But what does that even mean: a plant glossary

As with any other interest, hobby, or indulgence loving plants comes with a whole list of words, phrases, terms, and jargon that we have to decode and decipher. In some of my recent blog posts I’ve been careful not to just throw out “industry terms” without also defining. I’m doing this in part because some of these words and phrases I still don’t fully understand and in part because I remember a few years ago when I didn’t understand any of these words or phrases. I walked into a plant store and asked, what I thought was a straightforward question and someone plant-splained at me in what seemed like another language. I asked for the English translation and thankfully he laughed and switched to use common language. But I still haven’t been able to shake that feeling that people are speaking in plant code that I’m not fully fluent in.

The more of these terms and phrases I sought to define as I was writing the more I realized that it can’t just be more so I was going to write a blog post to define all of these things. Brilliant idea, right?

But the more I dig into all this language the more I realize there’s a huge need for an easily accessible plant glossary. Something that comprehensive and that grows as my mastery of the plant language grows. Mostly for me because there are a lot of industry terms that it seems I’m just expected to understand. I can’t keep them all in my head. I’d love it if I could get a new plant and read its care instuctions without having to google multiple terms. Also I find myself looking up the same things over and over again. Types of light. Types of soil. What exactly a plant tag means when it says the soil should remain damp but not moist. So if you, dear friends and readers, can benefit from my research too, I want that for you.

And so I present to you the Plant Glossary Page!

It’s a little page all its own so I can be sure it doesn’t get buried in other content that I might not need to refer to so often. It’s still a work in process. As of this posting it has words and terms I need to define and I haven’t filled them in yet. Even the ones I know. There’s just space. Infinite space to define things. It’s like a clean slate but with a little bit of structure so you can see what is to come.

What will I be defining? Great questions. Lots of stuff. But I’m starting with some basics:


Every plant seems to need a different kind of light from Direct Light to Full Shade and everything in between. Some of them make some sort of sense but others… What exactly is medium light? And how many times have I looked it up to be sure I’m understanding exactly what it is that means for my plant? So to start off I will seek to define the types of light and shade required for indoor plants.

The Dirt

Next up I’ll be defining soil, soil mixes, elements of planting soil, and alternate planting mediums.

General Plant Terms

Things like fenestration, propagation, and alternate planting mediums are not words or phrases most of us use in everyday life. I’ll list out all of the words I’ve had to learn or apply an alternate meaning to.

What else?

I’m so glad you asked. I don’t know. Because I don’t know what I don’t know yet. And I don’t know what you don’t know. If there is a plant word or term you’d like to see more clearly defined let me know in the comments on this post and I will add it to my list of items to define.

I know it’s barren now, but I look forward to a weekend full of adding words, terms, jargons and their definitions. It’s just my idea of a good time.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash