SAP: The fluid in plants . Best known is maple sap made into syrup.
SAPLING: A very young tree.
SCALD: When plants have an overexposure to sunlight a discoloration will develop. Often when plants do not become acclimated slowly into a sunny location from being indoors or from the shade.
SCALE: Sucking insects. Usually more prevalent in milder climates.
SCAPE: A leafless flower stem that will grow directly from the base of the stem. Very common in bulbs.
SCARIFY: The physical or chemical treatment given to some seeds in order to weaken the seed coat sufficiently for germination to occur.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: The internationally recognized Latin name of a plant that will be descriptive of the feature of the plant. The name of the species will consist of two parts, the genus name and the species name.
SCION: The upper part of the union of a graft.
SCOOPING (de-eyeing): A technique that is used to produce a shorter and bushier plant by scraping out the center eye of the bulb.
SEEDHEAD: Dried, inedible fruit that contains seeds.
SEEDLING: A young plant grown from seed.
SELF-COLOR: A flower with single colored petals.
SELF POLLINATION: The transfer of pollen from one flower to another flower on the same plant.
SELF-SEED: The process of a plant releasing its own seed, which will readily germinate nearby and produce new plants.
SEPALS: Structures that usually form the outermost whorl of a flower. Together, they are called the calyx.
SEMI-EVERGREEN: Those shrubs that will keep some of their green foliage usually in mild climates.
SERRATE: Saw-edged leaf design.
SESSILE: A stalkless leaf or flower which is borne directly on the stem.
SET: In reference to shallot bulbs and small onions, as in sets of onions.
SHARP SAND: A coarse sand used in building.
SHEAR: A method of pruning in the landscape. Often in reference to hedges.
SHEET COMPOSTING: A method of spreading undecomposed organic materials over the soil's surface, then working them into the soil to decompose, rather than piling them and spreading the resulting compost.
SHORT DAY PLANT: A plant which requires light for a shorter period than it would normally receive from daylight in order to induce flowering.
SHRUB: A woody plant with a framework of branches and little or no central stem.
SIDE-DRESSING: To apply fertilizer to the side of a row of growing plants or around single plants.
SIEVE: A garden sieve is a frame with a mesh bottom. Mainly used for separating compost, but sometimes used in very stony gardens.
SILICA GEL: A desiccant used to dry flowers for craft use.
SINGLE FLOWER: A flower with a normal amount of petals present, arranged in a single row. Daisies are a good example of this type.
SLIP: A cutting.
SLOW-RELEASE FERTILIZERS: A fertilizer formulated to be inactive until released by water or temperature and to activate slowly over a period of time.
SOAKER HOSE: Porous tube that allows water to seep from it; used to irrigate plants. Ideal for irrigation of plants with low tolerance to overhead watering.
SOFTWOOD CUTTING: A cutting made early in the season, from new growth.
SOIL AMENDMENT: Ingredients such as sand, peat moss, or compost that are added to soil to improve its texture.
SOIL LESS MIX: Potting medium that contain a mixture of ingredients from the materials listed for potting medium.
SOIL POLYMERS: Super absorbant polymers recently developed that can increase water retention of soils. They can absorb hundreds of time their weight in water and are primarily used in container bound plants.
SOIL TESTING: Measuring the nitrogen/phosphorus/potassium, trace elements, minerals, salts, and pH levels of the soil.
SOLARIZATION: The process by which one can sterilize the soil by the sun.
SOLUBLE FERTILIZER: A fertilizer that is mixed with water and used not only for root fertilizing but can also be sprayed on the foliage.
SOOTY MILDEW: A fungus. It looks like a dark gray spots or in general scum on stems and leaves. It is formed from the honey dew excreted that is produced by aphids and other insects. The honeydew that is created is attacked by the mildew and will go after the sugars in the honeydew.
SOOTY MOLD: Several insect pests will release honey dew, which is a sticky substance that then mold grows on (thus the black coloring). Most associated with aphids. Use a soapy water solution to rinse off the insect pest.
SPADIX: A fleshy flower spike in which tiny florets are embedded.
SPATHE: A large bract, sometimes highly colored, surrounding or enclosing a spadix.
SPECIES: A group of closely related individuals that have the potential to reproduce with each other.
SPECIMEN PLANT: A plant that is high lighted to show off its special qualities. Used as a focal point.
SPENT: Bulbs and flowers of a plant that have finished blooming.
SPHAGNUM MOSS: A bog moss which is collected and composted. Most peat moss is composed primarily of sphagnum moss.
SPICES: Seeds, fruits, or roots used to flavor cooking.
SPORE: A minute reproductive body produced by primitive organisms, such as ferns and fungi.
SPORT: A plant which shows a marked and inheritable change from its parent.
STAKING: The practice of driving a stake into the ground next to, and as a support for a plant.
STAMEN: The male reproductive parts of a flower.
STANDARD: A plant which does not normally grow as a tree but is trained into a tree-like form.
STEM CUTTING: A portion of a stem that only includes one or more nodes taken from a plant.
STERILIZED SOIL: A misleading term, as steam- or chemically sterilized soil is only partially sterilized. Harmful organisms have been killed but helpful bacteria have been spared.
STIGMA: The part of the pistil that receives the pollen grains; usually the top of the pistil.
STIPULE: A small outgrowth at the base of the leaf stalk.
STOLON: A thin, underground runner.
STONE: The inner fruit wall of a drupe.
STOPPING: See pinching out.
STOVE PLANT: A plant which requires warm greenhouse conditions in winter.
STRAIN: A subgroup of a species; the descendants of a common ancestor.
STRATIFICATION: Storing of seeds at low temperatures under moist conditions in order to break dormancy.
SUCCULENT: Succulents plants have leaves and/or stems which are thick and fleshy. They often have waxy outer layers that allow the plants to retain water well.
SUCKER: a shoot arising from the root or lower part of the stem of a plant.
SUN SCORCH: Spots on leaves that are caused by exposure to strong sunlight.
SUNKEN GARDEN: A landscape design where some of the area is at a lower point than the rest.
STAKING: Plants that grow tall with little stem support need to be staked.
SWAMP: An area of land that usually flooded, in whole or partially, and contains woody plants.
SYSTEMIC: a group of pesticides that are absorbed into the tissues of plants, thereby poisoning the organisms that feed on the plant.
SYSTEMIC INSECTICIDE: A pesticide which can be granular or liquid, used at the base of the plant and travels through the vascular stream