few terms which are commonly used when talking about any plant nomenclature and characteristics and in compiling plant database.
Low maintenance does not mean no maintenance. It does mean that once a plant is established, very little needs to be done in the way of water, fertilizing, pruning, or treatment in order for the plant to remain healthy and attractive. A well-designed garden, which takes your lifestyle into consideration, can greatly reduce maintenance.
Some Sand refers to a soil that drains fast, but has lower water holding capacity due to the presence of a little organic matter. A good workable soil that needs added fertilizer due to lower fertility levels and adequate water. Usually gray in color. Forms a loose, crumbly ball that easily falls apart when squeezed in the hand.
Sandy Loam refers to a soil that drains well, with excellent air space, and evenly crumbled texture when squeezed in the hand. A good workable garden soil that benefits from added fertilizer and proper watering. Dark gray to gray-brown in color.
Loam is the ideal soil, having the perfect balance between particle size, air space, organic matter and water holding capacity. It forms a nice ball when squeezed in the palm of the hand, but crumbles easily when lightly tapped with a finger. Rich color ranges between gray brown to almost black.
Clayey loam refers to a soil that retains moisture well, without having a drainage problem. Fertility is high and texture good. Easily forms a ball when squeezed in the hand, and then crumbles easily with a quick tap of the finger. Considered an ideal soil. Usually a rich brown color.
Some Clay refers to a soil that is loam-like, but heavier. Drainage is not bad, prolonged periods of rain cause bog-like conditions. Rich in nutrients, but needs the addition of organic matter to improve texture. Easily forms a ball when squeezed and requires a firm tap with finger to crumble. Light brown to slightly orange color.
Evergreen refers to plants that hold onto their leaves or needles for more than one growing season, shedding them over time. Some plants such as live oaks are evergreen, but commonly shed the majority of their older leaves around the end of January.
Seed Start: easily propagated from seed.
pH, means the potential of Hydrogen, is the measure of alkalinity or acidity. In horticulture, pH refers to the pH of soil. The scale measures from 0, most acid, to 14, most alkaline. Seven is neutral. Most plants prefer a range between 5.5 and about 6.7, an acid range, but there are plenty of other plants that like soil more alkaline, or above 7. A pH of 7 is where the plant can most easily absorb the most nutrients in the soil. Some plants prefer more or less of certain nutrients, and therefore do better at a certain pH.
The 12 zones of the AHS Heat Zone map indicate the average number of days each year that a given region experiences ""heat days"" or temperatures over 86 degrees F(30 degrees Celsius). That is the point at which plants begin suffering physiological damage from heat. The zones range from Zone 1 (less than one heat day) to Zone 12 (more than 210 heat days). The AHS Heat Zone, which deals with heat tolerance, should not be confused with the USDA Hardiness Zone system which deals with cold tolerance. For example: Seattle, Washington has a USDA Hardiness Zone of 8, the same as Charleston, South Carolina; however Seattle's Heat Zone is 2 where Charleston's Heat Zone is 11. What this says is that winter temperature in the two cities may be similar, but because Charleston has significantly warmer weather for a longer period of time, plant selection based on heat tolerance is a factor to consider.
Plant characteristics define the plant, enabling a search that finds specific types of plants such as bulbs, trees, shrubs, grass, perennials, etc.
By searching foliage characteristics, you will have the opportunity to look for foliage with distinguishable features such as variegated leaves, aromatic foliage, or unusual texture, color or shape. This field will be most helpful to you if you are looking for accent plants. If you have no preference, leave this field blank to return a larger selection of plants.
A soil type is defined by granule size, drainage, and amount of organic material in the soil. The three main soil types are sand, loam and clay. Sand has the largest particle size, no organic matter, little to no fertility, and drains rapidly. Clay, at the opposite end of the spectrum, has the smallest particle size, can be rich in organic matter, fertility and moisture, but is often unworkable because particles are held together too tightly, resulting in poor drainage when wet, or is brick-like when dry. The optimum soil type is loam, which is the happy median between sand and clay: It is high in organic matter, nutrient-rich, and has the perfect water holding capacity. You will often hear loam referred to as a sandy loam (having more sand, yet still plenty of organic matter) or a clay loam (heavier on the clay, yet workable with good drainage.) The addition of organic matter to either sand or clay will result in a loamy soil. Still not sure if your soil is a sand, clay, or loam? Try this simple test. Squeeze a handfull of slightly moist, not wet, soil in your hand. If it forms a tight ball and does not fall apart when gently tapped with a finger, your soil is more than likely clay. If soil does not form a ball or crumbles before it is tapped, it is sand to very sandy loam. If soil forms a ball, then crumbles readily when lightly tapped, it's a loam. Several quick, light taps could mean a clay loam.
