Top Gardening Words to Know in 2022


If you love nature, plants, or anything eco-friendly in general, you will love gardening. It could be inconvenient, burdensome or stressful for some — due to it can cause injuries, more exposure to chemicals and insects — but it is important to know the mental and physical benefits of gardening. One of the several benefits is it can relieve stress which helps our body and mind feel more calm. Furthermore, gardening is also recommended according to scientific research studies, as it encourages physical exercise which can lower blood pressure levels and help you maintain a healthy weight. In some instances, you will be more exposed to sunlight, but the good thing is, when gardening, you’ll be able to get adequate Vitamin D which plays an essential role in growing stronger bones.

However, gardening is not that easy to do and learn. Due to this fact, many people don’t have a Green Thumb, and everything they try to grow literally dies. Lastly, there are complex terms in gardening that are quite hard to understand. Therefore, further expanding your vocabulary base will be essential throughout your gardening experience. AmazingTalker can help you connect with one-on-one English Tutors that can teach you how to correctly use different gardening phrases in English or even help improve your English skills! Not only that, but you can also find a variety of tutors like Spanish Tutors, Japanese Tutors and more at AmazingTalker!

Did you know? There are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth. Soil is actually alive! This fact might make you uncomfortable, but microbes play an important role in enriching our soil with precious nutrients.

Here’s a list of vocabularies classified in four groups:

Gardening Action

  1. Budding
    • Also known as Bud Grafting
    • A method of converting one plant to —the rootstock— to another which has the same characteristics
    • Higher chance to produce numerous clones from one stem
    • Example: Some budding takes time to grow and to multiply depending on a certain plant.
  2. Composting the Soil
    • Mixture of various ingredients such as vegetable waste, decayed plants and certain organic substances
    • Improvement of the soil and used as fertilizer to help plants grow
    • More eco-friendly, since it made from natural ingredients
    • Example: Physical labor is required when composting, due to the substances that took months to break down completely.
  3. Deadheading Flowers
    • Removing faded flowers by cutting the stem together with the flower on top
    • Flowering process will temporarily stopped as soon as the flowering is finished, to form new seeds
    • Cutting flowers is one of the best ways to generate new grown flowers replacing the faded one
    • Example: To deadhead, gardeners may either use Garden Shears or even use their own hands by simply pinching petals off the flower.
  4. Dig a Hole
    • Digging the soil with the right hole size for the seed will properly be placed
    • The hole size varies depending on the plant and space
    • Some uses their fingers without any gardening tools, but for some uses the right tools in order to loosen up the soil
    • Example: Digging the right hole will lead to long term survival of plant.
  5. Drying and Pressing the Flowers
    • This method is like preserving the flower and creating arts by using pressed flowers
    • Common flowers are used for pressed flowers: Daisy, Rose, Violet, Dahlias and Marigolds
    • Example: Drying should be as quickly as possible to avoid browning of flowers, afterwards prepare the materials used for pressing.

