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Questions About Tickle Me Plants

  • Answered by
    Nikki on
    July 5, 2011
    Certified Expert

    No one really knows exactly why the TickleMe plant moves, including scientists. However, it is thought to move in response to being tickled (or touched) due to the loss of turgor pressure, which is the force of the water and plant cell contents in the plant. This pressure gives the plant the ability to stand up straight without wilting. When a leaf is tickled, chemicals in the plant cause water to move out of some of the plant's cells. When water moves out of some of the cells, this reduces the turgor pressure and causes the leaflets and stalks to wilt. Some scientists believe these movements may be a form of protection from animals that attempt to eat it.

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