Are You Smarter than A Tomato Plant?

If you really put a lot of thought into it and consider what a plant must do in its struggle to survive, you may find yourself thinking about how much more intelligent a plant is than yourself or your friends.

Whilst as human beings there are many aspects of our existence that baffle scientists even today but the same can also be said of plants. Whilst they don’t have the ability to walk around at will or hold a conversation, they have come up with some interesting survival tactics over the past few millions of years.

So how many of the following did you know your plant could do?

1)    Compete with Other Plants for Resources

Plants don’t simply sit in their place and hope that the resources to survive are there, ready for the taking. Instead, plants use a wide variety of techniques to ensure they take what they need even if it’s at the expense of other life forms.

Have you ever wondered why some plants have disproportionately large leaves? This is to ensure the plant takes all the light it can get which is often at the detriment of life forms that exist in the sunless area below the plant. The roots of a plant are extremely intelligent too and have evolved to be constantly looking for moisture and nutrients whilst letting the plant know when a new root is required. This is why air pruning pots are used to encourage a more efficient root system.

2)    Cooperate with Other Plants for Mutual Benefit

It can make sense for a plant to act in such as way that brings a benefit for both itself and another plant, which is known as mutualism.  There’s a lot of information on the web about the exact details especially in this Wikipedia article but what this tells us about plants is that they can decide whether it would be better to be selfish or cooperative. This is something many people don’t always have a grasp of until the age of 30.

3)    Plants Can Identify Family Members

According to this article in Wired, plants can identify relatives and share resources instead of competing with them. The article shows how plants developed shallower root systems when surrounded by fellow siblings.

When we grow hydroponically, we often think we’re doing a lot of the work for the plant and that we’re the one making it all happen. In reality the plant is doing what it would have done had we not put it in an artificial environment. Our effort and hard work is simply creating an environment that simulates the natural world so that the plant can work its own magic.