touch sensitive plant
Mon, Nov 29, 2021

Top 5 Plants Sensitive to Touch: The Best Options for the Grower

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Plants sensitive to touch are a real miracle of nature, which is quite difficult to believe until you see it with your own eyes. Although we know that the plants are alive, it is still difficult for us to imagine that they feel something – if the plant is touched, it would not pull back the branch and run away. However, plants feel everything, and some of them even show their reaction to touch.

Plants That Move When You Touch It

Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

Venus Flytrap

An example of plants that respond to touch is the Venus flytrap. There are nectar-secreting glands along the inner row of setae to attract insects. If an insect attracted by the scent touches particularly sensitive internal cavities, the plant trap is slammed shut. Each trap is designed for only three digestion processes, after which plant leaves turn black and die off. And even if the trap cannot catch a single insect, it can close and reopen only about seven times. Therefore, when keeping this sensitive plant at home, you should not force the trap to work in vain by artificially stimulating. The plant needs diffused bright light. However, the flower should be illuminated by direct sunlight for 4-5 hours every day. For its cultivation, windows of an east or west orientation are well suited.

Mimosa Pudica

Mimosa Pudica

Another equally attractive plant that closes when you touch it is Mimosa pudica – an evergreen ornamental shrub native to the subtropics of South America. It is also sometimes called a shy fern plant, as its leaves look like a small fern. The plant got its distribution due to the bizarre property of responding to any touch, even a light wind. It immediately begins to fold its leaves. It gives the impression that it is moving. To preserve its decorative properties, it is more often grown as an annual crop. Do not touch the leaves regularly. Why does the mimosa plant close when touched? This occurs due to changes in the turgor pressure in cells of a plant. The behavior is a predator avoidance mechanism.

Even though this plant that closes leaves when touched at first glance seems so gentle, caring for it is not difficult. It loves warmth, the air temperature, from early spring to late autumn, should be between 20-24 °C. In winter, lower the temperature to 16-18 °C. Loves bright light, even direct sunlight. In the spring and summer, watering should be abundant and regular. In winter, it is enough to keep the soil slightly damp.

Sundew

Sundew

This plant, which reacts to touch, eats insects. On the surface of its leaves, there are many cilia, on the tips of which tiny droplets of sticky juice flaunt, which are very similar to dew (which is why the plant was named so). Small insects, after touching the leaf, stick to it. Then plant leaves fold. Sundew juice contains paralyzing alkaloids, as well as enzymes, due to which the insect is digested. In such an unusual way, this plant feeds, obtaining the necessary minerals. Dewdrop is slow-growing, and it can also live for several decades. This plant can be grown in your apartment. You would not only be able to admire its unusual properties, but also get rid of annoying insects.

Although sundew is not toxic, it is recommended touching this sensitive plant as little as possible, since this can cause side effects such as irritation of the lining of the digestive tract as well as stomach pain or gastritis.

Catasetum

Catasetum

The Catasetum belongs to the genus of epiphytic orchids, which includes approximately 150 species. One of the main features of this orchid is that one plant is capable of producing flowers that are different not only in size, but also in color. This is since three types of flowers develop on the orchid: bisexual, male, and female. The type is determined by the location of the flower on the plant. At home, it is quite difficult to achieve this, but it is possible. To stimulate the growth of female flowers, it is necessary to lower the plant’s illumination level. Experienced flower growers, through experiments, managed to achieve the simultaneous flowering of two peduncles with different flowers. How does this plant move when touched? Male flowers can respond to pollinator insects that touch the antennae in the center of the flower by releasing filaments of stamens held under tension by the petals. The force by which a sticky disc with pollen sacs hits the chosen pollinator can be strong enough to knock a bee from the flower.

Oxalis

Oxalis

It is a plant sensitive to touch from the genus of herbaceous plants belonging to the Oxalidaceae family. The color of the foliage depends on the species and can be green, burgundy, or purple. Flowers are small, mostly delicate tones. In the evening, as well as before bad weather, the flowers are closed. How does a plant respond to touch? If you hit the leaves of the plant sharply, you will see how they gradually begin to descend. True, its movements are much slower than those of the Mimosa pudica. You need to wait about five minutes for them to fully descend. And in this position, the leaves can stay from 30 to 50 minutes, then they again take up their original position. In the same way, oxalis react to darkness and too bright light. Our list of sensitive plants is coming to an end. Despite their unique nature, caring for these plants is quite simple. The only thing to remember is that it is worth touching these plants as rarely as possible, since excessive mechanical stimulation can significantly harm them. And if you have children, make sure the plants are out of reach.

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