The Tribune - Spectrum

ART & LITERATURE
'ART AND SOUL
BOOKS
MUSINGS
TIME OFF
YOUR OPTION
ENTERTAINMENT
BOLLYWOOD BHELPURI
TELEVISION
WIDE ANGLE
FITNESS
GARDEN LIFE
NATURE
SUGAR 'N' SPICE
CONSUMER ALERT
TRAVEL
INTERACTIVE FEATURES
CAPTION CONTEST
FEEDBACK

Sunday, November 18, 2001
Garden Life

Experiments with plants
Satish Narula

WHAT do you do when you buy a pineapple from the market? Cut it off from the bunch of leaves, peel and eat it. What do you do with that bunch of leaves? Throw it? Don’t, because you can do an interesting experiment with it.


When you root a plant in water, it adapts to that kind of environment

This could be a good experience for children too. They can do it in their botany laboratory. When you detach the bunch of leaves from the fruit with a knife, you get a smooth round disk at the base. The basal leaves are mostly damaged or brown at the tip and the margins. Remove them by pulling downwards or holding them between your thumb and knife and pulling. Immerse the basal disk in plain water and keep at a shady place. You will not have to wait for long. Within a week’s time, you will find beautiful white roots emerging from the edges of the base of the disk. I cannot, assure you about the offspring of the fruit emerging out of the pineapple plant thus prepared, but will let you know if it happens. Try it for yourself.

Sometimes, you just stumble upon an idea, just as Harold Carver, Principal St. Stephens School, once experienced a similar thing. An ardent environmentalist, he picked up an old yucca plant from his school ground that had been accidently cut by trench-diggers. It hurt him the most, but he put it in a container of water with the stem dipped a few inches and put it in his balcony. That the plant was ‘still green’ encouraged him to continue keeping it. One day, he called me to show that his plant was still green after four months, though it was "without roots". When he took it out of the deep container, he was astonished to see a bunch of beautiful pink roots curled in a round fashion like a basket around the main stem. I saw child-like delight and immense satisfaction in his eyes.

EARLIER COLUMNS
Caring for indoor plants
November 4, 2001
Dahlia days are here again
October 21, 2001
Time to cut your roses to size
October 7, 2001
Initial care crucial for prized blooms later
September 23, 2001
Climbers provide quick cover
September 9, 2001
Know the medium
August 26, 2001
Time to multiply your plants
August 12, 2001


You can conduct another experiment with a carrot. Take a big root with a broad base and cut it near the base leaving a three-inch-long stub. Hollow the stub by scrapping with some knife.

Fill it with water and hang it as such in the shade, like a basket. After a few days, you will notice something green at the base. That is the new emerging stems. Since the "stub" is hanging upside down, the emerging shoots will turn upwards and cover the stub from all sides. The growth will be upwards and you will get tiny baskets.

When you root a plant in water, it adapts to that kind of environment and the roots are also called water roots. These are white in colour. But when you root a plant in sand or any other medium and then put it in water, it may shed its roots and new roots are formed. Such plants live in the water medium for long.

Home


Top