As part of an article I wrote for After Dark last year titled A Garden of Spirits, I took a look at the unusual theories that Rudolph Steiner had regarding plants. Here is an excerpt:
A clairvoyant, philosopher, artist and scientist, to some Rudolf Steiner was one of the great thinkers of the early 20th century. He created the Anthroposophical Society(1) to study and practice "spiritual science," whereby participants could access their higher spiritual selves.
As outlined in the book by Christopher Bird and Peter Tompkins, Secrets of the Soil(2), Steiner had some very unusual ideas about the growth of plants. Specifically he believed that the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all had an influence on the plants of Earth. The three bodies closest to Earth (the Moon, Mercury and Venus) had an effect on the reproduction and growth of plants working indirectly through the limestone content of the earth, whereas the outer planets he believed could change the quality of the soil that plants grow in, drawing silica up from the ground.
Steiner believed the Earth itself was incapable of providing these energies. "It requires the cosmic forces shining in upon the earth via the Moon, and in the case of certain plants, via Mercury and Venus. With the moon's rays the whole reflected Cosmos comes onto the earth, so that the force of growth may be enhanced into the force of reproduction," Steiner wrote.