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Plant Potheads

The Golden Spiral: The Magic Numbers That Makes Up Plants

“The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.” – Galileo Galilei

The golden spiral connection to plants

Humans have an innate connection with nature and there’s no denying that nature itself is beautiful. But why do we think that? Well, natural beauty is often associated with the Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio, also known as the golden spiral. This can be seen through artists reflecting it in their paintings and architecture but also in our very own urban jungle and in the way our plants grow. Here are 3 ways these magical numbers unlocks in our house plants.

golden ratio golden spiral

Leaf arrangement

Check out the succulent you have lying around and you’ll be able to see how the leaves spirals around the stem according to the Fibonacci numbers. This maximises the space for each leaf so that new leaves don’t block the sun from older leaves or so that the maximum amount of rain gets directed down to the roots. Pretty genius huh?


Next time you pick up some sunflowers, take a look at the head of a flower. Typically, seeds are produced at the center and migrate towards the outside to fill all the spaces. This is nature’s way of packing in as many seeds as possible.

sunflower golden spiral

Tree branching

If you have a ficus tree, you can witness the Fibonacci sequence in the way the branches split. The main trunk will grow until it produces a branch, which creates two growth points. Then, one of the new stems branches into two, while the other one lies dormant. This pattern of branching is repeated for each of the new stems in order to maximise energy flow.

“Mathematics is the science of patterns, and nature exploits just about every pattern that there is.” – Ian Stewart

Nature has basically given us a recipe for beauty through the golden ratio and the Fibonacci numbers. So, it is not surprising that we feel a connection with our green babies. Plant Potheads was born to enhance and visualise this connection, through giving a face to our pots and planters. Let’s bring the beauty indoors!

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