I am not a student of biology,in other words I have not read biology much.

But I read that plants have life and so my question is the following:

Suppose I take two saplings of two different varieties of hibiscus(or any other tree variant) and I put them in the same pot and allow them to grow up. Suppose they grow up and become well grown plants after say 4-5 months. My question is:

Will the two saplings experience any feelings for each other,in other words will they become friends or share any relation with each other. Suppose one of them is attacked by insects and its growth gets shunted,will the other plant also experience some feeling for it.

If I uproot one plant will the other one feel lonely or any other kind of feeling as if its counterpart is missing.

If someone cares to answer the above questions,I would be very grateful. Thank You


1 Answer 1


Wikipedia defines emotion as "any conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a certain degree of pleasure or displeasure."

Plants do not have a central nervous system and therefore no mental activity so they certainly don't have emotions in the sense that humans and animals can have emotions. However plants feel/detect being eaten and they can communicate this to other (related) plants by releasing volatile organic compounds.

  • $\begingroup$ But a large component of animal emotion is hormonal, e.g. the "fight or flight" effect of adrenaline. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Oct 18, 2018 at 17:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ well according to the wikipedia page on emotion an "emotion is any conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a certain degree of pleasure or displeasure." And while plant are aware of their surroundings I would argue that they have no mental activity, and thus no emotion. Or do you argue that animal emotion is defined differently than human emotion? But I should define emotion in my answer for clarity. $\endgroup$
    – Jonas
    Oct 18, 2018 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ I would guess that that Wikipedia article is discussing human emotions in the context of psychology, and so is missing rather a lot. It is perfectly possible to experience the hormonal component of emotion without any sort of intense mental activity. A common example is the injection of adrenaline given after allergy testing: it produces the physical fight/flight symptoms without a significant mental component. (Of course in humans it's impossible to entirely separate the physical causes/reactions of emotion from the thoughts about the reactions.) $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Oct 19, 2018 at 16:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .