Do you talk to your plants? Many people feel it’s beneficial for their potted friends to hear a warm, encouraging voice. But we not only talk to our petunias, we seem to think every living creature on earth and even inanimate objects understand our endearments and reprimands to some extent.

Just yesterday I apologized to my wilting forget-me-nots for neglecting my irrigation responsibility and wished them a speedy recovery. Later, I had harsh words for a footstool I’d tripped over. After all, why was it lurking in the middle of a dark room like that? It should have known better.

There may be hope for meaningful talks with our plants, but there’s still a lot to be learned. Scientists have discredited the belief that plants respond favorably to classical music. They are as deaf to Beethoven’s music as he eventually was., they say. However, the threatening sound of an approaching hungry caterpillar has been shown on lab instruments to show sudden defensive plant responses.

I am confident our experts will eventually discover ways for us to communicate more efficiently with our leafy friends. I’ll keep in touch with them in the meantime, but now I’ll have some lingering doubts.

Suppose, like us humans, all plants don’t speak the same language and the sweet nothings I’ve been uttering to my geraniums are actually filthy curses in the gardenia lingo. My encouragements might be going in one petal and out the other.

Also, at my age, my voice has become a little raspy. It just might resemble the multiple footsteps of an approaching hungry caterpillar and, when I think I’m endearing myself to my daffodils, I’m actually terrifying them. That could explain the dry rot.

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