Plant Chatter: Can You Hear Me Now?

The headline “Plants Talk. Plants Listen” caught my eye this morning.  What followed was a fascinating article on a plant’s ability to ‘warn’ it’s neighbors of an aphid attack.  Taking it one step further, scientists believe that the chemicals released when the plant is under attack may also attract beneficial wasps.

According to the article:

These chemicals come from the injured parts of the plant and seem to be an alarm. Maybe not an intentional warning like, “Watch Out! Aphid Attack!” but more like a simple distress call like, “Aphids! Aphids! Aphids!” or, “Attack! Attack!” The chemicals the plants pump through the air are a blend of organic molecules — alcohols, aldehydes, ketones and esters — known as volatile organic compounds, VOCs for short.

Intriguing.  Further:

Not only do plants use airborne chemicals, they send signals underground, through their roots. Some make ultrasonic “clicking” sounds. What feels to us like a quiet day in the forest may in fact be a hurly-burly of wafting, pulsing, clicking plant-to-plant communication.

If you’re as intrigued as I am, I encourage you to read the entire article. The drawings are hilarious, too. NPR: Robert Krulwich on Science

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing my own communing with the garden and trying to pull myself out of  a slump.  Onward.

raspberry flowers

Flowering raspberries

20 thoughts on “Plant Chatter: Can You Hear Me Now?

  1. I have always known the truth of this – it was evident from studies done back in the 60’s and 70’s that were laughed out of existence by conventional thinking/science back then – probably due to the fact that they were simplistically represented for pop-culture uptake. 🙂

    Everything is connected and the intelligence of the plant kingdom is evident everywhere we look. It is us who has been deaf and blind and ignorant to their messages. [The mindset that allowed chemical monoliths like monsanto and company to take over our food supply; cut down our rain forests, poison our waterways and de-nature our relationship with nature].

    Knowing of this intelligence has always given me hope for the future of the earth – as despite human-kinds multiple idiocies she and her native inhabitants will somehow find a way to survive.

    I am pleased to see you are on board and sharing this new evidence. 🙂 Now I must away and have my midday chat with my plants – my lettuces and spinach are still feeding me despite the sun being almost absent from the pocket-handkerchief garden 🙂

    How are you doing? Can I be of any help? You know we could skype if you wanted to talk 🙂

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    • I absolutely agree, Pauline. The earth is stronger than we are (thank goodness). I hope we’ll learn to treat her better in time. I believe the trend is heading that way. Too bad there is money to be made by the likes of Monsanto. It must stop.

      Thank you for your thoughtful closing, and for your love, support and concern. The call yesterday meant so much to me. Thank you for being you and for intuitively knowing what to say and do. I’m feeling much better today. The call between us was so uplifting. xoxoxooxoxoxox

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  2. Isn’t that amazing? I’ve never heard this before. I guess the lowly wasp, that I have always scorned, has a value in the garden after all. Here I thought their only job was to ruin a good meal when trying to enjoy el fresco dining. I hope the symphony continues when plants are happy too and not just when they’re in distress. Like when you’re tickling their toes with a little raking for weeds or when a light rain washes over their faces and when the sun shines down. I like to think they give out cheerful vibes to attract the bumble-bee and butterfly too. As always, I wish I was there to give you a hug so big, you and your entire garden would know you are truly loved xoxox

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    • LOL on the wasps. It sure does feel that way. Wasps and my worse nemesis, the mosquito. They love my pale white skin.

      I love your comment about ‘tickling their toes’…I’m sure they appreciate and send out positive vibes as well.

      Your call yesterday meant so much to me. You’ve hugged me with words and deeds. I love and appreciate you so much. xoxoox…to infinity

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      • I think I hear some faint chanting, alys, alys………..now a little louder, ALYS, ALYS!!! That’s your garden and I are cheering you on. Alys ((you)) deserve to be cherished and loved each and every day AND you’re entitled to feel blue when you must too. Everybody will sometimes. Just know that I and many others, also care to infinity and will always have your back. You are loved xoxoxox

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  3. Thank you for this fascinating article. I love how it concludes. We’re all connected. Our world is buzzing but our senses are weak. It makes me wonder, yet again, about the depth of my ignorance and understanding of the world I live in. If we could only hear the buzz. What then?
    I hope you get out of your slump soon:-) Garden tales are awaiting.

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    • Thanks so much for commenting, Yota, and for your very kind words.

      I think we’ve lost (or have been desensitized) to the world around us. I often think how much more I notice when on foot (instead of in he car) or when I garden and literally have my nose inches away from the earth. When I sit still, never easy for me, I see so much more. It really gives you pause.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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