Electricity plays a vital role in plants. Usually in the form of Sunlight or Electromagnetic Radiation. Research workers are finding evidence that plant cells’ sensitivity to electric current can be exploited to enhance their growth.
Plants use Chlorophyll to produce their own energy for growth. But, what if we could grow plants faster by giving them a second source of energy (electricity)? Or what if we could grow plants completely in the dark by supplementing them with DC or AC current without giving them any sunlight at all?
…It turns out, that we might be able to.
A while back i got the idea out of nowhere that we might be able to grow plants in the dark by giving them electricity instead. This led me on a deep quest to find out if anyone else had asked this question before. Long hours spent on Google produced some interesting results, which i forgot about until recently. It’s always been in the back of my mind.
I found several interesting results. One article i read, stated that a researcher had done experiments on trees in California, and discovered that they produce small amounts of electricity. At least i think it was California. A quick google search now, produces mixed information. Apparently researchers from Washington, Boston, Massachusetts all claim to have discovered that trees can produce electricity. So, who knows who discovered it first.
The next interesting idea is that by creating an alternating current through a coil around the stem of a living plant, results with the plant growing taller and larger, with more numerous and larger leaves, under otherwise normal growing conditions . That by itself is incredibly fascinating. It’s even got a patent!
“It is generally known that many types of life forces are affected by electrical phenomena. For example, proposals have been made to pass electrical current through the soil to regulate the growth of plants.
It has been found that passage of alternating current through a coil disposed closely around the stem of a living plant, and thereby subjecting the plant stem of induced EMF, results in significant modification of growing characteristics, with the plant growing taller and larger, with more numerous and larger leaves, under otherwise normal growing conditions .”
The third interesting experiment i uncovered was very close to the previous one. But instead used DC current applied to the plants root system. It not only goes on to state that the DC current increases growth like the precious one, but also states that plants were able to survive in the dark by feeding on the electricity instead of the sunlight. If true, this opens up whole new possibilities of growing food indoors or underground, without the need for expensive lighting. It might also help so our houseplants don’t die from lack of sunlight, like they normally do. (i couldn’t find the original research paper, but this seems to be the exact same info, and includes the idea of using a solar cell)
The last idea is about using ultrasonic sound waves to promote better plant growth. Apparently it seems it’s also well documented that plants can be affected both positively and negatively by certain frequencies. Even to the point of death in some cases. I honestly didn’t read much about the ultrasonic, because i was more interested in the other attempts. But, here is the info anyway.
I think i might attempt to build a helical coil, and attempt if i can successfully grow a plant inside during the winter. I’ve tried planting some plants indoors before, but because of the low amount of light they seem to die rather quickly. I may also try placing one of these around a corn plant in the spring, and seeing if it grows larger and taller than the rest.