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The Effects of Human Contact on Plant Growth

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Do Plants Respond to Touch? All plants possess a special homeostatic reflex mechanism, diverticulosis, and abnormal plant growth in response to an outside stimulus. In other words, when a leaf is damaged by frost, water, bird droppings, etc., it will grow back slower than normal, reaching full size in about five years or less.

But when it is damaged or coddled by human contact, how does that affect plants?

Do plants respond to touch and other external stimuli? Think of how a vine or a flower reacts when being touched by another plant or animal. It extends and intensifies the vibration to increase the intensity of the reaction. In the case of a vine, this would cause the vine to sway back and forth in response.

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The same principle may apply to a flower, increasing and decreasing the intensity of the reaction as the stimulus increases and decreases.

How do plants accomplish responding to touch and movement?

Picture of hands touching plants

Plants use the same set of stimuli to obtain a response as animals. Plants utilize electromagnetic (EM) and chemical (chemical) stimuli to grow and develop. Movement and temperature cause changes that are necessary for growth.

Many plants use the energy (energy) from the sun to create photosynthesis which results in oxygen and other nutrients for growth. Many plants use touch and movement to obtain a response.

Phototropism in plants is a physical response to changes in the environment. Phototropism is the movement of a living thing towards a stationary stimulus, such as gravity or light. (photolysis)

Phototaxis in plants is a biological response to light and temperature. The plant’s reaction to light is a set of coordinated movements that result in photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis requires food or carbon compounds to form sugars and amino acids that are the building blocks of life. The plant’s response to temperature is to grow towards it. (grow towards a light source).

Plants can use several types of cues to trigger their growth and development processes, and some of these cues can be found in the form of temperature. Although, the primary temperature that plants respond to is light.

How Plants deal with environmental stresses

In nature, plants grow in various environments that dictate specific temperatures and other environmental stresses. The primary stress conditions typically include our controlled environment’s temperature, low humidity, and high relative humidity.

Activating Serotonin and Phytoestrogens

One of how plants can deal with these environmental stresses in a controlled manner is by activating their natural hormones called serotonin and phytoestrogens. Both of these hormones play an important role in regulating growth and development. The increased exposure to high temperature and humidity stimulates phytoestrogens, which help trigger plant growth and development.

Plants exposed to high temperatures and humidity are particularly susceptible to somatic embryogenesis. During somatic embryogenesis, the roots form a living plant after releasing their leaves and growing into a tall root structure. This process cannot occur in a cold or de-heated environment.

Shutting down their production of hormones

In some cases, however, temperature and humidity stresses can be so severe that the plants’ somatic cells cannot form a working embryo. In these cases, the plants are not in a position to function properly. To survive, the plants shut down their production of hormones.

During the heat priming period, the temperature and moisture stress responsible for the poor production of viable plants are reduced or eliminated.

While stress exposure and temperature cause early and inefficient production of viable organisms in some cases, plants have evolved to cope with these challenges.

Abrasive species and some temperate-dry species are incredibly well adapted to survive in extreme temperature and moisture conditions. Some temperate-dry species, such as the Canadian white or coniferous trees, are susceptible to high temperatures and can be devastated by prolonged exposure to heat.

In areas where the survival rate of some species is threatened by abiotic stress tolerance, planting hardy stand-alone trees with appropriate crown patterns and planting procedures can provide the additional advantage of resistance to abiotic stress.

Sets of mechanisms that are present in plants

Phototropism and gravitropism are two different but related sets of mechanisms in plants.


Picture of a houseplant growing towards sunlight on a terrace

Phototropism is the set of physiological processes regulating photosynthesis rate and timing. Under high light or artificial illumination, photosynthesis occurs very slowly. Plants with phototropism, or visual vigor, can use light to speed up this process and make energy available for other activities. For example, a green leaf would grow faster than a yellow one if it had phototropism.


picture of a plant showing Gravitropism

On the other hand, plants with gravitropism grow slower because they do not have the ability to change their shape to take advantage of the light.

Gravity also plays an important role in the plant’s response to touch and movement. Plants utilize the effects of gravity to help them orient themselves toward a source of food or water. They often grow towards the north or south to obtain light. When moving towards a water source, the plants bend their stems slightly upwards to allow the water to pass over their root systems.

