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Why it Works
Why the unhappiness?

Any time we need to come up with a solution,
it helps us to learn about the principles
and the mechanisms
behind the problem itself.

So we need to ask ourselves,

"Why are Plants "Unhappy" to begin With?"
Quick Look
Plants, by nature, spend their time in the dirt -- at least their lower portions do.
They must (under most circumstances), or they will perish.

And yet, at least half of their time, effort, size, and energy is expended
creating growth which rises above the dirt.

Additionally, the portion that is not rooted in the dirt needs to remain undirtied,
for the survival of the plant is based upon its ability to have its above-ground
surfaces clean enough to carry out its bodily functions --
most of which are performed at or near the surface of their "skins".

What are these functions, and what happens when the plants surfaces get dirty?
Ironic, isn’t it? But it’s still true. Even though plants are typically rooted in the dirt, cleaner plants do better.  Dirty plants don’t do so well. But why?

When you think about it, it’s really pretty simple. Plants, from their seeds, to their roots, to their stems, to their leaves, to their flowers, and to their fruit have “skins”, the outer membranes that do more than “keep their outsides out and their insides in”.

Every square millimeter of their exterior surfaces is vital for a plant’s existence.  A plant’s “skin” is used for inspiration (it’s how they breathe in), hydration (it’s how they drink), transpiration (it’s how they sweat, keep cool, exhale, and draw nutrients through their whole system), photosynthesis (how they change energy from the sun into the sugars which give them energy to grow), and nutrition (how they “eat” or take in essential vitamins and minerals to sustain themselves). [Click any image to enlarge.]

Illustration of photosynthesis

While some more than others, most all plants are designed to exude a waxy substance onto their 
surfaces as a type of moisturizer / protectorant. Among its functions, the wax helps the plant retain moisture when insects feed on its leaves. [See illustration to the right.]

Naturally occurring dust particles will stick to the plants surfaces for a time but will normally be substantially blown or rinsed clean in optimal circumstances. Tiny white flakes are plant's own wax
However, many of the things that conglomerate on plants and make them sick or less than robust are often comprised of contaminants which, by their nature, resist being brushed or washed off.  These can range from naturally occurring molds, mildews, fungi, blasts, insect egg sacks, etc., to man made airborne pollutants, chemical fertilizers, and hosts of toxic sprays, dusts, and the like.

These pollutants frequently bond so well to the plants surfaces or together to one another that they resist natural cleaning.  This becomes a problem in that, to the extent that a plant cannot function efficiently, it will become weaker than it should and will not develop or produce to its fullest potential.
Detail of an orange tree

Detail of dirt on orange tree
Less than hardy plants also become more susceptible to adverse weather conditions and targets for diseases and pests which prey on sicklier specimens.

Sharks can smell the minutest traces of blood in massive amounts of water, the scent of which summons those creatures to "dinner".
Circling Vultures
In the air, from miles away, vultures can detect the gases given off by dead and dying animals. This, too, is the signal to come and dine.

In much the same way, there appears to be a scent / chemical connection between diseased and unhealthy plants and the organisms and predatory insects who feed upon them. It is either a scent given off by the unhealthy which attracts, or it is a scent exuded from the healthy which repels -- or perhaps a combination of the two. Regardless of the specific mechanisms, parasitic insects seem to favor those plants which are undernutritionalized and otherwise unhardy and least capable of withstanding their attacks. No doubt, this has been designed in nature to favor the healthier vegetation and perhaps, under more natural circumstances, to safeguard our food supply.

Unhealthy plants are targeted for destruction by predators.

Could anything be worse than the problem itself?

Now here is the real irony. Along with the regular pollutants which dirty our plants, what we are doing to "fix" the problem is not only not correcting it, but it is also making it far worse.


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