“Feed the Soil – Not the Plants” by Dr. Weil

  1. Feed your Soil
    • The heart of organic gardening action is to produce healthy soil which leads to a healthy plant
    • All soils consist of:
      1. Physical – sand, silt, clay
      2. Chemical – nutrient content
      3. Biological – microscopic organism used for organic gardening
    • Example: Gardeners aim to grow a healthy plant, but they need to consider in feeding the soil for better absorption of water.
  2. Grafting
    • Joining two plants into one, to combine the characteristics of both plants
    • By attaching the top part of one plant to the bottom part of another
    • Example: Plant grafting is a method to propagate, mostly used by fruit trees.
  3. Grow a Seed
    • Is like planting a seed and waiting for it to grow before you harvest
    • Example: There are different seeds to plant, either an indoor or outdoor plant.
  4. Hoe Off Weeds
    • This is often made when there are newly emerged weeds
    • To prevent damaging the crop
    • Example: Traditional hoeing includes digging out or simple hand pulling.
  5. Mixing Growing Medium
    • Also known as Growing Media
    • A material which helps the plant grow
    • Physical support for the plant and for the root growth
    • Example: In any gardening method, growing medium is an essential part for the plant’s growth.
  6. Mow the Lawn
    • An action of cutting grass using a Lawn Mower
    • Example: It’s about to rain. The gardener needs to go mow the lawn before it gets wet.
  7. Mulching
    • Layer of material that covers the ground to protect the surface of the soil from climate changes
    • Some use old leaves, manure or small pieces of woods
    • Example: Spread the mulch all over the ground to control weeds especially during spring.
  8. Propagating
    • Process of breeding plants by using natural methods
    • Typically use stem cuttings from the parent plant
    • Example: If you want to reproduce your plants at home, better start propagating.
  9. Pruning
    • Way of cutting or trimming down the dead branches or stems
    • Method to remove unnecessary parts that can damage the plant growth
    • Example: Proper tree pruning stimulates growth and increases fruitfulness.
  10. Pull Out the Weeds
    • Which means removing unpleasant plants
    • Since weeds tend to choke out all nutrients from the growth of the plant
    • Example: Pull out the weeds from your plant time to time to let it free of invading plants.
  11. Pulling Wild Plants
    • Wild plants is also means “Weeds”
    • These are mostly not grown by people, they can survive independently without proper care
    • That’s why it needs to be pulled off
    • Example: Since wild plants may compete the crop itself that leads to difficulty of absorbing moisture.
  12. Raking Up Leaves
    • To gather fallen leaves on the ground with the use of a Rake
    • Example: The rake is one of the most common and essential tools in gardening.
  13. Repotting
    • By changing the pot and soil from one to another, but not the plant itself
    • Putting into a larger pot is usually consider as repotting
    • Example: Repot once in a while to give more space, which increases the development of plant.
  14. Rooting
    • Process of making roots of a plant
    • Soaking into the water in a small pot with soil for a couple of weeks in order to develop roots before planting
    • Example: Rooting is a great method to form nice roots before you start planting.
  15. Shoveling
    • By using a garden tool called “Shovel”
    • Mostly used for digging, lifting or transplanting
    • Example: Essential tools like Shovel lets you have a better gardening experience.
  16. Sowing Seeds
    • Also known as “Direct Sowing”
    • Is a process of starting to plant in your garden
    • Example: Rather than buying plants, better start sowing seeds.
  17. Sprout Some Seeds
    • Method of sprouting the seed by soaking, rinsing or draining the seed into the water
    • Example: Seeds that have been soaked longer hours, may cause the seed to sprout rapidly.
  18. Trellising
    • A common gardening technique for the past couple of years
    • It is a way to save space by building structure for the plants
    • Not only in gardens but also commonly used as a decor for occasions
    • Example: Climbing plants such as Vines are recommended when trellising.
  19. Weeds Flower Beds
    • Flower beds generally mean “Bed of Flowers”
    • Meaning to say a bed of flowers that contains weeds
    • Is also a method of removing the decayed / unwanted substances in a plant
    • Example: Weed out anything that may degrade the quality of your plant.
  20. Windowsill Gardening
    • Placing your plant near the window or hanging it outside
    • Can be indoors or mostly used in outdoors
    • Example: Windowsill gardening is commonly done by people who don’t have enough outdoor space for gardening.
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Gardening Tools

1. Dandelion Digger

  • Helps to remove dandelions and other weeds that build up in the roots
  • This prevents minimal disturbance or any harm to the plants
  • Also helps to loosen up the rocks and hard packed of soil that stocks up, which prevents soil erosion
  • Example: Use a dandelion digger when the ground is softest by digging the end of the soil, parallel to the dandelion root. Then push the digger downward closely toward the center of the plant and turn the digger upward by the root.

2. Digging Fork

  • Also known as Spading Fork, used for digging and turning over lighter soil types
  • Penetrates the soil much easier, when turning over and for harvesting crops
  • Comes with long tines with sharp points for easy penetration especially if there is a heavy clay or compacted soil
  • Example: The digging fork has a variety of sizes based on digging spot.

3. Garden Kneeler

  • Provides comfort for the knees when kneeling
  • Example: Prevents the knees getting dirty

4. Garden Shears

  • Used to cut and trim the stems and branches
  • Also called as Hedge Shears, that looks like a giant pair of scissors
  • The long blades are easily to cut when trimming taller shrubs or bushes
  • Example: Don’t use garden shears in large branches, it has a different tool for that.

