Gardening Terms

At Greenway we know that sometimes it can be confusing to select the plants most suitable for your garden. Not only are there so many choices, finding your way around the actual greenhouse can be rather overwhelming too. We’ve tried to make it easy for you with signs indicating where you can find what types of plants, and informative plant labels detailing what you need to know about its care but it never hurts to understand a few key gardening terms.

Plant Types

  • Annual – A plant that grows from seed to maturity within a single growing season or year. Must be replanted each year.
  • Perennial – Perennials are plants that survive winter outdoors to produce new growth each spring. Replanting is not necessary. Care should be taken to choose a perennial that matches the zone/climate you live in to ensure hardiness.
  • Biennial – a plant that grows from seed to maturity in two seasons or years. Seeding and flowering take place in the second year


  • Full sun – Referring to a location which receives at least 5-6 hours of sun per day. Most often a southern-facing exposure.Annual Flower Nursery and Perennial Plants in Kitchener
  • Partial shade – usually an east or west facing exposure. Receives both sun and shade during the day.
  • Shade – a location receiving shade for the majority of the day.


  • Bedding Plant – Annual or biennial flowers that are already growing in a container and ready to begin blooming.
  • Foliage – a term to describe plant leaves.
  • Frost hardy – Plants that are able to survive winter frosts without severe damage.  
  • Deadheading – To remove spent blooms from a plant in order to prolong its blooming period. By removing the spent blooms many plants will produce more flowers in its effort to reproduce through seed production.
  • Drought resistant – Plants that have relatively low water requirements, or plants that are well adapted to an arid climate.
  • Dwarf – a smaller version of a species.
  • Compost – A mixture of decaying organic matter – as from leaves and manure – used to improve soil structure and provide nutrients.
  • Container gardening – Growing plants in containers, flower pots etc. instead of planting them in flowers beds or in the garden.
  • Ground cover – Low growing plants that spread quickly to cover the area where planted.
  • Hardiness – How well a plant will withstand colder temperatures.
  • Invasive – Plants that take over and overwhelm other plants nearby.
  • Tender – A plant which is unable to withstand freezing temperatures. Also can refer to a young plant which hasn’t been hardened off.
  • Thinning Out – Removing excess seedlings or young plants so that the remaining plants can grow to a larger size.
  • Variegated – Varied in appearance or colour; marked with blots or specks of different colours.


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