Aground cover is any low growing plant that is planted in a mass to cover the ground. Shrubs, vines, perennials, and annuals can all be considered ground covers if they are grouped in this fashion. Ground covers can beautify an area, help reduce soil erosion, and the need to weed.
Normal Watering for Houseplants
Houseplants that require normal watering should be watered so that soil is completely saturated and excess water runs out the bottom of the pot. Never water just a little bit; this allows mineral salts to build up in the soil. The key to normal watering is to allow the top inch or two of potting soil to dry out between waterings. Check frequently as certain times of the year may dictate that you water more frequently. Also, some plants that require normal watering during the growing season, may require less during the winter months when they are dormant.
Regular Moisture for Outdoor Plants
Water when normal rainfall does not provide the preferred 1 inch of moisture most plants prefer. Average water is needed during the growing season, but take care not to overwater. The first two years after a plant is installed, regular watering is important. The first year is critical. It is better to water once a week and water deeply, than to water frequently for a few minutes.
Moist and Well Drained
Moist and well drained means exactly what it sounds like. Soil is moist without being soggy because the texture of the soil allows excess moisture to drain away. Most plants like about 1 inch of water per week. Amending your soil with compost will help improve texture and water holding or draining capacity. A 3 inch layer of mulch will help to maintain soil moisture and studies have shown that mulched plants grow faster than non-mulched plants.
Plants are almost completely made up of water so it is important to supply them with adequate water to maintain good plant health. Not enough water and roots will wither and the plant will wilt and die. Too much water applied too frequently deprives roots of oxygen leading to plant diseases such as root and stem rots. The type of plant, plant age, light level, soil type and container size all will impact when a plant needs to be watered. Follow these tips to ensure successful watering: * The key to watering is water deeply and less frequently. When watering, water well, i.e. provide enough water to thoroughly saturate the root ball. With in-ground plants, this means thoroughly soaking the soil until water has penetrated to a depth of 6 to 7 inches (1' being better). With container grown plants, apply enough water to allow water to flow through the drainage holes.
* Try to water plants early in the day or later in the afternoon to conserve water and cut down on plant stress. Do water early enough so that water has had a chance to dry from plant leaves prior to night fall. This is paramount if you have had fungus problems.
* Don't wait to water until plants wilt. Although some plants will recover from this, all plants will die if they wilt too much (when they reach the permanent wilting point).
* Consider water conservation methods such as drip irrigation, mulching, and xeriscaping. Drip systems which slowly drip moisture directly on the root system can be purchased at your local home and garden center. Mulches can significantly cool the root zone and conserve moisture.
* Consider adding water-saving gels to the root zone which will hold a reserve of water for the plant. These can make a world of difference especially under stressful conditions. Be certain to follow label directions for their use.
Normal Watering for Outdoor Plants
Normal watering means that soil should be kept evenly moist and watered regularly, as conditions require. Most plants like 1 inch of water a week during the growing season, but take care not to over water. The first two years after a plant is installed, regular watering is important for establishment. The first year is critical. It is better to water once a week and water deeply, than to water frequently for a few minutes.
Plant are composed of almost 90% water so it important to supply them with adequate water. Proper watering is essential for good plant health. When there is not enough water, roots will wither and the plant will wilt. When too much water is applied too frequently, roots are deprived of oxygen and diseases occur such as root and stem rots.
The type of plant, plant age, light level, soil type and container size all will impact when a plant needs to be watered. Follow these tips to ensure successful watering:
* The key to watering is frequency. Water well then wait long enough until the plant needs to be re-watered according to its moisture requirements.
* When watering, water well. That is, provide enough water to thoroughly saturate the root ball. With containerized plants, apply enough water to allow water to flow through the drainage holes.
* Avoid using cold water especially with houseplants. This can shock tender roots. Fill watering can with tepid water or allow cold water to sit for a while to come to room temperature before watering. This is a good way to allow any harmful chlorine in the water to evaporate before being used.
