Word glossary with plant behind it

Glossary of Houseplant Words

No matter how much of a plant nerd I consider myself, there have been (and probably always will be) moments where I stumble upon houseplant-related words or terms that I've never heard before.

Then one day I had a light bulb moment, which is how this blog post was born. I'm putting together a blog post with a bunch of these words, from the common to the that's-a-mouth-full, that come up when we're talking about taking care of and styling our leafy friends.

This blog is a work in progress because, let's face it, there's always a new term sprouting up. Let me know if there are other big, intimidating plant words that you can't seem to find below.


A Houseplant Words

Acclimate - When your plant needs a bit of time to chill and adjust to a new environment.

Aeration - It's like giving your plant's roots some breathing room by letting the soil get some air.

Aphids - Tiny bugs that love to snack on your plants' juices and cause trouble.


B Houseplant Words

Biodegradable - Materials that can naturally break down over time, often used in eco-friendly pots and containers.


C Houseplant Words

Chlorophyll - Chlorophyll is a bit like a plant's green magic; it's the magical substance that, during photosynthesis, turns sunlight into energy, giving leaves their lively color and keeping the whole plant thriving.

Corm - A corm is like a cozy storage room for certain plants—it's this bulb-like thing underground where the plant keeps extra nutrients, helping it survive and flourish. These corms can also be harvested and nurtured to grow more plants.

Cultivar - Think of a cultivar as a plant with a unique personality—someone took the time to nurture and develop it to be a bit different, whether in color, size, or some other cool feature. It's like giving a plant its own signature style!


D Houseplant Words

Dormancy - When a plant goes into dormancy, it's like taking a holiday – it slows down, rests, and conserves energy, especially during the colder months.

Drip TrayA drip tray is like a plant's coaster—it's there to catch any extra water that escapes when you give your plant a drink, making sure your furniture stays dry and happy.


E Houseplant Words

Ephemeral - Ephemeral plants are like the Snapchat stories of the plant world—they show up, do their thing for a short while, and then gracefully fade away, making a brief but memorable appearance.

Epiphyte - A plant that's like a relaxed roommate - it lives on another plant, grabs a free ride for support, but doesn't cause any harm.

Evaporation - Evaporation is like the disappearing act water pulls off—it turns from a liquid into an invisible vapor, especially when your plant's leaves release moisture into the air.


F Houseplant Words

Fertilizer - Basically plant vitamins. You give it to your plants to help them grow strong and healthy.

Foliage - Just a fancy word for a plant's leaves.

Fungus Gnats - Tiny, pesky insects that love hanging around your plant's soil.


G Houseplant Words

Genus - A group of plants that are kind of like botanical cousins, sharing common features but with different species.

Grafting - Grafting is a bit like plant surgery – you take a part from one plant and attach it to another to create a cool hybrid with the best traits of both.

Guttation - When your plant sweats a bit, releasing water droplets, usually from its leaf tips.


H Houseplant Words

Horticulture - The art and science of growing and taking care of plants, where green thumbs get to shine and make their leafy friends happy.

Humidity - Humidity is like how sticky or dry the air feels; it's what makes your hair frizzy or your skin feel clammy on a hot day. And some plants just love a bit more moisture in the air!

Hybrid - A plant that's a mix of two different species, creating something unique and special.

Hydroponic Planting - A way to grow plants without soil, using nutrient-rich water to give them a spa day for their roots, so they can grow big and strong.

Plants that can grow in water

13 Plants That Can Grow In Water


I Houseplant Words

Insecticidal Soap - A soapy solution used to clean up unwanted pests from your plant's leaves without harsh chemicals.

Internode - The space between two nodes on a stem, where the stem grows and stretches out.

Invasive Species - Plants that are a bit too ambitious—they spread aggressively and can cause trouble in new environments.


