• Acid Soil - Soil that is lower than 7.0 pH on a scale of 0 to 14. Acidity is measured by the amount of calcium in the soil.
  • Aeration - The loosening of soil to allow air and water to pass freely.
  • Alkaline Soil - Soil that has a pH level of above 7.0; a pH of 7.0 is considered neutral. It is sometimes referred to as "sweet" soil.
  • Annuals - Plants whose life cycle lasts only one year, from seed to blooms to seed.
  • Bare root - Plants which have had the soil removed from their roots.
  • Bloom - The flower of a plant.
  • Bloom Period - This refers to the flowering period of a plant.
  • Bract - A modified leaf, sometimes colored and sometimes mistaken for a flower petal. Examples are Dogwoods and Bougainvillea.
  • Bulb - A short reduced stem that consists of overlapping scales and sends out roots from the bottom. It is a food storage facility for the plant.
  • Class - The taxonomic category between Division and Order.
  • Color Bloom - Refers to the color that the flower of a plant will produce.
  • Common Name - A plant name, typically not the botanical or scientific name of a plant, that is used by the general public. A plant may have several common names but has only one scientific name.
  • Cultivate - Breaking the topsoil so water and air can penetrate, and, to prevent weeds.
  • Cultivar - The cultivated form of a plant, it is manmade and usually performed by vegetative propagation instead of seeds.
  • Cuttings - A method of propagation using sections of stems, roots or leaves.
  • Dormancy - The period in a plants life when growth slows and the plant rests. Fertilizing should be withheld when a plant is dormant.
  • Evergreen - A plant which keeps its' green foliage all year.
  • Family - A group of plants of one genus or several genera which are basically very similar in floral and other features. An example is Orchidaceae (Orchids).
  • Fertilizer - A natural and/or artificial substance, added to the soil, to supply nutrients to the plant.
  • Fungicide - A chemical used to prevent and/or treat fungi that attack plants.
  • Genus - Botanical category of closely related organisms, genus is below Family and above Species. Genus is the first word in a scientific name.
  • Germination - The initiation of active growth of a plant seed.
  • Hardiness - A plants ability to withstand climate changes; usually referring to winter temperatures and frost.
  • Hybrid - The offspring of two different varieties or species. The pollen of one variety pollinates the variety of another and a new plant (hybrid) is created.
  • Hydroponics - Gardening without soil; where the plants are grown in water and are supplied with the dissolved nutrients that are needed for growth.
  • Insecticide - A chemical used to kill insects and thus prevents plant damage.
  • Neutral Soil - Soil that has a neutral pH of 7.0; sometimes refers to a broader range of pH from 6.6 to 7.3. It is neither acid nor alkaline.
  • Ornamental - A plant that is grown for its foliage, form, and/or flowers rather than for agricultural production.
  • Perennial - A plant that lives year after year. The foliage may die back in the winter but the roots live to start the plant over again the following year.
  • pH - pH is a measure of the amount of lime (calcium) contained in soil. A soil with a pH lower than 7.0 is an acid soil, a soil with a pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline soil.
  • Plant Location - Generally refers to the best place to grow a plant. This is the location that it should prosper and flourish.
  • Propagation - The creation of more plants through asexual and sexual methods such as seeds, cuttings, grafts, layering or tissue culture.
  • Rhizome - A modified plant stem which grows horizontally, under the surface of the soil. New growth then emerges from different points of the rhizome. Examples are bamboo and iris.
  • Salt Tolerance - The amount of Sodium a plant can withstand before it is damaged or killed.
  • Species - A group of plants that have common characteristics. It is a basic unit of plant classification. It is the second word in the scientific name; Genus is the first word.
  • Sub-Species - A distinct, often geographically isolated subdivision of a species.
  • Tropical Plant - A plant that is native to the area of the world's surface along the Equator between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • Variegated Foliage - Leaves that are not solid green in color. Most variegated plants have green and white or green and yellow leaves; plants may have spots, stripes or other markings.
  • Zones of hardiness - The USDA plant growth zone where a plant can be successfully grown without human help.