You probably already know that plants can die from lack of water or too much sunlight, however, do plants die of old age? After some extensive research on the topic question, I collected information that not only will answer your question but might leave you amazed.
Yes, as far as we know, plants do eventually die of old age. However, plants can live well past the expected life span of a human. The length of the life cycle of a plant is different for the various types of plants.
Let’s dive a bit deeper to get the full understanding of life as a plant.
Do Plants Have a Lifespan?
One thing I found to be quite true in the life of a plant is: not all plants are created equal. One plant's lifespan can be drastically different then another's.
The plant’s cycle looks like
The lifespan of a plan can be anywhere on the scale form less than one year of life to hundreds of years old. Some plants, particularly evergreens, have the ability to live to be hundreds of years old!
The lifespan of a plant can depend partly on some factors such as the care a plant receives.
Plants have what is called “Intermediate growth.” What this means according to Webster's Dictionary is that a plant never reaches it’s “maturity” or is considered “old” at any certain time unlike that of an animal.
A plant can alter into a different cell type and continue to transform from one cell type to another. This term is called “perpetually embryonic.” This is how plants can continue to grow and allow’s them to live longer.
How Long do Plants Live?
Plants can grow for more than a hundred years, and some trees and plants can grow for even longer than that depending on conditions.
The four basic things a plant needs to live are:
The right care and resources can determine how long a plan will live.
Plants are divided into 3 basic groups: annuals, biennials, and perennials. Each one of these groups has a basic timeline.
The longest living plant is a tree, which falls under the Perennials category. In 2008 it was discovered the oldest living plant was Picea abies, found to be 8,000 years old found up high in the mountains that separate Norway from Sweeden.
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Annuals can live up to one year or less, biennials for approximately two years or season’s and perennials can continue to live from season to season and may never flower.
Do Trees Die of Old Age?
Trees are probably the longest living organisms in the world. As far as we know, trees, like all plants, die at some point. Do they just shut down and die? Nobody knows for sure with the longest-living species of trees. We simply haven't been around with the tools that enable us to determine a tree's cause of death.
Looking at the giants of the forest, such as cedars and sequoias, it looks like the oldest and tallest trees do get old. At some point, they are either too weak to withstand disease and pests or they just topple over in a major storm. One thing is for sure - they do not live forever.
However, depending on the species, trees can live for centuries and even millennia! For instance, Palm trees have an estimated lifespan of about 50 years, whereas the cedar can live to be 3,500 years old!
Although trees live much longer than most plants, they too go through their own cycle and eventually start rotting and will die.