Glossary- Gardening Terms

Information About Gardening Glossary

palmate leaves

Leaves that have multiple sections that fan out and look much like a human hand.

pantry plant food

Using materials commonly found in your house to make a fertilizer.

parasitic plant

A plant that gets it nutrients taking them from another plant, normally by attaching itself to the host plant.

part shade plant

Plants that need 4-6 hours of sunlight in order to grow properly.

part sun plant

Plants that need 4-6 hours of sunlight in order to grow properly.

pea straw

A mulch that is made up of dried pea vines. It has a higher nitrogen content than other mulches and is commonly used in organic gardening because of this.

peat moss

A type of moss that is found in bogs and is harvested when it is partially decomposed. It is added to compost and soil to make it more friable or “crumbly”.


A plant that grows for many years. Some perennials grow constantly, while others go through cycles of growth and dormancy.


A type of volcanic glass that is lightweight and “fluffy”. It is added to potting soil to help with drainage and softness of the soil.


Methods of growing plants, particularly food crops, that are self sustainable and even helps to improve the local environment and ecosystem.


An insect or animal that causes a nuisance or damage to your plants or garden in general.


A substance that kills any organism that may harm a plant, such as insects, mold, fungus and other plants.


The stem or stalk of a leaf.


The measured acidity of soil. A low pH means the soil is more acid, while a high pH means that the soil is more alkaline.


The tissue system in a plant that allows it to transport nutrients to different parts of the plant.


The living layer of the tree where food and water are synthesized. The layer is sometimes also called the inner bark as it rests just below the rough, protective outer bark.


A salt that made up of phosphorus compounds.

phosphorus deficiency

When a plant is lacking phosphorus. This is normally characterized by yellow or blue and purple leaves, stunted growth and poor growth.


When a seed requires exposure to light before it is able to germinate.


The process by which plants convert solar energy into food for the plant.


Any natural or synthetic chemical that is toxic to plants.

pinching back

The practice of sniping off the ends of stems in order to produce a bushier and more compact plant.


The female part of the flower that contains the ovule and, if fertilized, produces the seeds.


A part of a flower. The female part of a flower made up of the ovary, style, and stigma.

plant respiration

The process in a plant that converts energy stored in the plant into energy that can be used by the plant. The process releases carbon dioxide and water as a byproduct.


A small division of a plant that can be planted and expected to spread. Most commonly used when talking about grass or ground covers.


The first shoot sent out by a seed when germinating.

poisonous plants

Plants that are harmful to humans and other animals when consumed. A plant may not be poisonous to one animal but poisonous to another.


A pruning technique for fast growing trees where trees have had all branches removed and have been cut back to the trunk in order to produce dense, new growth. This technique is commonly used either for conytroling the size of fast growing trees to to encourage heavy blooming.


The act of pollen being deposited on the pistil of a plant. This fertilizes the plant and produces seeds.


An insect that goes from flower to flower on a plant or several plants spreading pollen from one flower to another and, in doing so, fertilizes the flower which causes a fruit or seedpod to form.

potager garden

Also known as a kitchen garden. This style of garden aims to combine both form with function so that a garden located near the house can provide easy access to homegrown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers while still looking pleasing to the eye.


One of the major nutrients that plays a role in plant growth and development.

potting compost

Compost that has additives such as peat moss, vermiculite and perlite added in order to make it suitable for using in containers.

potting soil

Soil that is mixed so that it would be suitable for using in containers. It is formulated to be compact resistant, drain well but still retain moisture.

pricking out

The act of separating tightly growing seedlings so that they can be transferred to individual containers.


Methods of reproducing a plant.


Cutting away branches on a plant, normally a tree or shrub, in order to achieve an end goal. This goal can be things like shaping a plant, encouraging new growth or increasing fruit production.


A small plantlet that grows from the base of a parent plant. The pup can be seperated from the parent plant to grow a new plant.