Gardening Terms Every Gardener Should Know

March 23, 2015 / Blooms Today

There are a few pro-terms all gardeners know. They can identify their plants’ blooming style and its part. They can tell you exactly what to call the clippings of the little brown leaves. They can even tell you the best tools to use to get your desired results. But with all of this information to learn, what is a beginning gardener to do? Start with some essential terms that will have you fitting right in at your gardening club.



Lifecycle Types of Plants



When talking to a gardener, you’re sure to hear them mention their replanting plans. These are often influenced by their plants lifecycles, which often fall into three categories: annual, perennial, and biennial.



Annual plants, as the name suggests, typically complete their life cycle within one year. These will need to be replanted relatively frequently, and consist of petunias, begonias, and geraniums. A perennial plant is one whose life cycle is more than two years. Peonies, lilies, and lavender all fall under this classification. Biennials, by contrast, die within two years. Generally, the time from the first sprout to its expiration is near the two year line, and some well-known plants in this category are parsley, hollyhock, and Canterbury bells.


Canterbury bells

Remember that the life cycle of a plant can be affected by the area in which it is planted. Some varieties can be annuals in one area, but perennials in another. When selecting plants for your garden keep your region in mind.

Parts of Plants

Stem-and-PetalsIn addition to plant life cycles, gardeners should be able to identify some important plant parts. There are sections that are commonly known: the petal, or the colorful and fragrant top; the leaf, or the green portion growing from the stem. But some other plant parts that play a big role in a gardeners’ activities are less well-known.

The stalk, for example, which is also commonly called the stem and serves as a sort of spine for the plant, can be a great tool for assessing your plants overall health. Is the stalk the correct color? Is it firm? Is it sturdy? Another plant part to consider is the stamen. This is the small protruding portion in the center of the petals that often will have a powdery substance at its tip. The powder is pollen, and the stamen is the portion of the plant that produces it.Flower-Petals

Plant Care Terms

There are many ways to care for a garden. With the right tools, a gardener can do dozens of things to ensure their plants are growing in healthy and sustained ways. Below are some terms that gardeners use to describe the process of keeping their plants strong.

PruningPruning is an important part of keeping plants thriving. This is a process involving the removal of certain selected parts of the plant, which keeps nutrients and water flowing to the more vital parts to nourish the whole plant. By removing non-essential buds, roots, or branches, a gardener can make sure the core of the plant is getting what it needs.

Winterizing and cutting-back the plants in your garden are two other ways to keep them in great shape. Winterizing often involves mitigation of fertilizer use, reduction in watering, and cleaning plant beds thoroughly to prevent cold-weather accumulation and disease. Cutting your plants back, similarly, is the practice of removing a good portion of the excess plant bulk so your garden can conserve its resources and focus on parts essential to survival during the colder months.


One of the most important parts of the plant’s life process, pollination is a plant’s method of reproduction. Pollen is transported from the male to the female portion of the plant, often by bees, other pollinating insects, or wind. This process allows new plants to be fertilized and grow and takes place most frequently in flowering plants.Bee-and-Pollen


Horticulture is, in short, gardening. Hortus is the Latin word for “garden,” after all. It is considered a branch of agriculture, and is generally practiced by individuals in smaller spaces than, say, a corn field or forest. Silviculture and agriculture deal with larger scale growing endeavors. Horticulturalists, however, tend to rely on a smaller space to produce edible and non-edible plants on a relatively small scale.

These common terms can help anyone sound like a pro-gardener. With these in hand, you should be ready to wow any gardening group.

Photo Credit:

Photographer Hans Braxmeier offered the photograph of Begonias on Pixabay

Photographer erge offered the photograph of Peonies on Pixabay

Photographer Steve Bidmead offered the photograph of Canterbury Bells on Pixabay

Photographer Gaby Stein offered the photograph of Tulip on Pixabay

Photographer claude05alleva offered the photograph of Flower on Pixabay

Photographer claude05alleva offered the photograph of Pruning on Pixabay

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