happy planting.


Plant terms can be confusing. If you find yourself a bit perplexed, the glossary below may help. If I have missed any, please let me know.

Happy Planting!


Acidic Soil Soil with a pH of less than 7
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Alkaline Soil Soil with a pH of greater than 7
Amendment Any material, such as compost or lime, that is mixed with existing soil to improve properties
Annual Plant that completes its lifecycle in one growing season, then dies
Basal Foliage Leaves found near the base of the stem
Biennial Plant that completes its lifecylce in two growing seasons, then dies
Border A garden, usually containing a variety of plants, that is backed by walls, fences, or taller plants, such as, trees or shrubs
Compost Organic material used as a soil amendment
Crown Area on a plant where the stem meets the root, generally found at soil level
Cultivar Refers to a group of plants within a species that has slightly different characteristics, such as, flower color or size
Deadheading Removal of old, spent/dead flowers, may promote reblooming
Deciduous Refers to trees and shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, usually in the fall
Division The process of splitting up plants, commonly performed on perennials
en masse Planting masses of the same plant to create a bold statement
Evergreen Plants that retain their foliage for more than one growing season
Fertilizer Organic or inorganic material added to the soil to encourage plant growth
Groundcover A plant that spreads to cover the soil surface
Growth Rate Slow: 3-6" per year, Moderate: 6-12" per year, Fast: 12-24+ per year
Habit General form or shape of a plant
Hardiness Zone Zones that provide guidelines to measure a plants ability to tolerate hot and cold temperatures
Herbaceous Non-woody plant that dies back to the ground every year
Invasive Plant A plant that spreads rapidly and may take over a garden bed
Loam Soil that is a mixture of clay, sand and silt
Mass Planting A planting where large numbers of the same plant are used to provide visual interest
Native Plant A plant that naturally occurs in a certain area
Node (leaf node) a joint on a plant stem
Perennial Plant that survives for 3 or more growing seasons
Pinching A technique used to promote fuller or shorter plants, often resulting in more flower heads
Rhizome an underground stem
Semi-evergreen Plants that fall between evergreen and deciduous in terms of growth and leaf retention.  Some examples include:  they may shed their foliage for a very short time in late winter or they lose most, but not all, of their foliage for a fraction of the year; sometimes they may lose their leaves due to specific situations, such as, extremes in temperature or drought.  
 Stamen pollen producing structure, usually found within the center of the flower
Spathe Leaf like structure that encloses the flower
Taproot Main root of a plant, usually growing straight down
Variegated A plant whose green foliage is marked with another color, usually white or yellow


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