5. Grass Sickle

  • Often used for harvesting crops such as vegetables, cereal crops and for cutting out the grass
  • Design with curved blades
  • It’s like a grass knife that was relatively slow to use, because they are simple and cost saver
  • Example: The grass sickle cut the stems by holding the grasses with the use of sawing action.

6. Garden Spade

  • A flat blade with straight edges
  • Used for light cultivation but smaller size than the shovel
  • It helps slicing the soil and roots, it’s great for double digging, spading up the ground in a more convenient way
  • Example: When Spading it will dig either one spade — called Single digging — or two head spades called Double digging.

7. Garden trowel

  • Used to dig small holes to plant such as bulbs
  • Can be used to transplant by moving a plant from one location to another
  • Allows to compost for planting
  • Example: Garden trowels used to dig and to uproot when transplanting, planting and weeding.

8. Hedge shears

  • Are pruning tools help remove small and long branches of a tree
  • Helps creating a formal hedge for their garden a unique style of look
  • Lead to a more open plant without causing unnecessary growth for the plant
  • Example: The hedge shears enhance the plants’ growth and it is essential to allow for a new growth.

9. Knife weeder

  • Removing the weeds below the soil surface
  • Also known as Patio Knife, a thin sharp angled knife to remove debris
  • Reduces mounding, a medium term is “weed control”
  • Example: The knife weeder may not get rid of large amount of weeds as effectively, but it has an ability to reduce weed competition.

10. Lawn feed

  • Provide nutrients to the plants that provides protection from weeds and feeding the lawn
  • Also known as Lawn fertilizers, a food for the plant growth
  • Helps to recover from the effects of any weather conditions
  • Example: Lawn feeding is recommended by putting a mark in square meters of the lawn using either pegs or canes.

11. Lawnmower

  • Is a machine that used to trim down the grass evenly on the ground
  • Made of thin, hard and very sharp iron plates that able to lacerate the grass, stems and plants
  • Reducing the height of the plant to a more pleasant appearance
  • Example: The lawnmower should be kept sharp because the sharpness is crucial for mulching.

12. Leaf blower

  • Known as a Blower, it is a machine that propels air out of the nozzle to move debris such as leaves
  • Clearing the large amount of leaves and drying out the surface
  • Necessary for cleaning the garden or lawn to clean up the mess from the plants debris
  • Example: A leaf blower should not be used directly into the soil because it may cause harmful denuding and compacting the soil.

13. Long-handed shears

  • Are pruners that allows to prune high branches
  • Often called as Loppers, to cut woody branches from a large trees
  • Considered lightweight shears for clipping, shaping and cutting with a greater height
  • Example: Long-handed shears has an advantage, since it is long enough to reach any higher plants.

14. Pickaxe

  • Referred to as mattocks, helps to break up the matted soil or make a hole for a plant
  • Provides efficiency that keep our hands from getting tired by using axe for hoeing, skimming and chopping through the roots
  • Example: The pickaxe is a choice for removing stumps that are big enough to handle and the right one to choose.

15. Pruners / Pruning shears

  • Cutting out thin pieces of wood and stems
  • To remove a diseased or damaged, dead stems and branches to the plant
  • It prevents spreading the healthy plants getting damage
  • Example: These pruners and pruning shears are necessary for the plants to remove dead parts which can attract pests and may harbos diseases.
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16. Pruning saw

  • Used to cut our the lumber that are able to trim large shrubs and smaller tree branches
  • Often use if the branch or trunk is thicker than 1.5 inches
  • Comes with a sharp teeth as saws used in order to cut down bigger branch and trunk
  • Example: The pruning saw is designed to cut on both the push and pull stroke.

17. Rake

  • Was design to collect grass or debris to loosen the soil
  • Often use to push or brush together cut grass
  • They are used in industries such as landscaping and agriculture purposes
  • Example: Rake makes across the surface to make it smooth before planting.

