Environmental Effects On Plants

Most of these factors are already known to us but there are other factors that we perhaps don’t consider when choosing a plant and where to plant it. And these factors are the immediate environment around where you are going to plant your plant and what effects it will have on different types of plants and during different times of the year.

Environmental Effects On Plants

Some environmental factors that affect the growth of a plant are:

  • Water
  • Temperature
  • Light
  • Nutrients
  • Hormones
  • Atmosphere
  • Soil
  • Co2

Most of these factors are already known to us but there are other factors that we perhaps don’t consider when choosing a plant and where to plant it. And these factors are the immediate environment around where you are going to plant your plant and what effects it will have on different types of plants and during different times of the year.

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For instance:

A brick wall next to a plant could make a plant too hot during the day from sun reflecting off the wall onto the plant. But at night the wall keeps the plant warm as it gives back some of its absorbed warmth to the air around the plant so the plant stays warmer than other plants situated further away from that wall.

The same wall may shelter the plant from an intense storm (depending on the direction of the rain), and add extra water to the soil around the plant from water running down the wall.

The wall may also reflect light at night from an outdoor light onto the plant. This would increase the length of time that plant receives light on its leaves. If the plant is at a critical time of its flower development, the flower may not continue to develop.

A plant will flower in response to two intertwined factors.
They are ‘Day length’ and ‘Temperature’.
https://learn.weathleaerstem.com   The term ‘day length’ is misleading as it is actually the length of night that is vital for the plant hormone in the ‘non-flowering’ form to be changed into the ‘flowering’ form. This happens during each dark event but reverts back to the ‘non-flowering’ form when light again shines on the leaves. So an external light source can greatly affect the life cycle of a plant.

In nature as days get longer and nights get shorter the length of day light time eventually equals the length of night time. This occurs twice a year in almost the middle of winter (cold) & the middle of summer (hot).
It is the combination of ‘day length’ (i.e. length of night) & temperature (hot & cold) that determines when a particular plant will initiate flowering.

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Human intervention can stop a plant from flowering by using lights. Once the lights are turned off, flowering can begin. This is used by some flower growers to stop Chrysanthemums from flowering until just before Mother’s day when the demand is at its peak (& so are the prices).

In southern Australia there is winter wet & summer dry, but in the top half of the country there is a winter dry & summer wet. This adds another factor to influencing when a plant will flower in your garden.

Plants know not to flower when covered by snow or in very hot conditions unless humans have adversely influenced their reaction by interfering with their ‘natural’ mechanisms.

Nature has provided some inbuilt controls.

For example, a peach seed will not start to shoot until it has gone through a period of cold (as it would experience in a cold climate in the wild) so the new shoot is not killed by the frost.

Man can intervene by placing the seed in a fridge crisper for 6 weeks to imitate the natural cold weather but the emerging shoot needs to be artificially protected from the cold in a warmed glass-house. The extra time gained by this method is to speed up the growth in plant breeding for a new variety.

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With so many factors to consider it’s a good idea to get some professional advice. Ask your local nursery man or someone you know with horticultural experience.

Your LOCAL nursery will generally keep only the plants that will do well locally. A lot of people will ask for plants that they heard about on a recent TV program without checking if the plants will thrive locally or that the presenter was talking about their location or a different location. Eg describing plants in Tasmania but the viewer is in Brisbane.

So do some research before you start planting and you will have the best chance of success in your garden.

I came across this article long after Bob had written this newsletter and it seemed fitting to provide a link here, as it talks about exactly what this post is talking about.

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2015/12/fruit-walls-urban-farming.html

Today’s Did You Know…?

Researchers have proven that the plant hormone “Auxin” is the substance that makes plants lean towards the light by a process called Phototropism.

Phototropin is a pigment in the tip of growing plant shoots which is sensitive to light. It absorbs the light and releases the Auxin hormone which makes the cells grow on the shaded side of the plant.

The elongation on one side causes the bending on the opposite side.

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