Did You Know Plants Have Feelings, Too?

May 14th, 2018

Most people don’t think twice about plucking a pretty flower or breaking off a tree branch. That is because we know that plants don’t have a brain or a nervous system like humans do. However, plants can react to outside elements and protect themselves to survive.

Humans have five senses – taste, touch, smell, hear and sight that they use to interact with the world around them. If we taste something sour, you can tell from our facial reactions, or if the temperature in a room is cold, we will cover ourselves with a jacket.

Just like humans, plants have their own complex sensory system to respond to changes in their environment. They can transmit electrochemical signals through cells from leaf to leaf to alert their defense system to react. This process allows them to respond to conditions outside of their control and adapt the way they grow. For instance, when it is a sunny day, you may notice your plants stretching towards the sun. However, if there is inclement weather, your plant may alter its shape for protection. Another sign that plants respond to stimuli can be seen by their roots. When there is a structure in the way such as a rock, they can change their root path to grow around it.

Another way plants react to the ever-changing world around them is through their epidermis. The epidermis is the skin of the plant and made up of a single layer of cells. This layer is thin enough to let sunlight through for photosynthesis but strong enough to protect the plant from the elements. The epidermis is covered with a waxy coating that protects against damage and helps hold water inside the plant. Since it is constantly protecting the plant, the epidermis is under a lot of distress. It can strengthen itself when it feels threatened and release tension when pressure is off.

Although plants do not have muscles or fast nervous systems like humans, they do have feelings in the sense that they can respond to stimuli. So the next time you think about picking that flower, give it a hug instead! :D

Stop by Fossil Creek Nursery to shop our large selection of flowers, plants and trees! Our spring hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.