Starter Vegetable Garden- Why there are plant Hairs on Tomatos

As a person who loves indoor planting and life, growing vegetables indoors with lights shows your elegant taste. You must be in a relaxed mood while you take care your tomatoes. But if you are careful, you may find that there are some soft hairs covering in the stems, leaves and fruits of tomatoes. That’s Plant hair!  As the images show in the following: Although it sometimes makes tomatoes look fuzzy.

You may have a question which puzzled you a lot: Why do tomatoes are covered by plant hair? Is hair harmful?

I’m here want to try my best to provide you with answers:

Plant hair is not only a special epidermal cell, but also an important plant tissues. It is the hair that extends outward from the epidermal cells of the plant. The structure of the body has the characteristics of simple cell structure. In plant scientific research, the plant hair is the best mode to be used to study the regulation of single-cell gene networks. Among the many epidermal cells, only a few can develop into plant hairy. Hair loss usually does not affect the viability of the plant.

Tomato hairs belong to the mucous glandular hairs, which can secrete compounds. In the process of tomato growth and development, the hairs play an important role.

The function:

(1)   Protect itself from insects through physical or chemical barriers, which can protect tomato plants and fruits from suffering all kinds of injuries.

①The hairs secrete essential oil compounds, which give tomatoes an unique odor. Pests are disgusted by this odor. But humans like this smell very much. Tomato hair will change its secreted essential oil components to enhance its resistance. 

② The oil secreted by the plant hair and its slender structure give it hydrophobicity, which can collect water vapor in the air, promptly drain away, prevent bacteria, fungi and viruses from entering the mesophyll cells with water and causing plant sensation Infections and diseases.

③ The scent of essential oil secreted by plant hair pervades the room, which is not only fresh, but also with the capable of producing the role of sterilization and virus suppression (such as the Covid-19) is conducive to improving the indoor environment.

(2)  Under drought stress, the plant hair can reduce transpiration and avoid the short-term delay of watering to cause tomatoes’ death. Within a reasonable time, this protective function of plant hair provide opportunities to correct the mistake when we forget watering,  we will have a chance to remedy and regenerate the plants, let them continue to grow healthily. 

(3) The plant hairs provide various resources needed for tomatoes’ growth and protect them from ultraviolet or strong light damage.

(4) The reasonable density and number of plant hairs on the surface indicate that the tomatoes grow healthily.

(5) When there are the plant hairs on the surface of the tomato fruit, it shows that the fruits are in the stage of vigorous filling and expansion, it is unsuitable for picking and eating in this period; when there is no plant hairs on the surface of the fruit, means it is the right time to pick and eat.

There are many secrets of tomato hairs, and there are more secrets to be discovered and revealed. As a person who loves indoor planting and life, It’s very important for you to learn the secrets and functions of plant hairs, which will help you keep cautious when prune tomatoes to avoid damaging the hairs.

When the stems of tomatoes are damaged, they can repair themselves, but the damage give the chance to bacteria intrude into the tomatoes. Through cell proliferation, the wound will become scar (Lignified callus).

After managing, trimming or bundling led house plant tomatoes, you may find that your fingers are stained with color and slowly turn black. This is the essential oil secreted by the hair sticking to the fingers and nails. They are sticky and won’t be wiped off easily because it is not water-soluble. Please don’t wipe it off with a hand towel, it will only stain the towel. The trick is to use hand sanitizer or soap to scrub , and repeat after drying. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer dissolves grease. 

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