How long do plants live



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Plants have always been made "eternal" with the vegetative reproduction system such as the offshoot, the layering, the cuttings which are none other than the same individual put in a position to be reborn. So the observation that arises spontaneously is: the life of the embryonic tissues of a plant is eternal. Despite this, we have plants that die at 10, 50, 100, 1000 years, but eventually die: why? First of all, it is evident that plant life is determined by internal, genetic factors and not by environmental factors. Here are some examples:

  • the giant sequoias (Sequoia gigantea) live about 4000;
  • the cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) lives about 2000 years;
  • the cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) about 1200 years;
  • the rate (Taxus baccata) lives over 1000 years;
  • the lime tree (Tilea spp.) lives about 800-1000 years;
  • the larch (Larix decidua) lives about 700 years;
  • juniper (Juniperus alba) lives over 500 years;
  • the pine (Pinus silvestre) lives about 500 years;
  • the beech (Wild Fagus) lives about 250 years;
  • birch (Betula verrucosa) lives about 120 years
  • ...

But then, what does the life of a plant depend on? Certainly one of the main factors is that the raw alfalfa makes the ascent from the roots towards the leaves with great difficulty the higher the plant. In fact, the forces that oppose the climb such as friction, gravity and hydrostatic pressure increase proportionally to the height so when we are faced with a tree 50 m high the force necessary to make the sap rise up to the most tall of the plant, it is enormous. If we also consider that since the plant is very large, the quantity of leaves that must be reached will also be very large. Therefore, at a certain point, the water that reaches the leaves becomes increasingly scarce and therefore the plants tend to transpire less and less (because this would involve releasing the precious water into the atmosphere) not only by keeping the stomata closed but also decreasing their number.

This obviously leads to the fact that photosynthesis becomes increasingly scarce and therefore also the production of new tissues (as can be clearly seen by observing the circles of the trees where the outermost ones are much less thick than the innermost ones).

Even the substances processed by photosynthesis and which serve as nourishment to the plant are brought to all parts of the plant with increasing difficulty and therefore the plant begins to be undernourished and therefore stops growing. If this fact becomes more and more extreme, then the plant begins to regress that is to say, the winter rest period becomes longer and longer starting it in autumn (instead of winter) and waking up instead of early spring, very late spring. Parts of the plant begin to die and slowly, year after year, the giant dries up. All this happens at different ages as we have seen, according to the different attitudes and physical and physiological characteristics of the different plant species.

So to conclude: when a new plant is born from a cutting taken from an old plant, we do nothing but shorten the distance between the roots and the leaves, that is, between the apparatus that absorbs water and the mineral elements present in the soil and the apparatus that transforms it into food for the plant. In other words, the right balance is restored, the right harmony between the different parts of the plant.

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Video: House plants that live really long. Indoor plants. Heritage plants

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