- a plant's habit is its natural size, shape and form.
Terms such as upright, rounded, horizontal, spreading,
prostrate and vertical are used as descriptive terms.
- having a single complete set of chromosomes (n
diploid, triploid and
- manually moving the pollen from one plant to the
another plant . Many types of tools such as paint
brushes, cotton swabs, dead bee bodies and others are
used by hybridizers to assist
in making the transfer.
- plants that have been grown under ideal conditions of
heat and humidity in
a greenhouse may not be immediately adapted to the more
variable conditions found outdoors. To help seedlings or
plants make this adjustment, a process of "hardening
off" may be used. This may involve taking plants out in
the spring on a cool morning and bringing them back in
if the night is to be frosty. Other ways to harden
plants include withholding water and altering the
temperature within the greenhouse.
- a general term for the ability of a plant to withstand
environmental stresses. In temperate zones, the main
concern is cold temperature hardiness while in other
regions, the challenge may be hot, dry summers.
famous way of designating survivability of plants is the
hardiness zone map of the USDA. However, other
organizations have begun to develop maps based on other
criteria such as heat, drought conditions and urban
- this term is most often used when referring to the
temperature maps developed by the
U.S. Department of
Agriculture and, more recently, by
These maps show the
United States and
into zones based on the average low temperature
experienced within that zone. The zones start with number 1 in the
extreme northern areas of the continent and proceed to
the south. The lower the number, the colder the climate.
Remember that the zones only relate to minimum air
temperatures. A plant is given a zone designation based
on practical experience as to which plants historically
survive those temperatures. Some ratings are based on
scientific cold hardiness studies at universities but
this is by far the minority of cases.
- all the non-living parts of a landscape such as
fences, paths, structures, statuary, trellis, arbors,
propagation method in which the plant segments for
rooting are collected during the
dormant season. It
usually refers to mature twigs that have been hardened
off for winter or wood that is older than one year.
See Softwood Cutting.
- a structure attached to greenhouses which is used for
propagating, potting, storage, etc.
- there are two basic types of pruning cuts: heading
back and thinning cuts.
Heading back is the removal of ends of branches to
achieve a reduction in plant height or span. The most
common form of heading is when plants are trimmed into
hedges or into forms such as squares or balls. It is
generally give the plant an "unnatural" look.
- this is putting plants into the soil temporarily until
they can be transplanted to their permanent location.
This helps to prevent the plant from drying out or
may be used if the plant must be moved from its current
location but the new site is not yet ready for it.
- shaped like a valentine heart. It is a leaf having an acute
point or apex, and a flat to cordate leaf base.
- in the cross-section of a
dicotyledon type of tree's trunk, the heart wood is
found just inside the sapwood
and outside the center pith. It
consists of dead xylem and
phloem cells and no longer
transport water or sap in the tree.
- term for a soil composed predominately of
particles. These soils are generally poorly drained and
lack oxygen spaces needed for plant growth. They are
also more prone to compaction.
- a grouping of plants that have dense foliage and are
spaced close enough so that they grow together forming a
solid mass. They may be precisely trimmed and shaped or
they may be left "natural" in their native growth habit.
Although many types of plants may be used for hedges,
perhaps the most common species are
- these plants do not form a woody stem and, in
temperate zones, will die back to the ground when
exposed to a heavy frost.
These plants are also commonly called herbaceous
- this term applies to plants that live more than two
years (perennial) which do
not form woody tissue (herbaceous).
These are plants whose foliage dies back to the ground
each year generally as the result of cold temperatures
or dry seasons. In the home garden, they are often just
called "perennials" by the gardening public.
In the case of bulb plants,
the foliage dies back to allow a rest period at some
point during the year.
- a substance that either kills or inhibits the growth
of plants. These may be of natural origin or synthetic
Herbicides may be classified as
- plants which do not develop much woody tissue and which
usually have rather succulent annual stems. This term
also refers to a much smaller group of plants (chives,
dill, sage, etc.) grown for culinary,
medicinal, functional, or other properties.
- a frost that leaves ice crystals on soil and
plants owing to condensation of humidity at a decreased
- a suction-cup-like organ on some climbing
vines, which anchors them to walls, fences and other surfaces.