18. Secateurs

  • Utilized to trim, and cut off undesired stems, weeds and branches
  • To regain control of overcrowded plants and to prune vast vegetable plants
  • Example: Secateurs are lightweight nature and most gardeners carry along with them while operating in the garden.

19. Seedling Planter

  • Used in landscaping to spread seed into the certain area
  • Simply spreading the seed with the use of the seedling planter
  • Example: The seed planter is rapidly planting hundreds of seedlings without need to manually plant using bare hands.

20. Shed

  • Used as a storage room for the gardening tools, equipments and gardening supplies
  • Example: The shed is not suitable for harmful chemicals such as pesticides and gasoline that may cause harm to the environment.

21. Shovel

  • Helps in digging and transplanting soil
  • Able to dig trenches and create holes to plant
  • Comes with different types such as edging shovel, trench shovel, and etc
  • Example: Shovels are the most common tool that anyone can use when digging soil.

22. Soil Scoop

  • To scoop the potting soil in much convenient way
  • Able to weed and dig a serrated edge
  • Example: Soil scoops offer a convenient way to put and transfer soil into the pot.

23. Watering wand

  • A tool to water the plants on a slower and gentle flow of water
  • Minimizing the flooding, also plants that are hard to reach
  • Example: The watering wand mimics the natural rain on the plants, so they are watered with minimal amount of water especially for plants that are sensitive to water.

24. Weed & moss killer

  • Helps to eliminate the build up of weeds and moss
  • Helps to suppress fungal lawn diseases
  • Example: In ****applying these substances, wait for three days right after mowing.

25. Wheelbarrow

  • Serves as a cart with two handles and a large bowl, to distribute weight of the load
  • Used for carrying loads of rocks, dirt, soil and that are able to carry with ease
  • Example: The Wheelbarrow are typically carrying loads in building work or gardening.

