Common Plant Terms

We’re committed to providing you with the best growing tips to help you select and successfully nurture your plants. Sometimes, understanding all of those growing terms can be a challenge, especially for less experienced gardeners. Here is a guide to some common plant terms to help you make the best decisions for your garden.

General Plant Terms

Rootbound

Rootbound

Cuttings

Cuttings

Cut Back

Deadheading

Bud

Bud

Monoculture

Monoculture

Variegated

Variegated

Habit

A plant’s habit describes the behavior of the plant as it grows in your garden or flower pot. There are two general plant habits.

Trailing

Trailing

Upright

Upright

Lighting

Understanding a plant’s lighting needs helps you to determine where to place the plant in your garden and whether your garden is well-suited to a certain plant. Plant lighting needs generally are broken into three categories.

Full sun

Full Sun

Partial sun

Partial Sun

Full shade

Full Sun

Soil

Our care cards give tips on the soil conditions the plant requires. That’s because some plants will tolerate more moisture, while others prefer dry conditions. One term to watch for is:

Well-drained soil 

Well Drained Soil

Plant Type

Knowing the plant type will help you plan your garden or landscaping beds better by understanding how the plant will behave. Some basic plant types include:

Annual

Annual

Perennial

Perennial

Ground cover

Ground Cover

Bedding plants

Bedding Plants

Hardiness zones

Hardiness zones are assigned by the USDA based on the average low temperatures of regions across the United States and Canada.

Zones

Zones