​A Breakdown of Plant Lingo: What’s in a name?

Posted by Tammy Sons on 11th Mar 2016

For most people, gardening and landscaping isn’t really an innate skill. You have to do your research to fully understand all the different facets of the environment that need to be considered when planting a specific tree, bush, or flower. Whatever the case, you need to know a very specific set of information to help that organism thrive. If you’re just a novice with a burning interest, then knowing your vocabulary would be a great place to begin your journey. Here are a few of the most useful terms you’ll need to know to gain that enviable green thumb.

Acid Soil: This is where your soil has a pH reading of less than 7.0. The pH of your soil is really just a measurement of the prevalence of lime in your soil.

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Alkaline Soil: This is just the opposite of acidic soil. When your soil shows a pH level of more than 7.0, it is considered alkaline.

Annual: A word that describes a plant whose life cycle only lasts for one year. This is the time it takes for the plant to go from seed to bloom, and back to seed.

Bare root: A bare root plant is bought from a nursery and has had all the soil removed from its root system before delivery.

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Biennial: This describes a plant whose life cycle is a total of two years. Instead of producing its flowers during the first year, biennials usually produce their flowers in the second year.

Bud: A term referring to the early stages in the development of plant growth.

Bulb: An storage organ for perennials (like daffodils and tulips) that resides under the ground and sports a thick outer layer.

Herbaceous: This term is used to describe those plants that have a softer internal structure, as opposed to the real woody tissues of a plant.

Node: An easily identifiable point on a stem or branch where one or several different branches or flowers stem out, and begin their growth.

Photosynthesis: If you didn’t retain this definition from elementary school, no worries. This is how plants turn sunlight into their own little energy source.

Perennial: These are the plants that keep blooming year after year. They typically produce flowers every year, but sometimes they may not.

Pruning: A term referring to the cutting and trimming of plants to get rid of any dead or injured sections. You can also use this term in reference to controlling the manner in which a plant grows through trimming.

Stratification: The method used to bring seeds out of their dormancy. When you place the seed in a moistened and cooled environment, it will begin to awaken.

Thinning: A term referring to the removal of excess foliage to allow more room for other plants to grow. Thinning is also used to maintain trees in urban environments.

Transplanting: This is where you dig up a plant and move it somewhere else. This may be for the health of the plant, or simply for aesthetics.  Perennial plantsare also a great idea.