Botanical Terms

  1. Alocasia
  • A type of tropical plant with arrowhead-shaped leaves
  • Native to the Philippines, where it grows from bulbs, it stores energy in its bulbs to sprout new leaves
  • Example: The stem of the sap of Alocasia is used to treat earache.
  1. Air plant
  • This plant has long narrow leaves which absorb water from the atmosphere
  • It can survive without soil or water
  • It is mostly found in the mountains, deserts and the forests of South Central America
  • Example: Air plants help to emit fresh oxygen into the air.
  1. Dracaena
  • It’s a tropical pumplike shrub
  • It belongs to the asparagus family, primarily exists in the tropics (especially in Africa)
  • Example: Dracaena is one of the most beneficial plants for indoor pouposes.
  1. Fittonia
  • They are compact with a striking patterned foliage
  • They are in the Acanthus family, its originated from tropical rainforest in South America
  • Example: The benefit of Fittonia is, it reduces carbon dioxide where its function is to increase humidity and reduce the pollutants.
  1. Forget-Me-Not
  • This plant are small, clustering flowers with sky blue with yellow centers
  • They are in the Boraginaceae family, native from Eurasia and North America
  • Example: Forget-Me-Not is used to make medicine for lung problems.
  1. Heart Leaf Plant
  • It comes with a heart shape and glossy leaves emerge bronze that turns quickly to green. It can be grown as trailer or climber plant
  • The latin name is Philodendron hederaceum, native from Mexico, West Indies and Brazil
  • Example: Heart leaf plant is good for soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
  1. Lipstick Plant
  • It has pointy wax leaves and blooms with bright clusters of flowers and red blossoms emerge from dark maroon
  • The latin name is Aeschynanthus, native from the humid tropics of Malay Peninsula south to Java
  • Example: Lipstick plant helps purify air and removes toxic gases.
  1. Mexican Daisy
  • Have delicate flowers from white to soft pink, fade to purple which attracts butterflies and bees
  • They are in the Asteraceae family, originally from Mexico
  • Example: Mexican daisy crushed leaves and juice may be applied directly to the wound.
  1. Money Tree
  • It comes with braided stem and bright green palm looking leaves
  • The latin name is Pachira aquatica, native to Central and South America naturally grows in swamps
  • Example: The money tree is believed to bring luck and prosperity
  1. Mistletoe Cactus
  • Is also called Chain Cactus and likes humidity and moist
  • The latin name is Rhipsalis baccifera, native to rainforest in warm regions commonly found in Florida, Mexico and Brazil
  • Example: The Mistletoe cactus helps to improve cardiovascular health and may relieve stress.
  1. Neon Pothos
  • Common houseplant that known as its for hardiness and stunning leaf neon color
  • It is member of Araceae family, that comes from French Polynesia
  • Example: Neon pothos helps to alleviate eye irritation.
  1. Never Never Plant
  • It comes with tricolor from the leaves which had three colors green and white on top while bright pink underneath
  • The latin name is Ctenanthe oppenheimiana, native from the tropical rainforest region of Brazil
  • Example: Never Never plant provides a humid and a reliable environment.
  1. Night Blooming Jasmine
  • It is a shrub that has a glossy green leaves and tiny white flowers
  • The latin name is Cestrum nocturnum, native from tropical America and West Indies
  • Example: Night Blooming Jasmine leaves can help to relieve arthritis and dry cough.
  1. Panda Plant
  • This is a kind of succulent that has a woody stem with grey-green oval leaves
  • The latin name is Kalanchoe tomentosa, native from Madagascar
  • Example: Panda plant helps to detoxify air throughout the night.
  1. Peace Lily
  • Commonly have dark leaves and has white flowers
  • The latin name is Spathiphyllum, it grows in tropical rainforest of Colombia and Venezuela
  • Example: Peace lily helps purify air and one of the low maintenance houseplants.
  1. Peanut Cactus
  • It is a branched cactus with finger like stems
  • The latin name is Echinopsis chamaecereus, it grows a habit on hanging baskets that is native in Tucuman Argentina
  • Example: Peanut cactus helps in reducing inflammation in the body.
  1. Poinsettia
  • Color switching plant. Green leaves in early spring, until month of May it start to turn yellow and the upper leaves turning red
  • The latin name is Euphorbia pulcherrima, it’s originated from Mexico and Central America
  • Example: Poinsettia are used to make medicine to treat fever.
  1. Resurrection Plant
  • The leaves are open to like a blooming flower and the center turns dark green
  • The Latin name is Selaginella lepidophylla, native from the Chihuahuan desert of United states and Mexico
  • Example: Resurrection plant helps to improve sleep quality.
  1. Rubber Plant
  • The leaves have a shiny and rubbery appearance
  • The Latin name is Ficus elastica, native to rainforest in South America
  • Example: Rubber plants have no allergic properties and help purify the air.
  1. Snake Plant
  • Comes with dark green with light grayish green horizontal stripes
  • The latin name is Dracaena trifasciata, native from tropical Africa that has a dry habitat
  • Example: Snake plant filtering out harmful pollutants in the air.
  1. Swiss Cheese Plant
  • It comes with a green heart shape leaves that has holes as the plant ages
  • The latin name is Monstera adansonii, native from Central and South America
  • Example: Swiss cheese plant are useful in humidifying air conditions.
  1. Sword Fern
  • It’s a evergreen groundcover, has a bright green which has a sword shape fronds
  • The latin name is Polystichum munitum, native from Western North America
  • Example: Sword fern was used for medicinal purposes to treat skin sores and boils.
  1. Adam’s needle Plant
  • The blade like leaves form a basal rosette ending spines with 2 to 3 feet tall
  • The latin name is Yucca filamentosa, native from southern California
  • Example: Adam’s needle plant used as a sedative to induce sleep
  1. Zebra Plant
  • Comes with dark leaves with bold white striping and can sprout yellow flowers
  • The latin name is Aphelandra squarrosa, native from Atlantic forest of Brazil
  • Example: Zebra plants are succulent and it is also a good air purifier in the house.
  1. Zz Plant
  • It has a wand-like shape and thick, it also has waxy, shining coating texture with an oval shaped leaves
  • The latin name is Zamioculcas zamiifolia, native from Eastern Africa
  • Example: Zz plant helps to remove copious amounts of toxins.
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Other Useful Gardening Terms

