Glossary- Gardening Terms

Information About Gardening Glossary

bacillus thuringiensis

A naturally-occurring bacterial disease of insects that is often used in insecticides.

bare root

Plants which have had all of the soil removed from their roots so that they may be sold or shipped.


The exterior of a woody stem or trunk.

basal leaf

Leaf or growth from the lowest part of the stem.

bedding plant

Annual plants that are good for quickly filling in flower beds.


A fine clay that was used to line ornamental ponds before plastic was widely available.


A buildup of soil that created a small dividing hill. These are often created artificially to add to the visual interest of a landscape, but they can also occur naturally.


A plant that only lives two years and frequently produces flowers and seed its second year.


The act of covering up a part of a plant to keep the sun from shining on that part of the plant. This method is most often used with certain vegetables, like celery or cauliflower, in order to make a more tender and less bitter flavored crop. Typically, blanching will also cause the plant to be paler or even white.

blind bulb

A bulb that does not produce a flower.


Vegetables which quickly go to flower rather than producing the food crop. Usually caused by late planting and too warm temperatures.

bone meal

A soil amendment used to increase the phosphorus content of the soil.


The art of growing dwarf plants in containers through careful, manual cultivation.

bordeaux mixture

A combination of copper sulphate and hydrated lime used mainly to control infestations of fungus.


A trace mineral that helps with the absorption of other nutrients and with germination.

botanical name

The set, universally used scientific name for a plant.

bottom heat

Heat supplied to the underside of a container in which a plant is growing.


A modified or specialized leaf growing just below a flower.

broadcast seeding

Scattering seeds in a random pattern across a large area.

brown compost material

Material added to the compost pile that adds carbon to the composting mix and feeds the microbes and bacteria that are needed for composting.


Early stages of development of a flower or plant growth.

bud union

The place on a grafted plant where the rootstock and the scion meet. Typically the bud union can be found near the base of the plant and should be just above ground level.


A section of a branch or stem that has the potential to grow a new branch. This section of wood is commonly used for grafting trees.


A plant whose complete life cycle is stored in an underground structure.

butterfly gardening

Growing plants that will attract butterflies.


May refer to either a condition where  a stone fruit tree produces small, misshapen fruit or where head forming cole crops (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, etc) form a head before the plant is large enough to support it.