horticultural practice must be proven in order to receive the authorization to be a gardener.
  • Higher education institute for horticulture: The training at HBLFA Schönbrunn lasts five years and ends with a high school diploma . The qualification replaces the teaching and skilled worker examination. After three years of professional experience, an application can be made to become an engineer .

Horticulture in development cooperation

Various development aid organizations promote horticulture in developing countries in order to combat the malnutrition that occurs there.


Horticulture has been documented since the beginning of the Neolithic and presumably precedes actual agriculture. For Central Europe, Amy Bogaard takes on horticulture for the linear ceramic culture . In Germany, where publications on horticulture have also been written (by Walahfrid Strabo ) since the 9th century , horticulture was intensified by the farmer Stephan Gugenmus ( 1740 - 1778 ).

See also


  • Ordinance of the Federal Minister of Economics and Labor on the affiliation of products manufactured by farmers and foresters to agricultural and forestry primary production (Primary Product Ordinance). In: BGBl. II. No. 410/2008.
  • CR Adams, KM Bamfort, MP Early: Principles of Horticulture. 6th edition. Routledge 2012 ISBN 978-0-08-096957-2 .
  • Walter Janssen : Garden culture in the Middle Ages. In: Günther Bittner, Paul-Ludwig Weinacht (Ed.): How much garden do people need? Wuerzburg 1990.
  • AID Info Service (Ed.): Vocational training in horticulture. 15th, modified new edition, Bonn 2008, ISBN 978-3-8308-0769-8 .
  • Statistics Austria: Horticultural Survey 2010.
  • Statistics Austria: Horticultural Survey 2004.
  • Statistics Austria: Horticultural Survey 1998.
  • Statistics Austria: Horticultural Survey 1992.
  • Statistics Austria: Horticultural Survey 1982.
  • Richard G. Hatton: The craftman's plantbook. London 1909.

Web links

Commons : Horticulture  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files
Wiktionary: horticulture  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikibooks: More wild nature through garden renaturation  - learning and teaching materials

Individual evidence

  1. Seipel, Holger .: Expertise for gardeners . 10., updated and revised. Edition Büchner, Hamburg 2018, ISBN 978-3-582-04155-5 .
  2. Central Association of Horticulture e. V. (ZVG): Vegetable growing
  3. Job information on wko.at
  4. Hans-Heinrich Bass, Klaus von Freyhold and Cordula Weisskoeppel: Harvesting water, protecting trees: Food security in the Sahel , Bremen 2013 (PDF; 2.9 MB).
  5. ^ Amy Bogaard: Neolithic farming in Central Europe: an archaeobotanical study of crop husbandry practices . Routledge, London 2004.
  6. Hortulus. From horticulture. Ed., Translated and introduced by Werner Näf and Matthäus Gabathuler. St. Gallen 1942; 2nd edition ibid 1957; also in: Hans-Dieter Stoffler (Ed.): The Hortulus des Walahfrid Strabo. From the herb garden of the Reichenau monastery. With a contribution by Theodor Fehrenbach, Sigmaringen 1978 (2nd ed. Darmstadt 1985, 3rd ed. Sigmaringen 1989, 4th ed. Ibid 1996), pp. 74-102.