  1. Annuals
  • This varies on the life cycle within one year or less which requires sowing every year
  • Example: Annuals are easy to grow and offer bright colors of flowers instantly.
  1. Biennials
  • The plants that complete their life cycle in two years
  • Example: Biennials germinate and grow one year, bloom and die the following year.
  1. Baby Greens
  • The young vegetables that are harvested with a 2 to 4 feet tall
  • Example: The baby greens are usually ready in about 20 days when they have true leaves.
  1. Bolting
  • The premature edible flowers which make the plant unpalatable
  • Example: Bolting is going to seed that ends the plant life cycle like lettuce.
  1. Cover Crop
  • Fast growth plants which has one or more soil enhancing qualities
  • Example: Cover crops are green manures when a gardener turns them into the soil to provide organic matter for nutrients.
  1. Direct Sow
  • Sow the seeds on to their permanent space
  • Example: Direct sow can be done every three weeks during the cooler months.
  1. Drought Tolerant
  • To able to thrive in low water conditions
  • Example: Drought tolerant can withstand long periods of dryness like rice.
  1. Etiolation
  • Low plant growth results into no low to no light conditions
  • Example: Etiolation has complete absence of light due to a weakening of the cell walls in the stem.
  1. Germination
  • The seeds are starting to sprout or grow
  • Example: Germination where a seed become a seedling.
  1. Gynoecious
  • Plants has a pollen-accepting flowers to produce fruits and quick to mature
  • Example: Gynoecious produce predominantly female flowers.
  1. Hardening Off
  • The time where it process of acclimating the plants for 7 to 10 days from indoors to outdoors
  • Example: Hardening off gradually exposes the plant to the sunlight that is exposed to the sunlight for a short time.
  1. Heirloom
  • An open pollinated varieties for over 50 years old
  • Example: Heirloom gardens are biodiversity by sowing open pollinated, some are heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruits around centuries.
  1. Microgreen
  • These are young leafy vegetable or herbs that are above the soil and start to develop new leaves
  • Example: Microgreen includes broccoli seeds, peas and more.
  1. Monoecious
  • Attributes that the plant both produce and receiving pollen
  • Example: Monoecious having a male and female sex organs in the same individual.
  1. Parthenocarpic
  • Fruits produce without fertilization
  • Example: Fruits that are seedless such as banana, cucumber and more.
  1. Perennials
  • Where varieties can live for two or more years
  • Example: The perennials such as bulbs must be planted in autumn to produce spring blooming plants**.**
  1. Pollination
  • Fertilization of the flower by insects which the male’s pollen reaches to the female stigma
  • Example: Pollination occurs only the pollen is transferred into its same species.
  1. Row Covers
  • A fabric to eliminate pests and to raise temperature
  • Example: Row cover is a spun-bonded or woven plastic.
  1. Scarification
  • Breaks the hard outer covering of a seed in order to penetrate the moisture inside
  • Example: Scarification is nicking, breaking, softening the seed to speed up the germination process.
  1. Self-sow
  • Dropping viable seeds to the ground before they die
  • Example: Self-sow includes sunflower, violet and etc.
  1. Sprout
  • The germinated seeds are not fully grown in medium but rinsed in water and drained several times
  • Example: Sprouts are beans, sprouted grains and more.
  1. Transplanting
  • To transfer a plant to another growing space
  • Example: Transplanting is done, when the pot is too small for the plant or there are pests inside the soil.
  1. Untreated Seed
  • When the seeds do not have chemical treatment
  • Example: Are organic growers only planted when soil conditions are ideal and quick germination.
  1. USDA Hardiness Zone
  • The lowest winter temperature in geographic
  • Example: Which gardeners determine which plants most likely to thrive during cold temperature.
  1. Vernalization
  • A cold treatment and environment that is able to induce flowering in some varieties
  • Example: Vernalization includes beets, onions, winter wheat and more.


Plants are essential to the lives of human beings. They help our environment by producing positive vibes and pleasant appearance to our eyes. In general, every gardening vocabularies might be overwhelming, since some may be unusual. However, it may also seem interesting for some, especially for plant enthusiasts. Looking on the bright side, learning vocabulary in gardening is also important to get familiar with complex terms, able to relate to other gardeners out there, and to improve mental health which can really help throughout your gardening experience.

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