Houseplant Botanical Glossary
Acclimatization ~ The process of shedding
leaves any plant goes through as it becomes accustomed to it's new
Aerial Root ~ A root which originates above the soil line from the trunk
or stem, growing downward or into the soil. This type of root is commonly
found on Ficus trees and Scheffleras.
Air Layering ~ A type of propagation used on woody plants. With a sharp
knife, make a vertical slice about two 2" in length and a bit less than
half the diameter of the branch. Place a small amount of rooting hormone in
the cut along with a small object to keep the cut separated. Wrap the cut
with moist sphagnum moss. Wrap the moss with tin foil. Tie both ends with
twist ties. Open the "bandage' every two weeks to check the moisture
content of the moss and to check for roots. Once the moss contains a large
amount of roots, cut the branch below the original cut and pot the cutting
in potting soil.
Azalea pot ~ A container that is half as deep as it is wide.
Bicolor ~ A plant which has two distinctly different colors within its
leaf such as Dracaena marginata bicolor.
Bush form ~ A plant that is grown as a small bush with foliage from the
top of the pot to the top of the plant.
Chlorophyll ~ A green cell pigment within the leaves of a plant which
Chloroplast ~ Chloroplast are like a container that contains
Chlorosis ~ An abnormal yellowing or veining of the leaves. Some times
caused by nutrient deficiencies.
Double Potting ~ The placement of a plant in it's original pot inside of
a second container such as a decorative pot.
Foliar feeding ~ The application of liquid fertilizer applied
to the foliage of a plant.
Footcandle ~ A scientific measurement of light.
Honeydew ~ A sticky, sugary like substance deposited by insects feeding
on plants. Black sooty mold can grow on this secretion.
Leaching ~ The flushing of excess nutrients or salts from a
Pebble Tray ~ A tray filled with sand or small pebbles that is saturated
with water to help raise the humidity level near a plant.
Photosynthesis ~ The process a plant uses to convert nutrients, water
and carbon dioxide into sugars in the presence of light.
Propagation ~ A method of multiplying plants.
Pups ~ New plants produced by the mother plant as off shoots from the
main plant or at the end of vines as in a "Spider plant".
Node ~ The point where a leaf is attached to the stem.
Respiration ~ "Oxidation of food, with the release of energy.
Provides energy for plant life and releases carbon dioxide and water."
Plants take in carbon dioxide at night and release air during the day.
Standard Pot ~ A container that is roughly twice as tall as it is wide.
Suckers ~ Young plants that grow off of the stem of the main or mother
Tepid Water ~ Water that is 70 to 76 degrees.
Transpiration ~ The process where a plant looses water through the pores
of a leaf.
Tree form ~ A plant that has a bare trunk with foliage on the upper part
of the trunks. Braided and Standard Ficus would be considered a tree form.
Wilting point ~ The point at which the leaves on a plant begin to droop
due to lack of water.