Horticultural therapy

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Horticultural therapy (also known as Social and Therapeutic Horticulture or STH) is defined by the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) as the engagement of a person in gardening and plant-based activities, facilitated by a trained therapist, to achieve specific therapeutic treatment goals. The AHTA believes that horticultural therapy is an active process which occurs in the context of an established treatment plan.

HTR and HTM are credentials representing voluntary professional registration at the Undergraduate and Masters level respectively with the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA),[1] and other universities, colleges and organizations around the world, to recognize studies and professional practice in Horticultural Therapy.

Horticultural therapists are specially educated and trained members of rehabilitation teams (with doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and other) who involve the client in all phases of gardening - from propagation to selling products - as a means of bringing about improvement in their life.

See also[edit]



  • Marilyn Barrett Creating Eden, The Garden as a Healing Space (Harper, 1992).
  • Francis, Linsay, Rice (Eds.) The Healing Dimensions of People-Plant Relations (Center for Design Research, 1994).
  • Norfolk, Donald The Therapeutic Garden (Bantam, 2000).
  • Relf, Diane (Ed.) The Role of Horticulture and Human Well-Being (Timber Press, 1992).
  • Simson, Sharon & Straus, Martha C. Horticulture as therapy: principles and practice (Routledge, 2003).

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