Horticultural Therapy in Healthcare - A Therapeutic Treatment Modality

This continuing nursing education course is designed to assist healthcare professionals in designing a horticultural model to be used in a variety of settings. The value of using horticulture as a therapeutic model includes maximizing the social, cognitive, physical and/or psychological functioning in an individual, thus leading to an improved general health and well-being. Also, included are various types of gardening approaches to benefit an individual with special needs.

This is a video-style course with text content located at the end of the chapter.​

Questions? Check out our FAQs page and How Online IV Certification Works!


Upon conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the influences on the profession of horticultural therapy.
  2. Define horticultural therapy.
  3. Discuss the types of settings horticultural therapy is used.
  4. Give examples of 3 types of horticultural therapy programs and goals for each type.
  5. Identify the people horticultural therapy serves.
  6. Recognize the benefits of horticultural therapy for both the individual and the community.
  7. Explain the process of treatment planning, selecting activities to meet treatment objectives, and the purpose and importance of recording outcomes.
  8. Identify gardening styles best suited for an individual with special needs.


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Shaping the Field Horticultural Therapy

  • What Is Horticultural Therapy
    • Definition
    • Horticulture as a therapeutic modality

Chapter 3: Settings for Horticultural Therapy

  • Health care settings
  • Human service settings
  • Health promotion and wellness
  • Community development
  • Types of Horticultural Programs
    • Vocational programs
    • Therapeutic programs
    • Social or wellness programs

Chapter 4: Setting Goals in the Different Programs

  • Five Focuses of Horticultural Activities
  • Understanding the People Served

Chapter 5: Benefits of Horticultural Therapy

Chapter 6: Understanding the Process – Treatment Teams

  • Treatment Teams
    • Examples of interdisciplinary teams
    • Treatment planning

Chapter 7: Understanding the Process – Assessment, Goal Setting, and Objectives

  • Assessment
  • Goal-setting
  • Objectives

Chapter 8: Understanding the Process – Intervention and Termination

  • Intervention
  • Termination

Chapter 9: Understanding the Process – Activity Planning

  • Activity planning

Chapter 10 – Understanding the Process – Activity Selection to Meet Treatment Objectives

  • Activity selection to meet treatment objectives
    • Types of Program or Facility
    • Needs Assessment
    • Situational Assessment

Chapter 11: Understanding the Process – Additional Considerations for Activity Planning

  • Additional considerations for activity planning
    • Staffing
    • Risk Management
    • Poisonous plants
    • Temperature
    • Flexibility

Chapter 12: Understanding the Process – Evidence-Based Practice and Session Review

  • Evidence-based Practice
  • Session review

Chapter 13: Understanding the Process – Planning for Seasonality, Resources, and Criteria for Selecting Activities

  • Planning for seasonality and efficient use of horticultural resources
    • Seasonal calendar
    • Planting calendar
    • Coordinating outdoor with indoor horticultural programming
  • Criteria for selecting horticultural activities

Chapter 14: Understanding the Process - Documentation

  • Documentation: the professional process of recording outcomes
    • What is documentation?
    • General guidelines for documentation

Chapter 15: Before You Begin

Chapter 16: Types of Gardening Styles

  • Gardening in a raised bed or planter box
  • Variety of containers
  • Planting in a suspended garden
  • Vertical gardening

Chapter 17: Special Considerations for the Disabled

  • Choosing the right tools
  • Choosing the right position

Chapter 18: Tools for Gardening

  • Hand tools
  • Cushioning handles
  • Cushioning hands
  • Aids for extra support/Adapting tools
  • Long-handled hand tools

Chapter 19: Conclusion

  • References
  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $15.00

Contact Hours: 1.5

Course Author

Golden Tradewell

During her 24 years of teaching in a Baccalaureate Nursing Program at McNeese State University, Dr. Tradewell developed a Transcultural Nursing course and brought students to Yucatan, Mexico. 

Read Full Bio

Ready to begin?

Go to the student dashboard.

Not sure what courses you need?

Browse our course catalog!