* Some plants are best irrigated by sub-irrigation, i.e. watering from the bottom up. This avoids splashing water on the leaves of sensitive plants. Simply place the pot in a shallow pan filled with tepid water and let the plant sit for 15 minutes to allow the root ball to be thoroughly wet. Take out and allow sufficient drainage.
* Use an unpainted dowel to help you determine when to re-water larger pots. Stick it into the soil ball & wait 5 minutes. The dowel will absorb moisture from the soil and turn a darker color. Pull it out and examine. This will give you an idea of how wet the soil root ball is.
* Roots need oxygen to breath, do not allow plants to sit in a saucer filled with water. This will only promote disease.
Partial Shade is defined as filtered light found beneath trees with high limbs. Partial shade usually offers some protection from direct afternoon sun.
Dappled Light refers to a dappled pattern of light created on the ground, as cast by light passing through high tree branches. This is the middle ground, not considered shady, but not sunny either. Dappled remains constant throughout the day.
Part Sun refers to filtered light, with most sun being received during the afternoon hours. Shade usually occurs during the morning hours.
Unless a site is completely exposed, light conditions will change during the day and even during the year. The northern and eastern sides of a house receive the least amount of light, with the northern exposure being the shadiest. The western and southern sides of a house receive the most light and are considered the hottest exposures due to intense afternoon sun. You will notice that sun and shade patterns change during the day. The western side of a house may even be shady due to shadows cast by large trees or a structure from an adjacent property. If you have just bought a new home or just beginning to garden in your older home, take time to map sun and shade throughout the day. You will get a more accurate feel for your site's true light conditions.
For many plants that prefer partially shady conditions, filtered light is ideal. Good planting sites are under a mid to large sized tree that lets some light through their branches or beneath taller plants that will provide some protection.
Moderate Light for Houseplants
Place houseplants that require moderate light within 5 feet of an eastern or western exposure window.
Full to Partial Shade
Full shade means there is little or no light in the growing zone. Shade can be the result of a mature stand of trees or shadows cast by a house or building. Plants that require full shade are usually susceptible to sunburn. Full shade beneath trees may pose additional problems; not only is there no light, but competition for water, nutrients and root space.
Partial shade means that an area receives filtered light, often through tall branches of an open growing tree. Root competition is usually less. Partial shade can also be achieved by locating a plant beneath an arbor or lathe-like structure. Shadier sides of a building are normally the northern or northeastern sides. These sides also tend to be a little cooler. It is not uncommon for plants that can tolerate full sun or some sun in cooler climates to require some shade in warmer climates due to stress placed on the plant from reduced moisture and excessive heat.
Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Part sun or part shade plants prefer light that is filtered. Sunlight, though not direct, is important to them. Often morning sun, because it is not as strong as afternoon sun, can be considered part sun or part shade. If you live in an area that does not get much intense sun, such as the Pacific Northwest, a full sun exposure may be fine. In other areas such as Florida, plant in a location where afternoon shade will be received.
Full to Partial Sun
Full sunlight is needed for many plants to assume their full potential. Many of these plants will do fine with a little less sunlight, although they may not flower as heavily or their foliage as vibrant. Areas on the southern and western sides of buildings usually are the sunniest. The only exception is when houses or buildings are so close together, shadows are cast from neighboring properties. Full sun usually means 6 or more hours of direct unobstructed sunlight on a sunny day. Partial sun receives less than 6 hours of sun, but more than 3 hours. Plants able to take full sun in some climates may only be able to tolerate part sun in other climates. Know the culture of the plant before you buy and plant it!
Bright Light for Houseplants
Houseplants requiring bright light should be placed within 2 feet of an eastern or western exposure window or within 2 to 5 feet of a southern exposure window. source: this article is taken from http://www.backyardgardener.com with little moderation.
here are few more terms.. Annual - An annual is a plant which grows, blooms, and perhaps, sets seeds within a one year period. Annuals are among the most colorful of all flowering bedding plants. Since all of the plant's energy is directed toward producing flowers and seeds, annuals tend to bloom over an exceptionally long time during their growing season. Cool-season annuals are those which grow most vigorously during the cooler time of the year. Some, but not all, cool-season annuals are able to withstand periods of subfreezing temperatures. Warm-season annuals tend to thrive in the warmer months of the year, and generally will not tolerate frost.
Perennial - A perennial plant is one which will last for several years. Perennials will survive winter and return with new growth during the onset of the growing season. Perennials are indispensable landscape additions due to their lasting nature. Flowering perennials often have a single season of blooming; planting a variety of different perennials within the landscape will ensure beauty over an exceptionally long time.
