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Gardening Terms Glossary
"P" Gardening Terms
Here are some of the common and not so common terms you will hear or read about when dealing with gardening.
pagoda: A pyramidal shaped structure fashioned after Oriental temples.
palmate: Divided into leaflets or loves in the manner of a hand.
panicle: Loosely branched flower structure, usually cone shaped with flowers opening from lower section upwards.
parallel venation: Almost exclusively in monocot leaves, a pattern in which all veins run approximately parallel to each other, either from the base of the leaf or from the midrib to the margin.
peat pot: A seed starting container made from compressed peat and other fibrous materials.
peat moss: The partially decomposed remains of various mosses. This is a good, water retentive addition to the soil, but tends to add the acidity of the soil pH.
pedicel: The stalk of an individual flower.
peduncle: The stalk of an inflorescense, a group of flowers.
perennial: A plant that lives year after year when given proper care. The foliage dies back in the winter time but the roots live to start the plant over again the following year.
perfect flower: A flower that has both female and male reproductive parts.
periderm: Technical term for bark; it consists of cork, cork cambium, and any enclosed tissues such as secondary phloem.
pergola: An overhead structure that consists of columns and cross beams that provides shade and also support for vines.
perlite: Lightweight volcanic mineral that is used as a growing medium.
persistent: Remaining attached. Gardening terms that means the leaves, fruit or seed pods stay on longer than typical.
pesticide: Substance used to control insects, weeds, fungus and any other garden pests.
petals: The appendages, usually colored, on a flower.
petiole: The stalk of a leaf.
pH: The measurement of the soil's alkalinity versus acidity, on a scale of 1-14 with 7 being neutral, 1-6 on the acid side and 8-14 on the alkaline side.
phellem: Technical term for cork.
phloem: The portion of vascular tissues involved in conductin sugars and other organic compounds, along with some water and minerals.
phosphate: A form of phosporus (P) that assists in strong root growth in plants, one of the three main nutrients in fertilizer.
photosynthesis: Process of creating carbohydrates in the chlorophyll containing tissues of plants exposed to light.
phylum: One of the not so essential gardening terms used for any large subdivision of the plant or animal kingdom.
pinching: Removal of the top part of a stem to encourage side buds to grow creating bushier plants.
pine straw: Dead pine needles which are used as a mulch.
pinnate: Compound leaf, with leaflets arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk.
pip: Individual underground root stock from plants like lily of the valley and the tightly curled leaves seen when hostas first emerge in the spring.
pistal: The female part of the flower it has an ovary, stigma and style.
pith: The spongy wet tissue you find inside a stem.
planting strip: The area in front of your house that lies between the sidewalk and the curb or street.
pollard: A style of trimming trees where the main branches are cut back near the trunk so that a small crown is formed by the many small branches.
pollen: Dust like grains produced on the anthers of flowers. They contain male sex cells.
pollination: The transfer of pollen from the stamen (male part of the flower) to the pistil (female part of the flower), which results in the formation of a seed. Hybrids are created when the pollen from one kind of plant is used to pollinate and entirely different variety, resulting in a new plant altogether.
post-emergence treatment: Chemical treatments applied after the plant is above ground and actively growing.
potash: A form of potassium (K) that assists in improving flowers and fruiting in plants, one of the three main ingredients in fertilizer.
pot bound: Condition where a plant has been growing in a container for so long that its roots become a dense mass that can sometimes be hard to cut into.
pre-emergence treatment: Chemical treatment applied after seeding but before plants emerge from the ground.
propagation: Creation of more plants through asexual and sexual methods such as seeds, cuttings, grafts, layering or tissue cultures. Producing multiple plants from a single plant.
prostrate: One of many garden terms meaning lying flatly on the ground.
pruning: Cutting select plant parts to remove dead, damaged or dying parts also used to encourage new growth and to shape a plant.
pubescent: Covered with short, soft hairs.
This list is by no means a complete collection of horticultural techniques and terms.
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