Soil is considered to be ‘acidic’ at a pH lower than 7. Acidic soil pH influences plant growth and nutrient availability.
Soil is considered to be ‘alkaline’ or ‘basic’ at a pH higher than 7. Alkaline soil pH influences plant growth and nutrient availability.
A plant with a life cycle of one growing season, from seed germination to death. Annuals can be categorized into summer and winter annuals based on growth periods.
Refers to the roots of a plant that are removed from growth media (i.e. soil), exposing the roots rather than planting in a container.
The leaves growing at the base of the plant. May be a single leaf or a cluster of leaves (rosettes). On perennials, basal leaves can be grown temporarily or last throughout the entire life cycle.
A plant with a life cycle of two growing seasons, from seed germination to death.
The formal scientific name of a plant, typically consisting of genera or genera and species. A plant may have a variety of common names, but only one formal botanical name. An example is the ‘flowering dogwood’ has a botanical name of Cornus florida.
Plants with wide or large, flat leaves.
An undeveloped or dormant plant tissue that may develop into new flowers or leaves.
Modified region of the stem that functions as a food storage organ during dormancy, typically found underground or at ground level.
Soil comprised of fine mineral particles and limited organic matter. Clay soils are dense, with little space for air movement and water drainage. Clay soils tend to feel sticky when wet, and dry into hard clumps.
The name of the plant that is more familiarly known in comparison to the scientific name. Common names for a single plant may vary in different regions. An example is Heuchera has a common name of ‘Coral Bells’.
Decomposed organic matter that is added to soil to promote plant growth by improving soil structure.
An evergreen tree or shrub with needle-like leaves that reproduce with cones instead of flowers.
The branches, leaves, and reproductive structures that extend from a trunk or main stem, usually at ground level.
Cultivars are plants produced by selective breeding based on desirable characteristics. New cultivars may be bred for improved disease resistance, habit, color, or any other trait. For more information on plant names, check out our article here!
Loosening or breaking up the soil to prepare an area for growing plants. Helps to eliminate weeds, aerate the soil, and improve water absorption.
Area where light is filtered through a leaf canopy, with spots of sunlight mixed with shade.
Pruning fading or dead flowers to improve appearance, inhibit seed production, and promote new growth.
A plant that sheds its leaves annually.
A plant with two basic sets of chromosones.
While deer have the tendency to eat nearly everything when hungry, these plants aren’t likely to be eaten by deer in your garden.
A period where growth and development are temporarily stopped, helping the plant to conserve energy and survive during adverse conditions (i.e. winter).
The natural process of water passing through the soil.
A plant that blooms early in the season, generally in spring or early summer.
Plants that have foliage throughout the year, keeping their green color year-round.
Flowering plants with blooms that extend over a longer period of time.
A different colored or darker shaded zone on the petals and sepals of the flowers just above the throat.
A grouping of one or more related genera.
Natural or synthetic substance containing nutrients for improved plant growth and development. Fertilizers can be applied to the soil or directly to the plant.
A fibrous root system is composed of thin, branching roots that grow from a stem and lack a taproot.
Plants used to fill empty spaces, making garden beds or containers look full.
The reproductive tissue of the plant, which is generally colorful and fragrant to promote pollination. Flowers are composed of petals, sepals, stamen (male reproductive tissue), and pistil (female reproductive tissue).
A compact cluster of multiple small flowers that appear to be a single flower.
An area that receives fewer than 3 hours of direct sunlight per day, with additional indirect or filtered sunlight throughout the day.
Direct exposure to sunlight for more than 6 hours per day.
One or more related species group together to form the genera or genus. Usually the first part of two-part scientific or botanical names.
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Low-growing plants that cover the soil surface, suppressing weed growth and protecting the topsoil from erosion and drought.
The structure of the plant.
Standard by which growers and gardeners can determine which plants will thrive at a location. North American is separated into 11 hardiness zones, where 1 is the coldest and 11 is the warmest.
Plants are ‘heeled in’ by digging a small trench and laying the plant in at an angle, either as bare root or in a container, and then covered with soil. This is a form of temporary planting until a plant can be placed in a permanent position.
A plant with no woody stems above ground. Herbaceous perennials will die down to the rootstock at the end of the growing season, but new growth will develop in the spring.
Cross-pollinating two different plants will result in a hybrid plant offspring. Hybrids are commonly produced during plant breeding, resulting in hybrids with superior performance.
A type of soil organic matter that significantly affects bulk density and water retention of soil. Though it is similar to compost, it is distinct in how it is created by anaerobic fermentation.
A plant that blooms later in the season, generally in late summer or early fall.
A form of compost that is the result of slow decomposition of leaves. Adding leaf mold to the potting media or soil can improve the soil structure.
A calcium or magnesium-rich material that acts has a base and neutralizes soil acidity, often improving plant growth if applied in appropriate quantities.
Loam is a fertile soil composed of most sand and silt, with small amounts of clay. There are different types of loam dependent on the ratios of sand, silt, and clay.
Flowers bloom in the middle of the season, generally mid-July
A material applied to the soil surface to conserve soil moisture, improve fertility, and suppress weeds. Organic forms of mulch include bark and peat, while inorganic forms include plastic sheeting and rubber.
The ratio of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) in fertilizer.
Plants are considered native if it is growing naturally in its indigenous region or area without human introduction.
Soil is considered to be ‘neutral’ at a pH of 7. A neutral soil pH influences plant growth and nutrient availability.
A plant is considered nocturnal when the flower blooms throughout the night but is closed during the day.
Organic matter consists of decomposed plant, animal, and microbial tissues and is well known to improve soil texture, fertility, and water retention.
Part shade and part sun are used interchangeably, indicating 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
Partially decayed organic matter that is found in environments where biomass production is greater than the rate of decomposition, like bogs.
Perennial plants live for longer than 2 years, no replanting required!
A scale used to express the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, including the soil. The pH scale ranges from 0 – 14, where low values indicate acidity and high values indicate alkalinity. The pH is determined by measuring the concentrations of H+ ions.
A characteristic in which a plant blooms, has a period of rest, and produces a second set of flowers.
Also known as a rootstock, a rhizome is an underground modified stem that produces lateral shoots and adventitious roots.
The organ of the plant responsible for water and nutrient uptake, as well as plant anchorage.
Soil composed of mostly sand. Since sand is a relatively large soil particle, water and nutrients move quickly between the particles.
Plants that retain a small portion of their leaves for more than one season.
A flat mat with minimal soil consisting of various Sedum groundcovers for quick installation.
A part of the flower that protects the flower bud and supports petals in bloom.
A plant with multiple persistent woody stems branching above ground.
The lowest grouping of plants. When related, they are grouped into genera.
A striking plant, usually a large perennial, tree, or shrub, which can be seen clearly from a distance.
A plant with thick and fleshy leaves or stems adapted to storing water in arid environments or soils.
A large, dominant root from which other roots branch.
A plant with four sets of chromosomes in each cell, resulting in plants that are stronger, larger, and more resistant to disease.
Propagation of plants within a controlled, sterile laboratory, where plant tissue in placed in an artificial medium for growth.
The top 5-10 inches of soil, containing the most soil activity from organic matter and microorganisms.
Moving a plant from one position to another.
A term to distinguish plants with one or more defining characteristics that are grown under natural circumstance. For more information on plant names, check out the link here!
A variegated plant has two or more colors present in the leaf, petals, or other parts of the plant.
A plant is woody if its structural tissue is composed of wood, leading to a hard, sturdy stem that persists through multiple growing seasons.