The plants can sense worsening ecological conditions in 2022. They need to germinate beyond planet earth. Assuming they can survive in space, germinate in extraterrestrial soil, and the like, how can plants spread to an extraterrestrial body without direct human assistance? Any adaptation is allowed as long as the life form may still be considered a plant. Indirect human interactions, such as nuclear explosions, and natural phenomena like volcanoes, solar winds, and asteroid collisions are allowed. Non-human animals can intentionally help the plants.

Edit: The plants decided to use bolting to propagate, but their seeds keep getting torn apart by the atmosphere because they bolt out at 20 km/s. What adaptations can overcome this?

(I don't know what tag to use for 'end-of-the-earth-and-all-biological-life' scenarios)

  • $\begingroup$ This is a textbook open ended idea generation question. We have a rule against questions intended to prompt discussion, brainstorm, or any question that has many valid answers. Currently you're asking us to make up potential solutions to a problem you have. Can you instead, try to figure out how plants in your world spread between planets, and ask us for help solving specific issues you encounter? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented May 25, 2022 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ One more thing, this skirts a Stack policy you might not know about. We do not answer questions about character actions or decisions. Such things may be influenced by world rules, but they are not in themselves world rules. The moment your Q said "the plants decided..." your question became off-topic. (See help center.) $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented May 26, 2022 at 6:38
  • $\begingroup$ any plant that can adapt to space and other planets will not care at all about relatively miniscule changes in earths climate. $\endgroup$
    – ths
    Commented May 26, 2022 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


How non-motile plants always do:

This is a frame challenge, but the answer is still the most viable ACTUAL answer I can think of.

Plants don't have a realistic chance to simply migrate off-planet on their own AND reach someplace likely to support terrestrial plant life without help.

That being said, if anything other than a few bacteria are likely to survive the death of Earth, plants are. Why? Most life needs plants. So the best way to get plants to other habitable planets is to convince humans to take them there. Plants frequently rely on animal species to carry their seeds on fur, passing through the digestive tract, or just squirreled away.

So the best adaptation a seemingly sentient plant intent could come up with would be to alter human behavior and make people fear dying out on Earth. Humans would colonize planets and build greenhouses. They would build space habitats full of oxygen-generating plants. Heck, humans would make rose gardens just because they're beautiful.

So how to convince humans to do it? Large numbers of plants could die. A few rapid ecological collapses will panic humans. Some kind of mind-altering chemical that makes humans full of existential dread about global climate could work, too. You really only need SOME humans to leave, because they would all carry plants with them.

But Earth will still be a paradise for humans AND plants even if man has to retreat to domed and sealed cities. There's nothing wrong with sewing your wild oats (metaphorically or literally), but I suspect there will always be "No place like home."

  • IF NO HUMANS IS ESSENTIAL: then find something valuable enough to get aliens to come to Earth and collect terrestrial plants to move to other planets. I don't know what kind of product aliens in your universe might like, but hopefully your plant conspiracy does. Since you're asking us the motives of adaptive plants, maybe that's it - your plants advertise their presence to aliens via some kind of communication array. Aliens show up so fascinated at receiving a signal from plants that they collect specimens to take home with them.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .