Glossary of

Gardening Terms

Acidic soil

Soil with a pH of less than 6.0 is called acidic soil.  Highly acidic soil can reduce a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients necessary for root and plant development.

Alkaline soil

Soil with a pH of more than 6.0 is called alkaline soil. Highly alkaline soil can reduce a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients necessary for root and plant development.


A bud is an undeveloped leaf, stem, or flower that will bloom later.


Compost is decomposed plant material that enhances the nutrients in soil to improve the development of plants.


The crown is the section of a plant where the stems and roots meet. It is the top part of a root system, and should be taken care of when planting.


Dead-heading is the process of removing dead flower heads from the plant. This encourages new or repeat blooms, depending on each variety.


Humus is an organic substance that develops from the breakdown of plant material. This can happen naturally in soil, or by producing compost. It is an important element in loam soil composition.


Lacecap hydrangeas show flat, round flower heads with a center of subtle, fertile flowers surrounded by an outer ring of more showy blooms. First Editions® Light-O-Day® is a lacecap hydrangea.


Loam is the best type of soil for gardening. It has a balanced mix of humus, sand, and clay.


Mulch is a groundcover to conserve moisture, restrict weed growth and protect plants from extreme heat or cold. Wood chips, bark or cocoa bean mulch are great natural options, and help conserve water.

New Wood

New wood is a plant’s growth from the current growing season.

Old Wood

Old wood is a plant’s growth from a previous growing season.


A flower or cluster of flowers, typically in a cone shape, that extends on a branch from the main stem of a plant.

Part Shade

Part shade means having 3 – 5 hours of direct sun exposure.


pH is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. It is measured on a scale of 1 (extremely acid) to 14 (extremely alkaline), with pH of 6.0 being neutral.


Pruning means trimming or cutting back stems to shape a plant or increase growth and bud development.


Re-blooming plants bloom during their expected bloom cycle and then again produce a second set of flowers later in the season. Remontant is another name for re-blooming.


A remontant plant is one that blooms more than once per season.

Root Flare

The root flare of a tree is where the trunk flares out to the root system.