Vine - A vine is considered a plant that will grow to an indefinite height and/or width while at the same time depending on another plant or surface for support. The support can be an arbor, fence, the ground and even a house. Vines climb by tendrils, by twining or by clinging. Their climbing method determines the kind of support required. Tendrils are small leafless stems that wrap themselves around most anything they contact like a wire support, wooden trellis or wrought iron fence. Twining vines wind their stems around any available support and are favored for trellises arbors and patio covers. Clinging vines climb by attaching small root-like fasteners to walls, trees, or other textured surfaces.
Evergreen - Evergreen plants retain their foliage throughout the year. For many evergreens, older interior foliage will begin to be shed with the onset of new growth. It is important to water evergreens thoroughly during winter. Especially during periods of dry and windy weather.
Deciduous - A plant which is deciduous will shed all of its foliage at the end of the growing season. Deciduous plants will then produce a new set of leaves at the onset of the next growing season. Screening - Screening plants produce dense growth and significant height, allowing them to provide privacy in urban settings or establish wind breaks in large open spaces. Taller varieties also furnish a vertical element to landscapes, drawing the eye upward. Use screening plants to divide large spaces and create cozy secluded hideaways, block street noise, or hide unattractive views. Tall screens can also afford protection from the wind which can substantially reduce energy consumption in the wintertime. Accent - Accent plants are utilized to bring attention to a specific plant characteristic and in turn draw the eye to the area of the landscape they occupy. Accent plants offer stunning foliage color, interesting growth habit, unique flowers or a combination of all three.
Tender Perennial - A tender perennial is a plant which will generally survive mild winter conditions, yet may be questionable where temperatures often fall below freezing. Many tender perennial plants can be overwintered indoors, while some may survive in the ground with added winter protection. Applying a thick layer of mulch around the roots of tender perennials for the winter is usually recommended. Tendrils - Tendrils are sensitive plant structures which grab onto a suitable structure to support climbing and vining plants. The size of the tendril generally determines the diameter of an object around which it can coil. Choose an appropriately sized support when planting vines with tendrils to make sure the tendrils have the ability to utilize the structure.
Shrub - Shrubs are woody plants usually with multiple stems arising from or near their bases. Shrubs will not develop a bare trunk like a tree, however, some large shrubs can be pruned into tree-form by removing all but one straight main stem.
Tropical - A tropical plant is one which comes from a region which does not experience any freezing temperatures, thus allowing it to grow all year in its native environment. The greatest variety of plants originate from the tropical areas of the world. Tropical plants are used in many climates for many purposes. Houseplants are a prime example of tropicals being utilized outside their native range. Many seasonal landscape color plants and bedding plants are tropical, and are used frequently in annual plantings. Some fruit-bearing tropical plants can be grown in containers which are brought inside during the colder winter months.
Tropics - The tropics is an area in the form of a band with the equator at its center which encircles the earth. Plants from the tropics usually come from regions of consistently warm temperatures with moderate to heavy rainfall.
Sub-Tropics - The subtropics are the areas between the tropical equatorial region and the cooler or more temperate regions of the planet. Many beautiful and durable landscape plants can be successfully grown in the subtropics. The subtropical locations near oceans or large bodies of water are the places of origin for some of the most colorful landscape plants.
Dormant - A plant that is dormant is essentially resting. It is at a point in time when it cannot produce growth, usually due to climatic factors. Temperatures near freezing will cause the majority of landscape plants to enter a dormant state. It is at this time when most plants can be pruned, divided or transplanted most successfully.
Rootstock - A rootstock is the structure below the crown of a vigorous species of plant onto which a more desirable plant is grafted and grows. Usually rootstocks are used when the desirable top portion to be grown would be less vigorous if allowed to do so on its own roots. Often, a rootstock can limit the mature size of a plant as compared to the same variety when grown on its own roots. This may allow for the growing of naturally large plants in relatively small spaces, sometimes including planters and patio containers. Cold Hardiness - Cold hardiness refers to a plant's ability to survive near-freezing and subfreezing temperatures. Many factors can determine cold hardiness. A plant which is gradually accustomed to cooler temperatures is more likely to survive the cold than a plant which experiences a rapid change from warmth to cold. A plant susceptible to cold which is situated where it will receive early morning sunlight may be more likely to succumb to damage. Also, the overall health of a plant will determine its cold hardiness. A plant which has been fertilized adequately during its growing season will tend to be hardier than one which has lacked sufficient nutrients.
