Landscaping Glossary of Terms

The following landscaping glossary deals with some general landscaping terms:


Accent involves the use of a plant or an object in order to draw more attention to that place

Acidic Soil

Soil having a PH level of less than 7.0 on a PH scale

Alkaline Soil

Soil having a PH level of less than 7 on the PH scale is referred to as Alkaline soil


Flowering plants that last only one season


In landscaping terms, bleeding is a term used to define the oozing of sap through a cut

Branch Collar

A thick ring formed at the bottom of a branch

Bubble Diagram

Involves making use of round structures to represent different materials in a landscape


Plants that grow for one year without flowering, produce flowers/fruits in the second year and die


A fungal disease that can affect shoots


When a pollen from the flower of one plant, fertilizes the flower of another plant the process is referred as cross pollination

Deciduous Trees

Trees that shed foliage/leaves at the end of growing season


Loss of leaves from plants or trees is commonly referred as defoliation

Drip Irrigation

An irrigation system that allows passage of water through emitters placed right underneath the plant's root under slow pressure


The temporary cession of growth during winter seasons


Persistent plants that remain green throughout the year

Frost Line

The earth below the soil limit that will freeze during winter season (Michigan's can be up to 42")

Ground Cover

Plants that grow horizontal to the ground


Refers to sidewalks, patios or walkways covering the soil surface


Plants that have soft rather than woody tissue


A plant that results due to cross pollination of plants that differ in their genetics

Island Bed

Flowering beds on which one can walk around without causing damage


The term given to soil which has become impenetrable because of foot traffic, construction etc.

Integrated Pest Management

The process of predicting pest infestations in order to take early measures to prevent outbreaks

Landscaping Fabric

A synthetic material that allows water to pass, but blocks sun light, soil and weeds from passing through


A compound that contains calcium. Generally used to increase the PH level of the soil


A layer of either in-organic or organic material which is placed around plants to enhance moisture retention of the soil and control weeds

Multi-stemmed Plants

Those that have several main stems arising from the ground level


A point on the stem from which leaves, shoots or flowers arise


Micro-organisms that can cause diseases to both humans and plants

Percolation test

A test conducted by landscapers or gardeners to find the rate at which the water gets absorbed by the soil


The process of controlling growth of a plant or tree to give it an aesthetic shape, to maintain its health and to increase growing space

Root pruning

Involves cutting off certain parts of the root system in order to restrict plant growth


The process of supporting a tree using ropes or wooden stacks to hold it in place


The process by which water absorbed by the roots is given off into the atmosphere through water vapor


The process of building walls to hold the soil in place on a sloped site

Variegated leaves

Leaves that have different patterns and colors