Glossary

Are you a rose lover, but unsure of the lingo? Here are some definitions of commonly used terms.

Red Rose
Don't just look at roses. Learn about the different types and how to care for them.

Annual: any plant that completes its full life cycle in one year.

Asexual propagation: the production of new plants by any method except seeds.

Bare-root: pruned dormant plant stock shipped without soil.

Biennial: a plant that finishes its life span in two years; leafing the first year, flowering/seeding the second.

Botanical name: a plant's scientific name in Latin -- hollyhock, for example, is Alcea (genus) rosea (species).

Bud union: place (often a slight swelling) on the plant stem where a bud or graft is joined with the rootstock.

Cultivar: a bred and cultivated variety that does not occur naturally in the wild.

Deadhead: the removal of faded flowers by pinching or snipping them during the growing season; prevents plants from producing seed.

Hardiness: resilience of a plant under extreme conditions, such as cold, disease, or drought.

Heirloom: generally a plant variety that has been in cultivation for at least 50 years; often passed down through generations of family members.

Hybrid: a plant developed by cross-breeding two plants of different species, varieties, or cultivars.

Own-root: a rose growing on its own roots, generally from cuttings or seeds.

Passalong plants: hard-to-find horticultural treasures, shared by gardeners.

Perennial: a plant that lives for several years or more, flowering repeatedly; includes hard, woody-stem shrubs.

Procumbent: growth habit of a plant that trails along the ground.

Remotant: reblooming or repeat bloomer; a plant that blooms continuously or more than once yearly.

Rose hip: the fruit/seedpod of a rose; red when ripe, edible.

Rose rustler: In the 1970s, a group of Texas gardeners began collecting cuttings from long-forgotten roses in order to ensure the strains' survival. Within a decade, similar groups organized elsewhere and the term was coined. Today, they rescue old roses from places such as cemeteries and abandoned homesites, and preserve the plants by rooting them in gardens.

Self-sowing: plants capable of dropping their own seeds to produce new plants.

Shovel pruning: the digging up and removal of a plant from the garden.

Soil amendment: any material added to soil to improve it; makes it more drainable, loose, and fertile.

Soil pH: the measure of acidity/alkalinity in soil; its measurement (from 1-14; 7 is neutral) indicates soil nutrient availability. Roses prefer slightly acidic (6.5 pH) soil.

Sport: a genetically mutated plant that can be the product of hybridization.

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