Pinching - Pinching is a simple method of pruning a plant to encourage branching and bushier growth. It involves using the thumb and forefinger to remove the tip of a growing shoot on a plant just above a leaf or set of leaves. Many annuals, perennials and shrubs benefit from this type of pruning, allowing them to achieve a more rounded shape, produce more stems for flowering and reduce the height as compared to a mature plant of the same type. Pinching can also be used as a way of delaying the blooming of certain plants to provide an appropriately timed seasonal display of flowers. Some houseplants which tolerate lower light levels may also benefit from pinching stems which tend to grow toward a light source.
Plant Trunk - The trunk is the woody, thickened main stem of a plant. Bark acts as a shield to protect the numerous tissues inside the trunk which are responsible for carrying nutrients up to the plant's branches and downward toward the root system. It is important to protect the trunk from injury since damaging the conductive tissues just below the surface of the trunk will result in disrupted growth or dieback of branches and roots relative to the side of the trunk injured. Make sure lawn mowers and line trimmers as well as other potentially damaging tools are kept from striking the trunk. If planted in a lawn area, consider using a trunk protector to avoid damage. Keep lawn grass from growing directly up to the trunk of a plant by using mulch or appropriate herbicides.
Pollinator - A pollinator is the means by which pollen from a flower is transported to accomplish the pollination process. Most plants grown for their edible produce require pollination to set fruit. Bees are common pollinators. Planting a wide variety of blooming plants can help attract natural pollinators in your area to your landscape.
Root Ball - A root ball is the soil and roots of a plant as seen during planting or transplanting. Container grown plants will have a root ball equivalent to the size and shape of the container in which they have been grown. Balled and burlapped plants should have a root ball proportionate to the size of the plant, but with an irregularly rounded shape. It is essential that the root ball remains intact during planting or transplanting. Many tiny roots which are responsible for the uptake of water and nutrients exist within the root ball. If the ball breaks, damage to these miniscule roots will occur, causing significant stress to the plant. Always handle the root ball carefully, supporting it securely during the planting or transplanting process. Dwarf - Dwarf plants are ones which appear much smaller than members of the same species. This is often achieved by grafting a stem of a desirable variety to a rootstock of a different variety. The difference in rootstock and top allows the plant to grow only to a fraction of its usual height and width, allowing it to be grown in a smaller space than its full sized counterpart.
Early Blossom - Blooming plants that flourish in temperatures down to 35 degrees.
Root Stimulator - A root stimulator is a solution of specific nutrients formulated to encourage the growth and development of the roots of plants. Using root stimulator on newly planted and transplanted landscape additions will help them become established more quickly. A healthy and substantial root system will allow plants to flourish and resist adverse conditions such as extreme heat, cold and drought.
Determinate - Determinate tomatoes are varieties that grow to a fixed mature size and ripen all their fruit in a short period, usually about 2 weeks. Once this first flush of fruit has ripened, the plant will begin to diminish in vigor and will set little to no new fruit. These varieties are often referred to as “bush” tomatoes, because they do not continue growing in size throughout the growing season. They are smaller than indeterminate tomatoes, with most growing to a compact 3-4 feet. Despite their compact size, staking or caging is still recommended, since the concentrated fruit set can contribute considerable weight to the branches.
Dioecious - A dioecious plant produces either female or male flowers, but not both, on a single plant. A male plant and a female plant must be planted within a close proximity for the female plant to produce fruit or berries; the pollen from the plant with male flowers is needed to pollinate the female flowers on a separate plant.
Dividing - Dividing is the process of separating plants, usually during a dormant period, which have become crowded over time due to continued growth. It may be a necessity to divide to keep certain plants performing at their peak, as they may have formed a solid mass which prevents proper uptake of nutrients and water. Plants may also be divided at the proper time to allow one to plant the divisions to other locations. In most cases, care must be taken while dividing. Each division will need a significant amount of roots and stem growth to survive the process.
Crown - T he crown of a plant is the point where the roots join the stem. When planting new landscape additions it is important to remember that the crown of the plant should always be planted at or slightly above the existing grade. Planting too deep can cause fatal rotting of the crown and roots.
