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 Horticultural Glossary

Test your gardening knowledge with these terms


Gardening shovel


Acid soil

Soil with a pH lower than 7.0, acceptable for most plants, also called sour soil, the opposite of alkaline.


Alkaline soil

Soil with a pH higher than 7.0, also called sweet soil, opposite of acid.



Plants that sprout from seed, grow, flower, set seeds, and die all in one growing season.



The terminal part of a stamen, which contains pollen.



Plants with a two year life cycle, that produce leaves in the first season, then flower and set seed in the second season.


Bone meal

Finely ground white or light gray bone. Adds nitrogen and phosphorous to the soil.



A modified and often scale like leaf, usually located at the base of a flower, a fruit, or a cluster of flowers or fruits.


Builder's sand

This horticultural sand has coarse, large grains that improve drainage and aeration of soil.


Bulb planter

Used to dig holes for bulbs. This cylindrical, hand held tool minimizes disturbance to nearby tree or shrub roots.


Clay soil

Soil with very small, flat particles that tend to pack together tightly, hardens when dry, and drains poorly without organic amendments.



Organic material composed of decaying plant and animal matter for use in soil.



A crown like structure on some corollas, as in daffodils and the milkweed family.



The point where roots join the aboveground parts of a plant.



A manmade plant variety, produced and maintained by vegetative propagation instead of seed.



Stems, roots, or leaves taken from plants for propagation.


Dead heading

Removing blooms that have faded.



Plants which are in a resting state, most often during low or high temperatures. They may die down to the roots.



A line that creates visual interest and separation, for example, between the lawn and an annual border.



The sprouting from a seed.


Hardy plants

Plants that are resistant to pests and diseases, often more vigorous and productive. Can withstand cold winters.



The cultivation of plants for ornament or nourishment.



Decomposed vegetable matter, an important element of garden soil.



A plant created from a cross between two parent plants of different species, subspecies, or varieties of plant.



Treating a shoot so it will form roots while still attached to the parent plant. A common method used for propagating roses.



The removal of nutrients from the soil by flushing it with water.



A humus rich soil with up to 25 percent clay, 50 percent silt, and less than 50 percent sand.



A segment of a cleft leaf or petal.


Seasonal plants and flowers

Fernlea grows flowers and plants for all seasons. Choose a category below to see what is available and to find lots of growing and plant care tips.



Annual Plants and Flowers

Container Gardens

Autumn Flowers

Trailing Vines

Red Star Spikes

Rio Dipladenias



Tips and ideas for your garden

Here are some quick links within our site to help you with your gardening.



Selecting Colours

Plant Disease

Plant Pests and Insects

Deer Repellents

Plant Nutrients

Sun vs. Shade Plants

Hardiness Zone Map

Horticultural Glossary

Soil Smarts

Weed Control





Any material spread over the soil surface to retain soil moisture, moderate soil temperature, and suppress the growth of weeds.


Neutral soil

A soil having a pH value of 7.0, that is neither acid nor alkaline.



The location on the stem where buds, leaves and branches are attached.


Organic matter

Mulch or other material derived from decomposed plant or animal products.


Peat moss

Partly decomposed moss, rich in nutrients and with a high water retention. Commonly used as a soil amendment.



Plant species that can live for more than two years.



White granules of a treated volcanic mineral, usually mixed with potting soil to improve drainage.



A measure of soil acidity or alkalinity on a scale of 1.0 to 14.0. Neutral is 7.0. A pH below 7.0 is acidic, above 7.0 is alkaline.



Removing a shoot tip with thumb and forefinger, resulting in a bushier growth.



The female reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of an ovary, style, and stigma.



An underground stem or storage organ, with roots growing from it.



The clump of roots and soil on a plant when removed from its pot.


Seed heads

Pods or clusters of seeds on mature plants at the end of the growing season.


Self seeding

An annual's ability to drop seeds that germinate successfully and grow into seedlings.



Plants which are genetically similar and which breed true to type from seed.



The male reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of a filament and a pollen containing anther.


Tap root

The main, central root of a plant.


Terminal stem

Growing tip on a plant or shrub.



A light weight, flaky, treated amendment that improves soil drainage.


Garden tools



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