Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Plant Communication

Scientists are finding that Yes, plants do sense and respond to many things in their environment.  Opinions vary, but there is evidence to support some kind of system in plants to absorb information and respond accordingly.

Electrical and chemical signalling systems that are similar to those found in the nervous system of animals, have been found in plants.

Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine have been found in plants.  

I find it so interesting that when some plant roots are about to encounter something toxic, they know to change course before they make contact with it.

And that some roots can tell if other roots are the same as themselves or are those of a different plant.

It's amazing that they can detect competition and then grow in a different direction.

Plants can send out defense chemicals.

Some chemicals such as caffeine in a plant can act in some cases as a psychoactive drug in their nectar.  One example is so bees will remember that plant and return to it.

These are just a few examples.  Signalling in plants is a complex and fascinating subject.  They speak a chemical language that isn't completely understood yet.

The fact that one plant in the forest can send out information to all the rest of its like in a large area, that it has been damaged (by insects) and then the other plants will put out a chemical defense in response, even being particular to the insect that is doing the damage. 

Or that a certain insect can smell a chemical emission from a plant that has been damaged by another kind of insect and then come to its aid in destroying the damaging insect.

There are so many other incredible findings and studies, I couldn't begin to list them all here.  I've gotten my information from articles on the Internet, which of course could be of dubious content, but I do consider the source and try to read only quality information. 

There are great areas of study being done and I love reading about them and I hope you've been intrigued as well.

I've always talked to my plants.  This last year I've been trying to listen to what they are telling me, as well.  That probably sounds a little woo-like, but hey - if they can sense chemical signals from other plants, they may be responding to the love I send them and show me what they need in return to thrive.  Well, it's what I do and hopefully it will make me a better caretaker of my plants and it's always a wonderful lesson in observation.  Happy gardening!  


Janice Day said...

Hi Lynn - this is so informative and well presented. I really must say your photographs are wonderful. Gardens are a wonderland which open up a whole new world to us.

Lynn McIntosh said...

Hi Janice, thank you so much! I have been reading a lot on communicating with plants and how they interact with themselves and though I just touched on the subject - it truly makes for a fascinating read. I very much appreciate you stopping by to have a look and comment! :)