Do You Have a Green Thumb?

By: Chris Obenschain

Do You Have a Green Thumb?
Image: Comstock Images/Thinkstock

About This Quiz

In theory, caring for plants is easy. They're stationary and nonverbal, and their nutritional requirements generally consist of sunlight, soil and water. But not everyone has what it takes to sprout seeds into greens. See how well your plant-growing skills have taken root with this quiz!
The thought of running your hands through loose soil makes you want to:
wash your hands
put on some gloves
grab some seeds and a spade -- and get to work!
If you've got a green thumb, you won't mind getting your hands dirty. Plants typically grow in soil, so frequent contact with dirt, mud and fertilizer (read: manure) is part of a gardener's job!

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True or false: Plants with large, green leaves need lots of sun.
true
false
While all plants need light, those with large, green leaves need less of it than their smaller flowering counterparts. Think about it in terms of solar panels: The larger your area of coverage, the easier it is to collect the energy you need. It's the same with plants! Those with big leaves (like the peace lily) are better suited to dark, indoor life.
depends on the plant

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The soil of your potted plant should be:
moist
Potted plants' soil should be moist, but never damp or wet. Plants need water, but they also need oxygen. Over-watering your leafy green pal is the same as dropping it in a pool; either way, it's going to drown.
damp
wet

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Which best describes annuals?
plants that bloom once a year
plants that thrive year-round
plants that have a year-long life cycle
Annuals go through their complete life cycle in a single growing season. Marigolds and snapdragons are just two popular annuals.

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True or false: If you've got a green thumb, all you really need is soil and seeds. Tools are for the birds!
true
false
It doesn't matter if your thumb is dark, eco-green or barely more than a combination of blue and yellow -- you're going to need more than your bare hands and a few seeds if you want to see your garden grow! Sure, some green thumbs are more naturally gifted than others, but no amount of inherent skill will help you grow and nurture a successful vegetable garden without a bit of fertizilizer and a few tools.
depends on how long you've been gardening

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Which best describes hydroponics?
the practice of growing plants without soil
Practitioners of hydroponics grow plants without soil. The nutrients that plants take from the earth are added to water, and the plants' roots are satured or misted with the solution.
the practice of growing plants without water
the practice of growing plants without light

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What are perennials?
plants that live for multiple years
Perennials are plants that can live for multiple years. Some perennials, such as rhododendrons and rosemary bushes, continue to thrive throughout the seasons, while others, like columbine and pruple coneflower, are reduced to the stem or even just the bulb during colder months.
plants that live for a single year
plants that live for two months

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True or false: All plants need a similar type of nutrient-rich soil.
true
false
If all plants relied on the same type of soil, the world would be a pretty barren place! Geraniums and wild indigo, for example, do well in sandy soils, but they're hard-pressed to survive in red clay. Before you choose plants for your garden, make sure you know your soil type. Then, make your selections accordingly.
true, except for cacti

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Which of the following best describes biennials' growing behavior?
bloom once a year for two years, then die
take two years to go through their full growth cycle
both of the above
Although biennials bloom during their first season, that year's growth generally consists of just a few low-lying leaves. During the second season, the plants reach their full potential, then die. Popular biennials include hollyhocks and sweet William.

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True or false: The only way to eliminate pests in your vegetable garden is with chemical pesticides.
true
false
Chemical pesticides will get the job done, but there are other, healthier ways to give bugs the boot. Spritzing your plants with all-natural sprays made from strong-smelling herbs, such as garlic or tobacco, often works just as well (if not better) than applying chemical pesticides.
depends on the type of pests and the varieties of vegetables

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You Got:
/10
Comstock Images/Thinkstock

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