Do plants remember if you mess with them?

April 7, 2016 -  By

A study shows plants may have the ability to remember or learn long-lasting behaviors, according to an article in the New York Times.

Researchers at the University of Florence in Italy attempted to train a plant to change its behavior. They chose to study the Mimosa pudica, more commonly known as the touch-me-not plant, which curls up its leaves when touched (as seen in video below).

Researchers tested their theory by dropping the potted plants six inches onto foam. This activated the flinching response. After the action was repeated a number of times and the plants were unharmed, they no longer curled up. A month later, the action was repeated and the plants still didn’t react.

From this experiment, the researchers determined that the touch-me-not plant didn’t curl up because it remembered the falls weren’t harmful. They concluded that plants could learn long-lasting behaviors—similar to memories.

While the study has its critics, play it safe and be nice to your plants this season.

LM Staff

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