annual plant – A plant that lives its entire life cycle in one year or less. An annual plant starts from a seed growing to a mature plant that flowers, sets seed and dies. The same plant will not come back the next year however, the seeds will perpetuate a new plant starting the cycle of an annual (one year) plant again.

biennial plant –  A biennial plant lives its entire life in two years. It grows from seed producing green vegetative growth the first year. The top growth (green vegetative growth) dies back to the ground and roots survive underground for a winter season. The biennial plant returns the second year to grow, flower, produce seeds and die. It will not survive another year as it’s life cycle is done, however the seeds will perpetually start the entire process over again. Start seeds two years in a row to get flowering every year.

crown of the plant – The top or highest part of the plant that lives underground and the circling area just above the ground where the shoots emerge

deadheading – Removing dead or dying flowers to either stimulate more flowers to bloom or prevent seed from forming and put more energy into the roots and vegetative growth.

drip line – The ground area directly located under the outermost leaves (outer circumference) on a plant that water would drip off of.

established plant – A plant that has grown in a particular spot for a number of years having taken root, thriving and growing well in the current conditions.

hardening off – This is the period lasting about two weeks that young transplants need to acclimate to their new outdoor exposure. The process  involves taking them in and out each day increasing the exposure time to the elements outdoors until they are acclimated.

horticultural felons – Jokingly referred to by gardeners as the list of invasive or noxious weeds (each state has their own list) that need to be cut down, dug out and put in the trash or sent to the dump. Do not compost invasive plants or noxious weeds.

passalong plants – Divisions of extra plants that are passed from friends, neighbors, relatives and gardening friends to other gardeners. Generous gardeners have been sharing extra seeds, cuttings and divisions of annuals, vegetables, perennials, houseplants, trees and shrubs with other gardeners forever. Now with there is a more organized way to find specific plants you are looking for all year long.

perennial plant – Any plant that grows to a mature plant, flowers, dies back to the ground during extreme conditions (such as winter) and lives underground until it returns and grows again when conditions are favorable. This continual reoccurrence may last for several years to many hundreds of years.

pinching – A term used in gardening indicating the need to remove a bud, leaves or especially top growth of plants early in the growing season to encourage shorter plants with more bushy growth. Simply  grip the bud or top growth tightly and sharply between finger and thumb and compress or pinch it off.

plant zone hardiness – to find out what zone you live in for plant hardiness visit this website USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (New)

propagation of plants – Purposely reproducing more of the same plant by sexual (seeds – not always identical to parent plant) or asexual methods (division, cuttings, layering, tissue culture etc.. essentially identical to parent plant).

scarification – To cut or make a shallow incision in the outer seed coat of a seed allowing water in to start the germination process.

slips – Another name for stem cuttings

stem cuttings – A piece cut from the top growth of a plant for propagation. Often referred to as a softwood cutting because the cut stem is still soft and flexible.

transplanting – Moving a plant from one location to another. It may be a seedling moving to a small individual container, a container plant going into the ground or a freshly divided plant dug out of the ground and being relocated. The same principal applies that all plants need properly draining soil with enough space for their roots to spread out. Generally replant the crown at the same level it was growing at previously. There are a few exceptions such as tomatoes that can be planted lower. Check individual plant instructions for specifics.

zone hardiness – to find out what zone you live in for plant hardiness visit this website USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (New)

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