- the bees we associate with honey, hives and plant
insects are not native to
America having been brought here by early European
Native bee species tend to be more solitary
insects that do not form large hives and do not produce
quantities of honey. Still, they contribute extensively
to pollination of fruit and other plants.
- the droppings of sucking insects such as aphids,
scale, whiteflies, etc. is called honeydew. It is often
seen as a shiny coating on leaves that are located below
where the insects are feeding. It is a sign of their
Often, a black fungi called
sooty mold will develop using the honeydew as a food
- a garden hose attachment used for applying
- typical soils are divided into more or less distinct
layers (horizons) moving down toward the center of the
- these are compounds that control general growth and
developmental process in the plant. They are sometimes
also called growth regulators.
The common plant hormones
abscisic acid and
- a form of intensive agriculture that includes the
cultivation of fruits,
vegetables, ornamental trees and shrubs,
turfgrass, groundcovers, flowers,
and floriculture plants. Horticulture is both an art
and a science.
- Describes a flower that has one perfect set
of petals within another. It is generally an
abnormality, but varieties of plants such as
with attractive hose-in-hose flowers have been bred.
The Hosta Journal is the official
publication of the
The American Hosta Society.
This beautiful, full-color magazine type publication is
included with membership in AHS. For further information
on the Journal or how to join the Society, visit the AHS
- highly decomposed, stable
organic matter in the
(v. hybridize) generally, a hybrid organism results from
reproduction with two distinct parents. It is the combination of
the genetic material of both parents resulting in
In plants, a hybrid may be the result of the
mixture of pollen (male) from one plant with the
(female) of a separate plant. However, in plants with
both male and female flower parts on the same plant (monoecious
or perfect flowers), the
hybrid may be the result of "self-pollination".
Some of the resulting hybrid plants are sterile and incapable of
reproduction. Seed from fertile hybrids may produce plants that
vary widely from the parents in the next generation.
Through carefully controlled breeding, hybridizers are often
capable of combining the exactly correct plants to produce
a plant that has the best qualities of each parent.
Hybrid seed corn companies have this down to a pretty
Ever see an "x" in the middle of a plant name such as
Clematis x jackmanii? Well, what this
indicates is that this species is of hybrid origin. That
is, it is an entirely new species that resulted from
cross-breeding of two existing species. The new species
does not exist in the wilds as do other species.
example, the Judd Viburnum (Viburnum x juddii), is the result of crossing
raised at the
by William H. Judd, plant propagator,
Much more rarely, you might see an "X" at the
beginning of a genus name. An example is
which is a new genus that resulted from
the cross of plants in the genus,
plants in the genus,
Tiarella. Again, like the
species created by humans, X Heucherella does not
exist in the wilds.
hybrid tea rose
- When most people think of a "rose" they are really
picturing the classic hybrid tea roses with their large,
delicate blooms that come from the florist. Although not
everyone agrees, it appears that the first hybrid tea
cultivar was 'La France' which was introduced in 1867.
Of course, this all started with the so-called
tea roses that came to
China along with shiploads of tea. These were cross
hybrid perpetual roses to come up with the hybrid
Unlike earlier types of roses which
had small, five-petaled flowers which bloomed only
during June, hybrid teas can bloom the entire season if
pruned properly. On the basic hybrid tea, each flower is
borne singly or in small clusters on the end of the
Perhaps one of the key traits of the
hybrid tea is that it is not very winter hardy.
Generally, they can be grown without winter protection
only in areas that do not dip to 10 degrees or less.
That is one reason why most hybrid teas sold today are
grafted onto another type of more hardy root stock.
- people who actively transfer the
pollen from the
one plant to the
of another or to the same plant. They often have a specific goal
in mind when they make the cross such as improved
fragrance or different color flowers.
- a chemical compound that
absorbs many times its weight in water and is used to
keep media moist to reduce the number of waterings
required. These are often used in potted plants or
containers to help minimize irrigation demands.
- when soils get very dry, they get to a point where the
only water is that which is held very tightly to the
surface of individual particles. This water is so
tightly bound that it is not available for use by plant
See field capacity.
- the part of the embryo or seedling situated
between the cotyledon and the