Glossary of gardening terms

ACID The rate   of acidity in the soil is rated as PH and is measured in a scale of 1 to 14.   The lower the PH the more acid the reading
AERIAL   ROOT An aerial   root emerges from the stem at some distance above the soil level
ALKALINE Has a PH   value of more than 7, some plants will not tolerate alkaline soils
AROMATIC Plants   that emit a fragrance through leaves or flowers
ASTRINGENT Sharp   biting taste, sour or bitter like lemons
BARE   ROOTED TREE Bare   rooted trees are dug up and stored without any soil around their roots.   Without extra labour & materials they cost the seller & buyer less,   it also weighs little, so  it’s easy to   move and plant
BIENNIAL Completes   a life cycle in a 2 year period. Growing the 1st year and flowering   in the 2nd year
BORER Damage is   caused by feeding activities of larvae from beetles, moths or wasps
CHLOROSIS Is a   yellowing of leaf tissue due to lack of chlorophyll
CLONES A group of   genetically identical plants
COMPANION  PLANTING Are plants   that are mutually compatible e.g Garlic and Roses. Usually herbs or strong   smelling flowers like marigolds that repel insects
COMPOST Is the end   product resulting from the breakdown of organic matter by bacteria and   micro-organisms assisted by insects and earth worms.
CORM Solid   swollen part of a stem usually developing underground
DEAD HEAD To remove   spent flower heads to promote further growth or flowering, prevents seeding   or improve appearance
DECIDUOUS Loses   leaves annually at the end of the growing season
DEFOLIATE Strip or   deprive a plant of its leaves or foliage
DENTATE With   toothed margins
DIE-BACK Is a   fungal disease where a plant begins to die back from the tips
DIS-BUD To remove   surplus buds to promote further flowers or fruits
DOLOMITE A form of   lime, much used to improve soil without greatly affecting its acidity
ESPALIER A useful   technique for growing plants where little room is available, like against   walls, usually trained on horizontal wires
EVERGREEN Keeps   leaves all year
FROND Leaf-like   part of a fern
GERMINATE Begin to   grow from a seed, to sprout or send out roots
GRAFTING When a bud   or shoot is cut from its parent plant and joined to a rooted section of   another plant
GYPSUM Is a form   of calcium, it can nullify the effects of sea water
HUMUS Decayed   matter in the topsoil of mature soil
HYBRID Cross   breeding of 2 different plants
INVASIVE A plant   that spreads quickly either by seed or roots and chokes out other plants
LATERAL A side   growth that arises from the side of a shoot or root
LEADER The   vertical stem at the top of the trunk of a tree
LOAM An ideal   soil, evenly balanced with sand and clay elements with the addition of   organic matter
MARGINAL A plant   grown in soggy, over-wet soil on the edge of a pond or submerged in shallow   water
MULCH A soil   covering to conserve moisture, prevent root damage by heat or frost, reduce   the growth of weeds and enrich the soil. Can be  organic matter, pebbles,  or sugar cane, or bark
NODE The place   on a stem where one or more leaves are attached
PANICLE A   branching cluster of flowers
PICOTEE A flower   variety which the outer margin of the petals is a contrasting colour, usually   red or white
PINCH OUT Prune soft   leading shoots with fingernails to encourage branching
PLANT   BREEDERS RIGHTS PBR is   often found on a label which indicates the developer of the plant has sole   rights on who grows their plant and gets royalties from the sale
PLEACHING Is a   process that involves weaving tree branches together for ornamental purposes
PROSTRATE A general   term to indicate lying flat on the ground
REVERTING To return   to its original state, like when a variegated plant leaf starts to shoot   plain green leaves as well
RING   BARKING Where the   bark is removed in a ring around the trunk of a tree which can kill the   plant. Usually made by mowers and whipper snippers
ROOTSTOCK A rooted   section of plant used as the base onto which a piece of another plant is   grafted onto
RUNNERS Plants   which produce runners include strawberries, violets and spider plants. Easily   propagated by detaching and potting new plants
SPHAGNUM Dried   parts of moisture loving moss, very water retentive
STANDARD A tree or   shrub with a clear length of bare stem below the first branches, usually   pruned into a ball shape
SUCCULENT A plant   with thick, fleshy leaves and or stem. Don’t need a lot of water, sometimes   flower, easy to propagate from cuttings
SUCKER A shoot   that arises from below ground level directly from the root, can be invasive
TAP ROOT The main, downward   growing root of a plant and giving off small lateral roots
TEMPERATE A mild   climate, often coastal
TENDRIL A twisting   thread-like extension which a plant uses to cling or attach itself to a   support for climbing
VARIEGATED The   natural green of foliage is broken by other colours
VERMICULITE Excellent   additive to Potting mixes especially those which tend to dry out quickly. Is   able to absorb and hold water for long periods. Lightweight, inorganic   substance