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Palps
The palps of a spider are located in the front and are used for sensory purposes. In the male the palps are modified for putting sperm into the epigyne of the female, located on the underside of her abdomen.
 
Pathogen
Any organism that causes disease, generally applied to bacteria, viruses, and less correctly, fungi.
 
Peat
Partially decomposed mosses and sedges harvested from bogs and used as a component of soilless mixes.
 
Peat pots
Planting pots made from compressed peat. These are used for plants that resent disturbance, as at transplanting time the entire pot can be set out in the garden and the young plants roots will grow through the walls of the pot.
 
Pebble tray
Grouping potted plants within a shallow, pebble filled tray in order to maintain humidity in an environment with central heating. Water is poured into the pebbles and evaporates up and around the plants.
  
Pedipalps
Between the first pair of legs and the fangs of spiders is a pair of leg-like appendages known as pedipalps. In many arachnids, such as spiders, the pedipalps are enlarged in the male and used for copulation.
Peduncle
The stem of a flower.
 
Perennial
Any plant that lives more than three years.
 
Perlite
Small globules of heat expanded volcanic rock used to increase the porosity and drainage of potting mixes. Often used in the rooting of cuttings as it is both inert and sterile.
 
Petal
A specialized leaf that surrounds the reproductive parts of a flower. Often colored to attract pollinating insects.
 
pH
A symbol for the acid-alkaline balance of the soil. The balance is expressed as a number from 1 to 14, with 7 considered neutral. Thus a pH of 6 is acidic while a pH of 8 is alkaline. Higher numbers are more alkaline, lower numbers more acidic.
 
Phosphorus
Major plant nutrient especially important for plants where flowering is the main interest.
 
Photosynthesis
The process by which the chloroplasts in plant cells use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide from the air with water vapor to form carbohydrates that are used as the basic food stuff for the growth of the plant.
 
Pinching
The removal of a growing tip from a stem, thus causing any axillary shoots or buds of the stem to develop.
 
Plug
A type of seedling tray in which each seedling grows in an individual, tapered cell, thus reducing root competition with adjacent seedlings and minimizing transplant shock.
 
Pollination
The transfer of pollen to the stigma of a receptive flower.
 
Potassium
Major plant nutrient especially important to the strength of roots and stems.
 
Pot bound
A plant growing in a pot which is too small to allow proper leaf and stem growth.
 
Potting back
The trimming back of a plant's roots and top to allow it to be re-potted in a pot smaller than the one it was originally growing in.
 
Potting on
Transplanting a plant to a pot that is one size larger than the one it was growing in.
 
Propagation
In gardening usage, this refers to the many different ways of starting new plants.
 
Prostrate
Lying on the ground; creeping.
 
Pruning
The removal of plant parts to improve the health, appearance, or productivity of the plant.
 
 

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010