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Don't touch your plants

Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,987
Fell down a bit of a rabbit hole tonight..
General gist of the research basically seems to prove that touching your plants stresses them out, causing mutations in the plant cells as a response and causing a reduction in plant growth.
I have always brushed my seedlings with a gentle hand to 'harden' them up for outside life, but in reality I've been stressing them out and setting back their growth?  
What about my house plants I 'pet' as I water them or give them a bit of attention?  They repulse at my touch like a beaten animal?  They send chemical distress signals out to their neighbor plants warning them?  

Does anyone else know about this?
Utah, USA.


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,729
    I do know that some trees don’t like their crowns to touch other trees.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • B3B3 Posts: 27,014
    I can think of a few rampant specimens that I will be touching up😉
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • sarinkasarinka Posts: 270
    B3 said:
    I can think of a few rampant specimens that I will be touching up😉
    I had the same thought... only my worst weed now is probably nettles 
  • B3B3 Posts: 27,014
    Aphid fondling doesn't seem to have a detrimental effect on my plants. I wouldn't want them to grow much faster anyway.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • I've been cursing bindweed, thistle & docks for years no result yet, perhaps the noise of the trains on the Northern line near my Allotment made them hard of hearing. 
    AB Still learning

  • I remember years ago reading about a huge nursery that found touching the young seedlings made them grow better than not being touched.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    josusa47 said:
      If one follows that theory to it's logical conclusion, it ought to be possible to maintain a weed-free garden simply by hurling abuse.
     :D  I have to say it hasn't worked for me so far despite my best efforts - perhaps I need to expand my vocabulary .
    Then the neighbours might complain.
  • I don't think it's true. We have to somehow pinch off/cut off dead bits, investigate any disease or bugs/insects to make sure our plants will stay happy and healthy and what we are using: our hands. Most plants will thank you for care. 😊
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,150
    On gardening programmes, like GW, the presenters often touch and stroke their plants. They have also said that plants like it.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
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