Saturday, October 1, 2016

Plants Are Parents Too



Last week I cut back the Alyssum and saved enough seed to grow an army of them for next year. Today, as I wandered about, I was stunned to see the plant flowering again! The plant does not seem to understand that it's the first day of October.

Alyssum Golden Ball

Here’s how it works. When seed begins to ripen on a plant (any plant) the energy is channelled to ensuring that the seed ripens in the best possible way. Thee plant refuses to grow more flowers, as that would divert valuable energy away from “the next generation”. Bit like humans, really. Parents do as much for their children as they possibly can, often sacrificing things they would like for themselves.

The opposite happens as soon as the seed is shed. The plant returns to flowering, in order to produce even more seeds, and the cycle continues until such time as the weather changes alarmingly. When  nature cannot provide enough energy (sunlight & warmth) to ensure viable reproduction, the plant produces neither flower or seed. Bit like menopause, perhaps.

Here's a reminder of what it looked like only last week:



Therefore, anything that we can do to help the process on the way will result in more flowers for longer. Some gardeners will go to extreme lengths to provide ideal conditions for growth. Some delicate plants will be taken to the glasshouse. Other plants, just like humans, are hardy and can withstand cold and even frost.

Here's what happened only very recently: Easy Seed Saving

Páraig



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