Days To Harvest - Days to harvest is usually indicated within the growing instructions for vegetables and fruit, and generally refers to the number of days it takes from setting out a transplant until the first harvest can be made.
Days To Maturity - Days to maturity is usually indicated within the growing instructions for vegetable seeds, and generally refers to the number of days it takes from sowing until the first harvest can be made. However, this is not a universally accepted definition, and may refer to the number of days it takes from setting out a transplant or seedling until the first harvest can be made.
Dead-Heading - Dead-heading is a simple type of pruning which involves the removal of a flower or cluster of flowers down to a leaf or set of leaves. The main reason for dead-heading is to discourage a plant from producing seeds. Often, when a plant begins to set seeds, its natural tendency to produce flowers will diminish. By removing flowers before this takes place, one can disrupt the seed-forming process, thereby causing the plant to produce more flowers. Dead-heading is most effectively done when flowers begin to fade or drop petals.
Aeration - Aeration refers to the amount of air present in the soil. Properly aerated soil allows for the healthy growth of plants' roots, therefore promoting the overall vigor of the plants grown. Water and fertilizers are better able to reach the roots in soil that is sufficiently aerated. Soil that lacks aeration often becomes compacted, and tends to prevent the absorption of moisture and nutrients. There are essentially two basic methods of aerating soil. One way is by manually digging, tilling or turning the soil, thus incorporating some small pockets of air within the soil. Secondly, earthworms and some other tunneling creatures naturally provide aeration by means of their feeding and movements through the soil.
Angled Cuts - When pruning branches it is recommended to make angled cuts. The angle should be between 45 and 60 degrees to the plane of the branch. The cut should be made slightly above a bud or branch in such a way as to have it angled from the side of the bud or other branch directed down the stem with the lower part of the cut terminating on the opposite side of the bud or branch. If larger branches of a tree or large shrub are to be removed, it is recommended to make the cut near the collar of bark at the junction of the limbs or trunk. The angle should accommodate the rapid dissipation of moisture from rain or irrigation from the cut surface. Angled cuts will greatly reduce the risk of dieback and disease and allow the plant to heal and grow in a healthy manner.
Attractant - This plant will attract both butterflies and hummingbirds that are native to your area. The nectar of this plant is a natural food source for butterflies and hummingbirds. When you are planning a butterfly or hummingbird garden, use multiple plants that bloom at different times. This will provide a food source throughout the season. Also remember that butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy fresh water and protected areas to rest, perch and nest.
Balled And Burlapped - Balled and burlapped plants are those which have been grown in the ground for a length of time before being dug with an appropriately sized root ball. Burlap is used to wrap the root ball and is usually secured with rope, twine, wire or combinations of the three. Planting of balled and burlapped plants is essentially the same as for container-grown plants. Make sure the plant is positioned so that the top of its root ball is near the same level as it was previously growing. Pull back any burlap that may be exposed, as this material could act to accelerate the drying of the root area. Any materials wrapped around the base of the plant should be cut to allow for its growth.
Bare Root (Packaged) - Bare root or packaged plants offer ease of transport and will thrive with just a little extra attention during the planting process. Try to plant bare root plants as soon after purchase as possible. If it's going to be longer than a day before planting, place the plant with its roots in a bucket of water. For planting, dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root system. Form a cone of soil at the bottom of the hole; this will allow you to place the roots in such a way that they will fan outward, allowing for better and faster establishment. For bare root plants already with significant top growth, be sure to locate the growing level of the plant. This can usually be distinguished by a difference in coloration along the main trunk or stem. Make certain the plant is situated so it is growing at the same level as before it was dug.
Biodegradable Pots - Biodegradable pots are environmentally friendly alternatives to more traditional plastic pots. These containers are typically manufactured by compressing natural fibers into a typical pot shape. Planting items grown in biodegradable pots is made simple since the plant and pot are planted directly into the soil; roots can easily grow through the fibers of the pot and into the surrounding soil. Be certain to make sure the soil in the pot is at or slightly above the existing soil. Any portion of the pot which would protrude above the soil line should be carefully cut away as this material could act like a wick, allowing moisture to be drawn away from the root system.
