Studies Find Plants Get Lonely Too

Studies Find Plants Get Lonely Too

It’s long been said that plants are the same as the mountains around us or the rivers that run through them, in essence, plants were believed to be non-sentient. And, that’s true- for the most part.

Plant lovers have been saying that their plants can react to being touched or patted. Of course, the majority of the world would disagree with such an odd notion. But in reality, the idea that plants can discern when someone is touching them might not be so far-fetched. “Although people generally assume plants don’t feel when they are being touched, this shows that they are actually very sensitive to it,” said head researcher Olivier Van Aken from the University of Western Australia when interviewed by  Seemingly, plants are very sensitive to who’s touching them. Even more intriguingly, some plants like to be ‘pet’ while others will shrivel up at the mere touch of a human.

“All it takes to kill some plants is the touch of the human hand, according to their research, published in the February issue of the journal Ecology. But oddly enough, some others apparently profit from the human touch. And some apparently just couldn’t care less,” James Calhill responded after being interviewed by ABC News. It’s odd to think that plants would have preferences, but it seems they do. Much like people- with the exception of the ability to process pain and thoughts- plants have become aware of their surroundings. In order to adapt to not being able to move, they’ve found ways to sense what’s going on around them and chemically react to it.

There are also studies showing that plants can ‘hear’ and ‘feel’ themselves being eaten, and sending out stress signals. Don’t worry though, without a central nervous system, they can’t process it as sentient beings can. It’s merely a means to help the plant react so that it can try to live longer.

“In a study performed by the Royal Horticultural Society, researchers discovered that talking to your plants really can help them grow faster. They also found that plants grow faster to the sound of a female voice than to the sound of a male voice,” commented Colleen Vanderlinden on The Spruce. Once again, plants seem to understand more than ever thought before.

All in all, whether it be the discernment of touch, the sound of an owner’s voice, or the self-knowledge of what’s happening to them, it’s clear that plants are more cognizant of the world than we’d previously imagine. The genes and structure of plants are complicated and ever-evolving. It would be intriguing to see what path plants will evolve into in the future.