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How to Sound Like You've Got a Degree in Horticulture.

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

Know nothing about plants, but want to sound like you just graduated from UGA with an Ag (hip slang for #agriculture) degree? Fear no more! I’ve discovered the easiest way to immerse yourself into the horti-culture: brush up on your #vocabulary!

Take 10 minutes to go through this easy to understand #glossary & you’ll sound like a pro-planter* in no time 🌿 *use of this word will reverse any glimmer of (invented) professionalism this guide has to offer.

Tricky terminology from last posted HOW TO GUIDE :




  • #PROPAGATION (SEXUAL & ASEXUAL .. ooh la la!)


  • BURNING; what it means for a plant to get burned, ouch!



FULL SUN: When a plant requires “full sun,” that means it prefers at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, during the hottest part of the day. For example, some plants labeled #FULLSUN actually require 7+ hours of sunlight/day, but it is crucial for them to spend at least 6 of those hours under the blazing mid-day heat. here’s where it gets a little tricky …  #PARTIALSUN & #PARTIALSHADE can be used interchangeably. Each term stands for a requirement of 3 - 6 hours of sunlight per day. What differentiates the two terms? PARTIAL SUN: a plant which favors partial sun can withstand hotter temperaturesand benefits from closer to six hours of sunlight per day. PARTIAL SHADE: a plant which favors partial shade must be protected from the sun’s heat during the hottest part of the day and will profit from closer to 3 hours of sunlight/day. Finally, we have SHADE. #SHADE: plants that enjoy shade don’t want to be in the dark all the time, but they need protection from the sun to #thrive. While they cannot stand direct sunlight for any extended period, dappled shade is preferable.

{{Figuring out which plants go where in your garden can be difficult. It is important to note which areas of your space receive sunlight and/or shade, for how long, and at what time of the day. As we discussed with the definitions, some plants thrive with sunlight, but only at certain parts of the day, while others need direct sunlight for the majority, especially during it’s hottest hours. With that being said, it’s important to consider sun and shade placement in these areas will change with the seasons. Most plants flourish during the spring, meaning #plant-sun placement is even more crucial during certain seasons. (1) Observing and timing sunlight in your garden, (2) researching the plants you choose, and sometimes even (3) trial and error, are critical steps in becoming a successful #greenthumb.}}

Buckle your seatbelts my knowledge-seeking-horti-culture-immersed-savy-with-the-shovel friends, its time to brush up on this frequently misused language …


We’ll start with definitions. SUCCULENT PLANT: plants with more than normally thickened and fleshy partsused to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. Succulent plants may store water in various structures, such as leaves or stems. The habitats of these water preserving plants are often areas with high temperatures and low rainfall. They have the ability to thrive on limited water sources, such as mist and dew, which makes them equipped to survive in an ecosystem which contains scarce water. SEDUM: a large genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae. The genus has been described as containing up to 470 species. The plants vary from annual and creeping herbs to shrubs. They all have water storing leaves. CACTUS: a #succulentplant with a thick, fleshy stem that typically bears spines, lacks leaves, and has brilliantly colored flowers. A cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, within the order of Caryophyllales. They are native to the Americas, ranging from Patagonia in the south to parts of western Canada in the north. There are also accuse that grow in Arica and Sri Lanka. 

Let’s review. Succulent is a term of description, not a category in formal plant #classification.Botanically, all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti; all cacti characteristically retain water in thickened and fleshy parts of their structure, but not all plants with succulent characteristics are classified as cacti. Remember, sedum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulacae, and cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae. So, as you can see, cactus and sedum are each in a different genus of plants coming from two different families within the plant hierarchy, yet both can be described as “succulent.”

IN CONCLUSION – succulent is an adjective describing two plants, sedums and cacti. While all sedums and cacti are succulent, not all succulents are sedums and cacti.


As simple as it sounds, this means the roots of your plant have begun to rot. This can happen in indoor and outdoor plants, but it is more common with indoor plants that have poor drainage systems. If you #overwater a plant and/or the water fails to drain properly, the excess water will prevent the roots from getting air causing them to decay. Besides overwatering, using dirt from the ground or sand, which are both extremely dense, rather than potting soil are common causes. It is potentially contagious — while spores from root rot causing agents can spread from contaminated plants onto others via bugs or through the air, the spores can only survive if the other plant(s) also contain excess moisture. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for root rot and it is lethal. Ultimately, the only solution for the plant from being lost completely is propagation. Once you have cut the healthy areas of the plant for propagation, you should remove and destroy it.

This brings us to …


Propagation: plant propagation is the process of creating new plants from a variety of sources: seeds, cuttings, bulbs, and other plant parts. OR it refers to the artificial or natural dispersal of plants. There are two different types, #sexualpropagation and asexualpropagation.

Sexual propagation: involves seeds and spores resulting in genetic recombination. The

new plant will acquire characteristics from both parents resulting in a plant similar, but not identical, to it’s parents.

Asexual propagation can be done in a number of ways. Some of the most popular ways are tissue cultures or grafting. Because only one parent is used in this method, the new plant will have identical characteristics.

#Grafting: grafting is a horticultural technique where tissues of plants are joined, so they can continue their growth together. In most cases, one plant is selected for it’s roots and another plant is selected for its stems, leaves, flowers, or fruits. The upper part of the plant is called the #scion, while the lower part is called the #rootstockThe scion contains the genes to be duplicated. For grafting to take place the tissues of the scion and stock plant must be placed in contact with one another. Both tissues must be kept alive until the graft has taken place. This usually takes a few weeks. The only necessary characteristic for a successful graft is that the grafted tissues bind on a vascular level. Unfortunately, grafts will cause a joint in the plant, which results in a physical weak spot because the only tissues that have fused together are those that are newly formed.

#Plant tissue culture: collection of techniques used to maintain or grow plant cells, tissues, or organs under sterile conditions on a nutrient culture medium of known composition. PTC relies on the fact that many plant cells have the ability to regenerate a whole plant. Single cells, plant cells without cell walls (protoplasts), pieces of leaves, stems, or roots can often be used to generate a new plant on culture media given the required nutrients and plant hormones. A culture medium in this case is a solid, liquid, or semi-solid liquid designed to support the growth of microorganisms or cells. Tissue culture offers many advantages over other forms of propagation, including production of exact copies of plants w.particularly desirable traits, quick production of mature plants, regeneration of whole plants from plant cells that have been genetically modified, production in sterile containers that reduce chances of transmitting diseases, pests, and pathogens even during transit, along with many others.

Next subject (completely unrelated); what goes up & what comes back down?


#Trailing: having a long stem that spreads over the ground or hangs loosely

#Climbing: those that climb up trees and other tall objects.

Climbers can be trained up a support; trailers can be trained to cascade downwards.

AND FINALLY, my environmentally-savy-know-it-alls …


#burning: leaf scorch (also called leaf burn, leaf wilt, and sun scorch) is defined as a browning of plant tissues, including leaf margins and tips, and yellowing or darkening of veins which may lead to eventual wilting and abscission of leaf.

ok guys, GIDDY UP! You’re one step closer to being the plant professional you’ve always dreamed of 😍

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