Gardening Lingo : A-C


ACCENT PLANT – Focal point plant that will catch the attention.

ACHEVE – A one seeded fruit which does not split open to release it’s seed ex. strawberry seeds.

ACID RAIN – Rain water that contains sulfur dioxide and other pollutants from industrial plants.

ACID SOIL – Soil with lower than acidity of 7.0 ph.  Alkaline is the high level. Acidity is measured by the amount of calcium in the soil.

AERATION – Loosening of soil by digging that allow air to pass freely.

AERIAL ROOT – Root that grows out from the stem above ground level.

AGGREGATE CULTURE – The use of solid material to grow plants.

AIR LAYERING – A method of multiplying single-stem plants, that have lost their lower leaves and become leggy. Then it is cut and replanted with its shorter stem size.

ALKALINE SOIL – Soil that has a pH level of about 7.0 or more.

ALLEE – A formal design of tree planting lining both sides of a path.

ALLELOPATHY – The release of chemicals by certain plants that will prevent the growing of other plants nearby. Best example are the walnut trees.

AMENDMENT – Referring to the organic form material added to the soil for improvement.

AMPHIBIOUS – The ability of plants to grow in both aquatic and in the exposed soil.

ANAEROBIC – An organisms living or occurring when oxygen is absent.

ANNUAL – A plant growing and completes its life cycle.

APHIDS – Small sap sucking insects. They infect foliage and are easily recognized by the sugary type deposit that they secrete that often attracts ants.

AQUATIC – Plant which grows in water.

ARBOR – A structure used in the garden to support vines or climbing plants. Its is always mistakenly identified as a pergola.

ARBORIST – A specialist who cares and maintains trees.

ARBORETUM – A garden with a large collection of trees and shrubs.

ASEXUAL – Reproduction of plants by cuttage, dividing and layering but does not include seed production.

ATRIUM – A glass structure that provides lots of light for plants.

AUXIN – A hormone that controls plant growth.


B AND B – Balled and burlap is a method which plants are sold where the roots of a plant have been lifted and wrapped in burlap or plastic covered material to keep it together until transplanted.

BT – Bacillus thuringiensis. A bacterium which will destroy the stomach cells of insects that consume it.

BACKBULB – refers to the reproduction of an orchid. It is the old, dormant pseudobulb, it may be leafless, but will still produce a new plant.

BACKFILL – Replacing dirt after planting.

BARE ROOT – Plants that have been dug out of the ground when dormant. The soil is shaken free, washed and stored until shipment.

BEDDING PLANT – A temporary annual plant in a garden display. Sometimes called carpet bedding.

BENEFICIAL INSECT – These are insects that will improve and work in gardens. By improving the soil, going after harmful insects, and will pollinate plants.

BERM – A landscaping technique that is used to create interest, privacy, or screening.

BICOLOUR – The petals of a flower which bear two different colors.

BIENNIAL – A plant that will require two growing seasons to complete its life cycle.

BIGENERIC – A hybrid that is created by crossing two different genera.

BIOLOGICAL PEST CONTROL – Uses living organisms that is beneficial o eliminate insects or parasites in your garden.

BLACK SPOT – A disease on the foliage of roses caused by moisture.

BLANCH – Keeping the light from the leaves and stems and the pant tissue soft.

BLOSSOM END ROT – A cultural deficiency created by a lack of calcium.

BOG PLANT – Plants that preferred damp and most sail as their habitat.

BOLT – Annual vegetables or flowers that grow quickly to flowering stage.

BONEMEAL – A fertilizer made from crushed animal bones.

BONES-OF-THE-GARDEN – In the language of garden design this is the permanent structural that give the shape to gardens.

BONSAI – The art of miniaturizing trees by careful root and stem pruning and root restriction.

BOTTLE GARDEN – A small terrarium created in a bottle. It is a miniture eco-system.

BOTTOM HEAT – Usually electric heating cables great for seed germination and cuttings.

BRACT – A modified leaf, sometimes colored and sometimes mistaken for a petal.

BROWN ROT – A common disease for fruits.  It is a fungus.

BUD – The early stage before the bloomng. The embryonic shoot on a stem, branch, or tuber.

BULB – A storage organ, usually formed below ground level, used for propagation.

BULBIL – An immature small bulb formed on the stem of a plant.

BUSH – A many branched small shrub with no distinct main stems.


CALCITIC LIMESTONE – A common material used for “liming” soil that has an acid level that is too high.

CALLUS – Scar tissue that forms when a plant has been damaged or cut.

CAMBIUM – A thin membrane  under the bark of a plant.

CANE – A slender, straight, not very woody branch or stem of a plant

CANKER – An area on soft or rotten woody stems or twigs that is caused by bacteria and fungi.

CAPSULE – A dry seed pod that will split wide open when mature..

CATKIN – A petal-less flowers arranged in a spike.

CELL PACK – A group of gardeners traveling togethe snipping and stealing plant material in a botanical garden.

CHLOROPHYLL – The green pigment in leaves. If present plants are usually healthy.

CLOCHE – A cover for protecting plants from the cold.

CLONE – A genetically identical group of plants, created from one individual by vegetative propagation.

CLUB ROOT – A disease of cabbages and some related vegetables caused by the slime mold fungus.

COLD COMPOST – A method by which organic material just rots on its own.

COLE CROPS – These are members of the cabbage family like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlorabi.

COMPACTION – Creating a landscape in a new construction.Compaction is created by heavy machinery to  squeeze the layers of the soil together.

COMPANION PLANTING – Different plants that are planted together for the benefit of each other.

COMPLETE FERTILIZER  – A fertilizer with all the three main elements, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

COMPOST –  An excellent source of organic material for rebuilding and enriching soil.

CORM – This is a swollen, underground stem base used for propagation.

COTYLEDON – The first set of leaves to grow after a seed has germinated.

CREEPER – any plant that will make long shoots and grow along the ground such as creeping fig, ivy, or Virginia creeper.

CROCKING – Any material used in the bottom of containers to provide drainage.

CROSS – Another name for hybrid, but used in much more common terms.

CROSS POLLINATION – The transfer of pollen from the flower of one plant to the flower on a different plant.

CROWN – The region where shoot and root join, usually at or very near the ground level.

CULINARY HERB – A plant grown for its strong flavor which is used to cook with in dishes and salads.

CULTIVATE – Breaking the topsoil so water and air can penetrate, and, to prevent weeds.

CULTIVATION – The technique of weeding and hoeing to increase the air in the to layers of the soil and to break up the soil so water will penetrate.

CUT BACK – Trimming or cutting moderately.

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