The Awareness of Plants


Do plants respond to your touch?  Do they feel or enjoy music or your singing voice?

The answers, according to new research conducted at the University of Western Australia, are yes and no.  Lead researcher Olivier Van Aken says that plants rapidly respond when you pinch a flower, step on them or just brush by them while walking.

Although plants don’t possess a brain in the ordinary sense, they appear to stay aware of their surroundings and circumstances at the genetic level.  In one study, spraying water droplets on plans caused them to change the way thousands of genes were expressed within minutes of the stimulus.  The reaction stopped within half an hour.  Another study showed that  gently touching or patting the leaves and stems of plants elicited the same reaction.

Other studies have shown that plants “know” by the same touch sensitivity when insects are eating them, and secrete hormones which discourage the feeding.

But when the researchers played music or sang to the plants, there appeared to be no genetic response.  If you want to sing for your plants, recognize that they’re probably not paying attention.

About the Author: Bob Veres has been a commentator, author and consultant in the financial services industry for more than 20 years.  Over his 20-year career in the financial services world, Mr. Veres has worked as editor of Financial Planning magazine; as a contributing editor to the Journal of Financial Planning; as a columnist and editor-at-large of Dow Jones Investment Advisor magazine; and as editor of Morningstar’s advisor web site:

Mr. Veres has been named one of the most influential people in the financial planning profession by Investment Advisor magazine and Financial Planning magazine, was granted the NAPFA Special Achievement Award by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, and most recently the Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award from the Denver-based Financial Planning Association. 



Leave a Reply