PAC Horticulture best in state

By McKenzie Balero
Pulse Staff Reporter

Photo courtesy Rose Flores, lead instructor of Horticulture.

Palo Alto’s Horticulture Team recently competed in a national event in March 2019, and they received Best Horticulture Team in the state and seventh in the country. This competition included 4-year universities.

Palo Alto is the only college in South Texas that offers a Landscape and Horticulture Science Degree.

Palo Alto offers three different degrees: two on campus and one off campus. Students may take Landscape, Turfgrass or Viticulture, which is the growing of grapes to make wine. Some classes that are offered include Principles of Horticulture, Landscape Construction, Fertility and Fertilizers, Irrigation Water Management, Conservation Plant Propagation, Landscape Management, Greenhouse Management and Floral Design.


Photo courtesy Rose Flores, lead instructor of Horticulture.

Rose Flores, the program lead of the Horticulture Department, said that students in the Horticulture program can go to work for greenhouse industries, vineyards, farmers markets or even orchards.

“The shortage that the green industry is in need of is educated employees, and our program aims to fill those spots with our graduates,” said Flores.

This program offers it’s 65 students a hands-on learning experience where they can practice their skills in the college’s 4,000-square foot greenhouse located next to the Gymnasium/ Natatorium, behind the tennis courts.  

Horticulture is the science and art of cultivation, which includes plants, vegetables, fruits and flowers. Landscape and Horticulture is used by consumers every day. A recent study showed that over $38 billion is spent on professional landscaping each.

Photo courtesy Rose Flores, lead instructor of Horticulture.

PAC’s program provides insight for students, such as Nathan Kendrick, a sophomore in the Landscape program.

“It is the best. I didn’t know what I was going to do until I took classes throughout the Horticulture Department,” Kendrick said.

He enjoyed farming or the idea of gardening, but he could never quite find the right combination to start growing something.

Not only can you earn a degree from this program but also many certificates such as, Basic Nursery and Landscape Operations, Floral Design Technician and many more.  

This program gives hope to students who find interest in plants, flowers, growing things  or just improving the environment or just wanting to get their hands dirty.

Faith McGinty, a Business Management major and sophomore at PAC, who is also in the Horticulture Program, said that in her first semester she was sold on the program and that it opened her eyes to more opportunities in the green industry and how you can make a good living in something you enjoy.

Photo courtesy Rose Flores, lead instructor of Horticulture.

The Horticulture Program collects recycled planting supplies, such as pots, so if you have some, drop them off in San Marcos Hall, Room 107A.  

If you would like to learn more about  PAC’s Horticulture and Landscape program, contact Rose Flores, lead instructor, at (210) 486-3073, or you may visit her in San Marcos Hall, Room 107A, or in the greenhouse.