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Thread: Effects of stress on plants.

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    Capslock's Avatar
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    I recently had to leave my house for six weeks, and had a plant-sitter take care of my plants. She did OK, but didn't water enough, and a lot of plants were stressed out. Now that I'm home and watering correctly, all heck is breaking loose. First, my N. hamata sent up several tiny basal shoots from the roots. Now, I notice several other plants flowering. P. esseriana, P. primuliflora, D. madagascariensis, D. paradoxa, and some others are all flowering suddenly.

    Has anyone studied stressing plants in a controlled way to get these results? Is this something perhaps that could be done deliberately from time to time to induce flowering or offshoots?

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    with neps ive noticed that a bit of stress will help along flowering a bit, my 'Miranda' sent out a flower spike within 6 weeks of being repoted. ive heard several ppl comment that the same has happened for them with different species and hybrids. my Drosera, with the exceptions of capensis and nidiformis which are always in some state of blooming, will bloom right after transplanting or if i recieve a decent sized one in trade it usually blooms not long after i get it potted up such as the D. madagascariensis i recently recieved from Copper. not to scientific but its some observations
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    Caps, sounds like a simulated "dry season," which could account for the pings' flowers. I think (could be wrong, and it may depend on the ping) that they flower "as the spring rains begin to fall" or some such poetic thing.
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    I've heard rumors like that before, but it was only talking about N. ampullaria. I'm guessing that it would work on others.
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    I have a baby Nepenthes villosa, with traps almost 1/2 inch tall, that I have had for just over a year. I grow it in one of those clear acrylic cubes and it sits under lights by day and goes into the refrigerator at night. A few months ago, to my horror, I accidentally dropped it to the floor acrylic cube and all. I thought I might have killed it.

    It survived, and a week or so later put out a basal shoot with a 1/8 inch pitcher!!!

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    My teacher says that usually organisms go into asexual reproduction (the ones that can) when the times are good (because their present genes are working so why change them?), and they go into sexual reproduction when the times are bad (to get some gene mixing and evolve).
    but there are exeptions (obviously..)
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Awhile back Darcie brought out the same point that AlphaWolf did. Also related is that when plants sense a drying period, their root systems develop, digging deeper for moisture. A plant that doesn't experience this doesn't do this. It's sort of like exercising muscles for times when you need them.

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I've observed this with my N. alata and several non-CPs; my N. alata never pitchered until I left it for two weeks unattended and then resumed normal watering. I've seen tillandsias send out new shoots after being left to dry extra long, as well as some cacti/succulents. My kalanchoe seems to produce larger, more ornately lobed leaves shortly after wilting a little and recovering (it's not on the right light schedule, and rarely grows correctly as a result, so that might be part of it.) A controlled study of this phenomenon would certainly be worthwhile.
    ~Joe

    PS - Anybody know how tolerant plants are of this (in particular the plants I've got right now, D. capensis and N. alata?) I'd think that if a plant gets neglected too often in one season, it might just give up, as in the wild these kinds of stresses occur in cycle with the time of year.
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