If you ever watched a time lapse footage of a plant you can’t see the botanical world the same again. Nobody questions the fact that plants are living entities, but since their lives unfold at a speed so much slower than our own, one gets it intellectually, but rarely at gut level.

The most surprising fact about plants is how much they actually move. During the daily cycle they follow the sun, during the monthly cycle the phases of the moon, during the yearly cycle they constantly oscillate their metabolic activities between their aerial parts and their underground ones. Just in case you’ve been wondering what perennials do during the winter, when to a superficial glance they appear dead, please read this article.

And then there are the wandering plants, snapdragons are a good example, which will pop out in surprising locations each spring and never sprout in the same place for two years in a row. Not only that, but they have a consistent pattern of movement from year to year, and if you’re willing to spend your time tracing their movements through the garden you will notice that they follow a logical path.

Trailing plants have no limits regarding how far from the place they’ve been planted they are willing to go, aggressively spreading runners underground and out of sight. That is a type of plant movement that is not visible to us at all, even if we had the willingness to slow down to plant speed. As far as the aerial parts are concerned, they will flop over and change the location that doesn’t agree with them, leaving their roots behind if need be.

Climbers have perfected this art to reach the pinnacle of mobility, which for plants is the top of the tallest trees.
What I’m trying to say, next time you look at your tomato plant please remember that you’re looking at a living being that is more like your dog or cat and not the pot it’s growing in.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.