Bone Meal - Bone meal is an excellent natural fertilizer for a wide variety of plants including flowers, bulbs, perennials, roses and vegetables. It is an excellent source of phosphorus - the major nutrient used by plants which encourages flower and fruit production, root growth and overall plant growth. It also contains a substantial amount of calcium, another necessary nutrient for plants. Since the phosphorus in bone meal does not travel easily through the soil to plant roots, it is recommended that it be incorporated into the soil that will surround the root system of the plant. For best results, add bone meal to soil when backfilling the hole for a new plant or carefully dig into soil of existing planting areas. Semi-Dwarf - Semi-dwarf plants are ones which appear significantly smaller than members of the same species. This is often achieved by grafting a stem of a desirable variety to a rootstock of a different variety. The difference in rootstock and top allows the plant to grow only to a small percentage of its usual height and width, allowing it to be grown in a smaller space than its full sized counterpart.
Shearing - Shearing is the cutting of the tips of the branches of a shrub, either manually with handheld pruners or with a motorized tool, to achieve a desired shape. Hedges are often sheared to a uniform height and width to add a touch of formality to the landscape. Similarly, topiaries are sheared to maintain their unique shapes. Shearing is usually done on a regular basis during the growing season. For proper growth, one should shear plants in such a way that sunlight is able to reach all areas of the plants. It is not recommended to shear plants so as to have the top wider than the growth at the base, as this would shade growth further down, causing it to become sparse.
Soil Conditioner - Soil conditioners are products used to change the structure and fertility of existing or native soil. They are incorporated into the soil to help improve the vigor and overall performance of plants. Examples of soil conditioners include compost, manures and mulches along with many others.
Specimen - A specimen plant is one which captures attention with its unique structure, outstanding coloration, significant size or a combination of the three. Specimens are usually planted singly within a landscape setting to draw attention to their uniqueness.
Staked - Plants are staked when a support is needed for upright growth. If a plant's natural habit is to trail or produce vines, it may be staked for guidance toward a structure or wall. Young trees are often staked in areas of high wind to prevent excessive swaying.
Standard - Standard size plants are either grown on their own roots or grafted onto a different rootstock. Either method should not limit the plant from reaching the mature height for its species.
Superphosphate - Superphosphate is a fertilizer containing only the major nutrient phosphorus. It is an excellent fertilizer for a wide variety of plants including flowers, bulbs, perennials, roses and vegetables. Phosphorus is the nutrient used by plants to encourage flower and fruit production, root growth and overall plant growth. Since the phosphorus in superphosphate does not travel easily through the soil to plant roots, it is recommended that it be incorporated into the soil that will surround the root system of the plant. For best results, add superphosphate to soil when backfilling the hole for a new plant or carefully dig into soil of existing planting areas.
Thinning - Thinning refers to the pruning of trees and shrubs to help create a more open structure and to allow more sunlight penetration. This may become necessary when older trees begin to shade plants beneath. The appropriate timing for thinning is usually when the tree or shrub is in a dormant state. In areas with colder weather, the best time is usually after the first hard freeze.
Topiary - A topiary is a shrub or tree which has been carefully pruned and trained to give it a unique shape other than how it would naturally grow if left unprimed. Topiaries are outstanding feature plants or landscape specimens. Many topiary plants may be used in planters to accent entryways or add beauty to patio areas. Topiaries are easily maintained if given regular attention and frequent light pruning as needed.
Trailing - Trailing plants produce predominantly horizontal growth with little or no strongly upright branches. These plants lend themselves ideally for foreground planting, massing and as ground cover.
Upright - Upright plants produce vertical branching which exceeds the length of their horizontal branching. Upright plants are well-suited for background and mid-level landscape plantings.
USDA Hardiness Zone - Depending on average annual minimum temperature, the Department of Agriculture has grouped all locations in the United States into a Hardiness Zone. The zones are numbered with Zone 1 having the lowest average annual minimum temperature with higher numbered zones having warmer average minimums. This information is utilized to determine the range in which plants may be successfully grown. It is recommended to check which zone you live in to help choose landscape plants that will endure your climate's winter.
Water Soluble Fertilizer - A water soluble fertilizer is one that is mixed with water before being applied to plants. Water soluble fertilizers contain nutrients which are readily available for plant uptake, and usually provide relatively fast growth, flowering or fruit production. In general, water soluble fertilizers may need to be applied more frequently due to their ability to be dissolved by water. Rain and irrigation are factors which can influence the longevity of a water soluble fertilizer's effectiveness. Always follow label direction when applying any fertilizer.
Excellent & most essential information for gardening.Thank you Kisana for providing. This listing should prove very handy for the members & should form part of the brief for new Entrants to the Forum being considered by Farhan.