Gravity is one of the essential forces in life; plants only get their growth rate regulated by gravity, making them essentially deactivate if gravity is not present. Gravity affects plants in their physiological processes; photosynthesis, nutrient transport, root growth, and photosynthesis.

These processes are all tied together with the help of the movement of water and nutrients in the environment.

2 Different Ways Plants Respond to Gravity

Plants respond to gravity in two different ways, depending on the type of plant.

Horizontal Growth

A simple, flat, upright plant has been affected mainly by gravitropism. The gravitational force has usually controlled the shape at its base. In this case, the plant’s roots have grown upwards and towards the light. The horizontal growth of the shoots has also been affected by gravitation.

Photosynthesis is a three-dimensional process involving moving matter to higher places or exchanging matter and energy to lower areas. Plants grow in response to phototropism, whereby light is sent from the light source to the leaves, stems, and roots in the direction of the light.

If the light is sent in the wrong direction, the result is usually the slowing down or the deadening of growth.

Vertical Growth

Vertically growing plants, like Cascara Sagrada, have a complex network of microtubules and statocytes involved in the movement of energy within the plant. The statocytes are also responsible for regulating the photosynthetic responses in the stems, leaves, and roots.

When these stems and roots are moved to a lower level, they have a greater chance of being attacked by pathogens, thus lowering the overall growth of the plant. This is how gravity sensing is helpful to plants.

How the global environment affects how plants grow

Geotropism refers to the tilt of the earth’s axis system, while geotropism refers to the vertical movement of gravity. When the gravity distribution is altered, it is called geotropism, caused by perturbations in the tilt or the global orientation of the earth’s axis system.

This is why it is essential to adjust the positioning of plants to compensate for any perturbations in the gravitational field.

The most common form of this is the differential growth response, which is caused by the variation of the heights and depths of different bodies of water and land, among other factors. Plants that flourish in such a diverse habitat can develop and multiply similarly to those in their natural habitat.

Plants stressed due to changes in the gravitational field can respond to gravity by reducing or increasing the rate of photosynthesis.

In plants affected by geotropism, photosynthesis is inhibited because of reduced nutrient availability and the concentration of nutrients in the water.

How Touch and Movement affects plant’s nutritional needs

Touch enables plants to obtain food (carbon compounds) and extract oxygen from carbon dioxide. It also stimulates growth.

Movement stimulates growth because it provides information about the environment. The plants sense the direction of movement in terms of light and warmth.

Therefore, touch and movement are a significant part of plant life and play an essential role in their development.

A recent study concluded that certain responses trigger their growth and health when humans place their hands on plants. Specifically, the scientists found that a chemical reaction occurred when humans touched the bottom of a leaf, encouraging the plant to grow.

In this case, they found that human movement (the movement that occurs when one places their hands on the leaf) triggers growth. This is the first instance of a direct connection between human touch and plant growth.

This finding is exciting because it provides a direct connection between the human touch and the growth of plants. It shows that plants can sense human movement and, in response, stimulate their growth. It also shows that plants can sense human emotions, such as happiness and fear, and respond accordingly.

Because plants cannot escape a threat, they rely on humans to either help or prevent them from becoming harmed.

This research is fascinating for plant scientists, as it means that other plants can sense human movement and send out a biochemical message to increase growth.

The next step is to examine plants grown with human touch and determine if they can also sense human emotion. This could provide a better understanding of how plants and humans interact with one another.

Conclusion on do plants respond to touch?

To understand how plants grow, we must know what plants are and how they survive. Plants are the living parts of a living world, and their growth and death is a process that goes on continuously within the earth. In nature, plants respond to stimuli produced by their environment. Examples of such stimuli include light, temperature, water, wind, and physical stimuli such as pressure, temperature, and direction.

Plants’ ability to react directly to humans allows them to play an essential role in our health. Whether plants directly affect us or indirectly, they are living organism that is very useful to our bodies, life, and environment.

Plants offer food, shelter, and even other organisms to help fight off predators. They are invaluable when it comes to plants’ reactions to humans and what they can do.

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