Plants have minds of their own

I am convinced that many of my plants are shy. They have “minds” of their own. Some even jump to locations in my garden where they can hardly be seen. In my garden I see this happening repeatedly, so I have to be cautious when weeding a baby plant.

I am not just talking about plants that close their flowers in the heat of the sun as if coyly shutting their eyes. If you come to my garden in the morning, you will see lots of Tradescantia virginiana-spiderwort flowers of all colors open and pretty. This thug of a plant that is taking over my garden, is extremely colorful in the morning when just about every color- white, pink, blue, and purple flowers are open, But come after 11:30am on a hot sunny day when I usually get visitors and there is nary a Tradescantia flower open. My garden looks like a weed pile. Then I am tempted to compost every Tradescantia plant that is lying down. But come the next morning and once again I am charmed with a spectacular show.

Many of my plants move around my garden to grow in a spot that makes them hidden. For example, who doesn’t love the Japanese painted fern?

One year I planted this fern in a bed in my very shaded garden. The next year it jumped into another bed across a walkway that was not quite as shaded. It was highly visible so I left it there. Then it died. This happened twice. The third time I planted the Japanese Painted fern, I planted it in the shadier garden but also planted a hosta near by. The hosta leaves are so large that it completely shades the Japanese Painted fern. The fern has been so happy under the hosta. The only problem is, the hosta leaf hides the Japanese Painter fern so that no one can ever see it unless I move the hosta leaf to show off my one lovely Japanese painted fern.

I planted a yellow Corydalis plant. Did it like where I planted it? You bet it didn’t. It is now growing at the base of some privet hedge, so tightly wedged in that you would think it had no nutrients for itself. This corydalis has remained there happily ever after.

The same thing has happened to my poppies. I planted these showy flowers for everyone to see. Apparently they weren’t happy to show off for visitors, so they sent their seeds to a relatively darkish distant area where they will be hard to notice when they bloom. They have self seeded almost everywhere but where I planted them.

This hopping around my garden is a way for plants to keep themselves alive- after all they know more about their needs than TheGardenLady does. I imagine this is a way some of my plants defend themselves.  Mother Earth has an interesting article on how plants defend themselves.

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