Annual  

A plant which has a life cycle of a year after it is planted.

Aquatic

A plant that partially grows in water.

Biennial

A plant which lives for two seasons after it is planted.

Bloom  

A waxy layer on the leaves of some plants.

Bulb

A storage organ formed underground such as Garlic, Daffodils and Bluebells.

Compost

Compost, is decomposed vegetable materials used for growing plants because of its richness in Minerals – See What is compost?

Cutting   

A Cutting is a leaf or stems with some leaves taken from a parent plant and re-potted to grow as a new plant.

Dead Heading

Removing dead flowers from plants- remember that a lot of dead flower heads have seeds in them so, open them up and have a look inside to collect the seeds.

Deciduous

Plants that lose their leaves at the end of the growing season to hibernate for winter.

Dormant period 

When a plant naturally stops growing, this usually happens in the winter because it is too cold.

Epiphyte

A plant which does not root into the ground but into trees and rocks.

Family

Groups of plants that are similar to each other belong to families.

Floret

A small flower which makes up a bigger flower.

Grafting

Joining the stem or bud of one plant onto another- Did you know that you can graft Apple tree stems onto a Pear tree? You can also do this with some Cacti.

Hardy        

A plant which can handle drops and rises in temperature.

Herb 

A plant is grown for flavouring food or medicinal reasons

Herbaceous

A plant with a non-woody stem.

Honeydew 

The sticky stuff insects leave on plants.

Hybrid 

A cross of two separate plants.

Internode        

The stem between the branches of a plant- (see Node)

Loam

Good soil for making Compost, usually made from clay or sand.

Mouth

The open end of a bell-shaped flower, for example, a Fuchsia.

Multicolour      

A flower with three or more different colours.

Node 

The point on the stem of a plant where the leaf or bud grows from.

Offset

 

A young plant which sprouts from the parent plant and grows its own roots which feed on the air and dust until they are planted. Good examples of plants that grow offsets are Spider and Strawberry Plants.

Organic

Something that has been recycled from natural sources.

Peat  

Peat is partially decomposed Moss that is used to make Compost. Peat is great for plants because it holds a lot of air and water which are vital for the plant to survive.

Perennial

A plant that lives for three or more years.

Petal 

The brightest part of the flower, think of the petals as the flowers leaves.

Petiole 

A leaf stalk.

Ph

Ph is a measurement of the chemicals in the soil. If the Ph is below 6.5 it is acidic, if it is above 7.5 it is an alkaline soil

Pistil 

The female reproductive part of a flower.

Shrub 

Woody plant that bushes out rather than growing upwards.

Spore 

Some plants do not flower, so they reproduce by spreading Spores, plants such as Ferns do this as well as Mushrooms and other Fungi

Stamen

The Male reproductive part of a Flower.

Strain 

A selection of a certain variety of plant.

Sucker

 

A sucker is a shoot which grows from the underground root and pops up in the soil near the plant, suckers can be taken from the parent and re-potted to grow as a new plant. Lots of plants grow suckers a good example is Aloe Vera

 

TapRoot

 

The first root a plant grows, the Taproot is like the plants’ anchor, it grows straight down to support the plant and search for minerals.

Tendril  

A tendril is a flexible stem, that plants like Mange Tout use to wrap around and cling to other plants to support themselves.

Terrestrial 

A plant which grows in soil.

Transpiration    

When a plant loses water through the pores in its leaves.

Tree

 

A woody plant with a central trunk.

RHS Encyclopedia Of Plants and Flowers 

This new edition features the latest and most popular cultivars, with more than 1,400 new plants added.

Use the extensive plant dictionary to lookup more than 8,000 plant varieties and the best growing conditions for them.

See more