J Houseplant Words

Jungle Mix - A type of potting soil that is specially crafted to give them all the nutrients they need, mimicking the rich and well-draining earth found in tropical rainforests, so your green buddies can thrive and feel right at home.


K Houseplant Words

Kokedama - A Japanese gardening technique where a plant's roots are wrapped in moss and bound with string, creating a unique hanging ball of greenery.


L Houseplant Words

Larva - Larvae are like the baby version of bugs—the little, often wriggly stage in their life before they grow up and cause mischief in your houseplants.

Light Meter - A device used to measure the intensity of light, helping determine suitable conditions for different houseplants.


M Houseplant Words

Macramé Hanger - A Macramé Hanger is like a trendy swing for your plant—it's this stylish hanging holder made from knotted cords.

Mealybugs - Small, soft, disgusting insects that can infest houseplants, often appearing as white, cottony clusters.

Misting - Spraying a fine mist of water on the leaves of plants to increase humidity and provide moisture.

Moss Pole - A vertical structure covered in moss, mimicking natural trees, giving your plants something to creep up.


N Houseplant Words

Node - The point on a stem from which leaves, branches, or flowers grow.

NPK - The essential nutrients for plants—Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K), often found in fertilizers.


O Houseplant Words

Offsets - Offsets are like the baby shoots of a plant—those little growths at the base that are basically its way of saying, "Hey, let's make more of us!"

Oxygenation - Oxygenation is like giving your plant's roots a breath of fresh air—it's the process of adding oxygen to the soil to keep them healthy and happy.


P Houseplant Words

Peat Moss - Peat moss is like a sponge for your plant—it's a natural material in the soil that soaks up water to keep your plant nice and hydrated.

Perennial - A plant that lives longer than two years.

Perlite - Perlite is like the plant's personal air conditioner—it's this white, light and airy stuff in the soil that helps with drainage and keeps the roots from getting too soggy. 

Photosynthesis - Photosynthesis is like a magic trick that plants do to turn sunlight, water, and air into food for themselves, kind of like how we turn ingredients into a meal.

Pruning - Pruning is like giving your plants a haircut; it's the process of trimming away the extra branches and leaves to help them grow better and look their best.


Q Houseplant Words

Quarantine - Isolating new plants to prevent the spread of pests or diseases to existing plant collections.


R Houseplant Words

Repotting - Giving your plant a new, slightly bigger pot when it starts feeling cramped in its old pot.

Rootbound - When a plant has outgrown its container, and the roots become densely packed.


T Houseplant Words

Tendril - Thin, spiraled extensions of certain plants, sometimes used for climbing or support.

Terrarium - A sealed or open glass container containing small plants, often creating a miniature ecosystem.

Topdressing - Adding a layer of material (such as mulch or decorative stones) to the top of the soil for aesthetic or practical purposes.

Topiary - Trees or shrubs that have been clipped and shaped into interesting designs like geometric shapes or animals.

Trailing - Plants with vines or stems that gracefully cascade down, adding an elegant touch to your space.

Transpiration - Transpiration is like a plant's version of sweating—it's when they release water vapor through tiny pores in their leaves to cool off, kind of like how we cool down when we perspire.

Tropical - Plants that thrive in warm and humid conditions, typically associated with tropical climates.


U Houseplant Words

Underwatering - Providing insufficient water to plants, leading to dehydration.


V Houseplant Words

Variegated - Having differently colored zones or areas, often seen in leaves with patterns of green and white.

Vine - These are the plants that like to hang out, literally. They're the climbers and danglers of the plant world.

Vivarium - Picture a tiny jungle in a box. It's like a little plant paradise, all in one place.


W Houseplant Words

Wicking System - A wicking system is like a plant's own self-serve water station – it uses a clever setup to let the plant pull up water from a reservoir below whenever it's thirsty, through a wick.


X Houseplant Words

Xerophyte - Plants specially built to thrive in dry places, storing water in their succulent leaves so they can handle the arid heat without breaking a sweat.

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