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Reviving Plants With Electricity

The accompanying illustration shows a clever scheme devised by a Connecticut flower grower for reviving almost lifeless plants, by the application of low-voltage direct current, such as that supplied from a dry or other battery. One of the experiments was tried on a small cactus plant which had been sent from Mexico, and which seemed to pine away rapidly. The cactus was about dead when the experiment of applying electric current as it was first tried. Two cells of dry battery were connected up with some fine copper wire, the positive pole being connected to a nail placed in the soil of the flower pot, while the negative pole was secured delicately around the upper branch. The cactus brightened up very sprightly after one week of this treatment, and in two weeks it was plump, green, and growing nicely.

Further experiments were tried on a rose bush and a fuchsia with good results, care being taken to see that the positive wire from the battery is applied to the root of the plant and the negative pole to the foliage, so as to promote the flow of sap upward.

It may be thought at first that the battery would soon be exhausted, but the resistance of the plant is of considerable value, so that the flow of current is but a small fraction of the ampere, and the cells will thus give quite a lengthy treatment before being entirely exhausted. Those having access to a storage battery will find it very useful for the purpose. The current in this case should be regulated by means of a small rheostat, such as the rotary, porcelain base 10-ohm rheostats available on the market. Several other interesting experiments were tried by the Connecticut florist, notably on a small plum tree, which was electrically treated with 6 cells, with the result that it blossomed out fully, several days ahead of the other adjacent trees.

Another experiment was that conducted on an ever-bearing strawberry plant, which was treated with 2 dry cells. This plant was left in the same row with other berry plants, and its increased size and fruit production was very striking.

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