Glossary of terms:

 

Acid Soil
Soil with a pH below 7
Aeration
Puncturing the soil to allow better water and air circulation
Alpine
Plants that grow naturally above the tree line in mountainous regions
Annual
A plant that completes its life cycle and dies in one season
Biennial
A plant that completes its life cycle over two seasons
Bone meal
A slow release phosphorous rich natural fertilizer
Botanical name
The scientific name for a plant; plants may have several common names
Bud
The swelling as a plant starts new flower or leaf growth
Bulblet
A small bulb developing at the base of a mature one
Compost
A soft, rich, dark substance produced by decomposing organic matter
Deciduous
Plants that lose their leaves at the end of the growing season
Dormancy
The annual period when plant's growth slows greatly, usually the winter
Dwarf
A miniature form of a particular plant
Evergreen
A plant that retains its foliage all year long
Fertilizer
A compound that provides plants with nutrients
Foliage
A term describing plant leaves
Force
To encourage a plant to come into stem, leaf and flower production out of season
Grafting
The process of artificially uniting a stem with a stock plant
Hardening off
Adapting a plant slowly to colder conditions
Hardiness
A plant's ability to survive in harsh conditions
Herbicide
A chemical used to kill unwanted plants
Humus
Organic matter resulting from composting
Hybrid
A plant variety resulting from the combination of two different plant species, varieties, or cultivars
Insecticide
A chemical used to kill insects that are considered pests
Leader
The plant's main stem
Loam
Soil rich in organic material, ideal for growing
Microclimate
The climate of a small area. Yards may contain several microclimates that may support the needs of different plants
Mulch
A layer of organic material placed on the soil to retain moisture, suppress weed growth and insulate plant roots
Naturalizing
The process of planting bulbous plants where they are scattered to create a natural look
Nitrogen
The element present in fertilizer that promotes leaf growth
Perennial
A non-woody plant that lives longer than two years
Phosphorous
The element of fertilizer that promotes root growth
Pollination
The transfer of pollen between plants, which enables flower and fruit production
Potassium
The element of fertilizer that promotes cell strength and plant hardiness
Potting soil
A mix of soil or other products used for plants grown in containers
Propagation
Starting new plants
Pruning
The removal or shortening of branches from plants
Root
The underground part of the plant that supplies nutrients and water to the plant from the surrounding soil
Root ball
The roots along with the soil that clings to them
Rooting hormone
A liquid or powder that contains hormones which stimulate root formation in cuttings
Seedling
A young plant that has been raised from a seed
Shrub
A plant with many woody stems
Succulent
A plant with fleshy leaves and stems that can adapt to survive drought conditions
Sucker
Growth coming directly from a plant's roots
Topsoil
The uppermost layer of most fertile soil
Transplanting
Moving a plant from one spot in the garden to another, also refers to moving container plants into larger containers
Variegated
Leaves that have edges or patches a different colour than the main leaf colour
Weed
A plant that is growing in the wrong place
Winter kill
Portion of a plant dying back due to harsh winter conditions