This is a longtime Southern tradition. How do you know when’s the right time to beat the lemon tree? How often should you switch the okra? Many species can be induced to flower by responding to stress factors. They flower under long days of labor or in response to the onus of poor nutrition or low exposure to fortuity or blinding light past what can be healthily absorbed. The seeds germinate, but do the progeny of the strained plants develop normally? Facts suggest the flowering induced by these conditions might be regulated by a common mechanism. Responses to different stress factors differ depending on the cultivars. For example Mae was so far shocked, she could not be induced to flower, having grown up in tap water and gravel in glass, with vegetative evolution significantly inhibited. On the other hand, the white flowered mutant of violet responds over-sensitively to pressure. All plants can modify their development to adapt to harsh conditions. Stress blooming: an act whereby plants, in response to physical beatings or perceived threats, immediately begin blooming to ensure the seed continues the species, should it be killed by its attackers. However, if you draw the line at beating leaves, you can always torture the roots instead to trigger blooming. Even old rose growers pin their climbing roses, forcing them to the ground, fastened with staked ties to trigger breaks of flower clusters along bent stems. Other oldtimers still beat trunks with a chain or, using a girdling knife, cut a partial ring around the trunk. John recalls that seasonal beatings were common for fruit and nut trees during his childhood. Thomas gets his to bloom by taking them out of the soil and beating the roots as they lie on the ground. Greg recalls how in college, he learned some orchards used tractors with swinging rubber hoses to beat early crops of fruit off peach trees, in particular. He adopted this method as his own, but eventually got tired of the physical activity. He cranked up his chain saw next to the trees—the sound alone scared them so badly, they began producing more flowers and fruit than ever before. But if you really want more blooms? Pull branches down almost to the breaking point, then let them snap back into place.