Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Here are a few interesting things I learned in botany class that you might not know about plants

I figure you all know as much as you want to about botany or you’d’ve looked it up online. So I am just going to mention some cool things I didn’t know that were covered in a class I recently attended.

The roots on a plant do not grow from the end. The end has a hard hat ( more or less ) on it to help protect it when pushing through the soil. It is the root section just behind the end that does the growing. It is called the ‘zone of elongation’.

The bulk of the roots that do the feeding on a tree are not near the center. I know you all already knew the tree roots spread out about equal to the branch cover under most trees. But it is the roots at the edge of that circle that need the water and fertilizer the most. You want to fertilize for a few feet towards and away from the tree in that circle.

Water only goes up the roots and stem, food and most nutrients travel both ways.

There is a cambium layer between the edge of the food/water transport veins in a plant and the section that does the moving. The reasons trees die when they get cut around the edges is because the cambium layer dies.

The terminal bud, the one on the very tip of a branch gets food first and the best of the food. Those closest to the terminal bud get second dibs and those further away only if there is enough food and water.

Likewise the flower on the end gets the best of the food and water. For really big flowers remove those under the end one so the end one can get all the food.

I’m told, but haven’t tried yet, that if you scoop out just the center bud in a caladium bulb that you will get a much bushier plant. I’m also told that doing so may ruin the color pattern on your caladium. So do some digging online about your particular variety before you try this. ( see Caladiums )

Corn should be planted in blocks not rows. Every single one of those silks needs to get fertilized in order for each kernel to grow properly. When you see an ear of corn and the kernels are all different sizes that is what went wrong.

Cucurbitaceae plants ( watermelons, pumpkins, cucumbers, etc ) have male flowers at the beginning of the vine and female fruit bearing flowers for the rest of the vine.

See also:
Carl Linnaeus, the father of botany