The Prince of Wales once famously revealed how he loves a good chinwag with his plants – but it seems his potted pals aren’t that interested in the heir’s royal treatment.
All they really need to grow big and strong is their own kind – and do best when they can ‘talk’ to each other using sounds.
Plants can create acoustic signals using microscopic movements within cells, which can be picked up even by seeds, say scientists.
They can then use those sounds to act as a friend or a foe – either boosting or stunting those next to them.
Lead researcher Dr Monica Gagliano, from the University of Western Australia, said: ‘Our results show that plants are able to positively influence the growth of seeds by some as yet unknown mechanism.