Plant life is fascinating. For so long, the complexities of plants have gone mostly unnoticed by a large portion of the population. Those of us who love and study plants, however, live by a different tune. We have seen firsthand the effects that talking to our plants or having music playing in their environment has had on their overall health and growth patterns. This is what inspired me to really investigate the question, “Do plants grow better with music?”
My husband and I are both avid music lovers. Sounds have a profound impact on how we feel and what we perceive around us. As humans, we understand our environment based on what we hear more than we comprehend consciously. Sirens can indicate emergency or trouble. Car horns, bustling, and people talking may indicate a busy city environment. Breezes rustling the trees and wildlife sounds invoke a mental picture of seclusion, more rural.
Plants are really no different. They relate to their environment through sound, responding to our voices, music and their plant companions. They learn a lot about where they are and how they should react based on the vibrations and other sensations they pick up on.
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What Do Plants Hear?
In April of 2017, University of Western Australia did a fascinating study on how plants hear water. In this study, they determined that not only do plants respond positively to the real sound of water but they responded negatively to a recording of water. Plants successfully detected the difference. One researcher said it this way, “They just knew the water was there, even if the only thing to detect was the sound of it flowing inside the pipe.”
Aiding plants in their survival, they are able to detect which direction to grow their roots based on where water can be located through sound. In this study, if there was ample moisture in the soil, they did not react to the sound of water. They only respond when there was a survival need for more water. How incredible is that? This study was able to prove that plants can make behavioral choices influenced by what they hear.
Another study done by Appel and Cocroft found that when plants were exposed to the sounds of munching caterpillars, a threat to their safety, they began to release chemicals to ward off predators!
Smaller studies have been done to determine whether or not plants really do respond to classical music, as has been widely reported for many years. Each of the studies done, albeit small in most cases, have shown marked improvement in both growth speed and quality of the plants growing in a music filled environment.
Musical Flower Pots – Bluetooth speaker to play your favorite tunes while your plant thrives!
Is It Music or Just Sound?
According to Meg Michelle at Sciencing, sound does make a difference. Plants that were exposed to 6 hours of sound/music per day, grew more than the group of plants who were in soundless environments. This particular study however does note that it’s not necessarily music making the difference. Any frequency that a plant finds pleasant will produce the same effect.
My 2 Cents Worth
I am one of those 100% fully convinced folks that music makes a difference. My plants, especially my orchids, that were near music on a continuous basis were not only healthier but their blooms lasted far longer.
What’s even more important is that when someone would come to me for plant advice, if their plant was suffering, I would recommend placing it around a music source. The result? Each time a report came back to me at a later date – the plant was indeed beginning to flourish again.
Now I’m not suggesting that only music makes the difference. We all know that’s simply not the case. Proper watering, feeding and light requirements are the obvious starter points. What I am suggesting however is that music does and has had a positive effect each and every time.
What Do You Think?
What has been your experience? Have you found in your personal plant care endeavors that music has helped? Do you talk to your plants and see that they enjoy it? Or are you still a skeptic that just doesn’t see the point of all this fuss? 🙂 Let me know in the comments below!
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