A study published in BMC Ecology shows that plants can communicate with each other using “nano-mechanical” sound waves. They use these signals to encourage each other to grow, and to keep track of where spatially another plant may need room. The sound vibrations signal the other plant where they are and to grow accordingly.
Scientists at the University of Western Australia found that even when they isolated two “paired” plants from light, scent and touch the plants were still able to communicate with each other. When they planted a chili pepper next to a basil plant, and then separated them from all known methods of plant interaction, the chili plant still grew as if it knew the basil was there.
Cleve Baxter, the polygraph scientist who did controversial experiments with plants, showed that plants could sense human intentions and communicate. Gardeners have known for centuries that certain plant pairings, such as basil and tomato, encourage plant growth and health. Now researchers hope that these new findings will help scientists increase crop yields in the future.