Does Music Improve Plants Growth?
Have you ever heard someone say that plants love music? If so, you are not alone. The theory that music can impact plant growth has been around for some time. The idea behind this theory is that plant growth can be negatively or positively impacted by music, particularly certain kinds of music. But is there any truth to this theory? Let's take a closer look at whether or not music can improve the growth of plants.
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Can Plants "Hear"?
Plants do not have ears. However, sound is transmitted through waves that first travel through a medium before reaching our eardrums. For instance, sound may travel through the air; when sound travels through air, it causes particles in the air to vibrate. This causes our eardrums to vibrate, which is then converted into sound.
It is entirely possible that plants "hear" music, even though they will not "hear it" in the same way that we hear music. Plants can pick up the vibrations caused by sound waves, which can then impact the plant itself.
It is believed that the vibrations caused by music may stimulate something called "protoplasmic movement", the movement of protoplasm (a matter which composes all animal and plant cells). Stimulated protoplasm can stimulate a plant into growing. With that in mind, let’s continue by looking at what studies specifically have to stay regarding plants and music and how these two may interact.
What Studies Say About Plants and Music
There have been multiple studies regarding the potential impact of music on plants.
One study, conducted in 1962, found that the growth rate of plants can be accelerated when plants are exposed to music. This study found that different types of music, including classical music and raga music, all had an impact on a plant’s growth rate. This particular study found that violin sounds had a stronger effect on plant growth than other types of musical sounds.
Another research held around the same time discovered that music even impacted seeds' development. The study, conducted by a Canadian researcher, found that wheat seeds increased their yield by 66% when exposed to classical music, more specifically, Bach’s violin sonata. These types of studies have been repeated over the years, and they all reached the same general conclusion: that music can impact plant growth.
Plants vs. Different Types of Music
It has been shown through studies that some music can impact plant growth positively. However, do different types of music impact plant growth differently?
In 1973, researcher Dorothy Retallack decided to conduct experiments on different styles of music and their potential impact on plants. In this study, plants were placed near speakers playing various types of musical genres for a several hours period. The study found that plants exposed to classical and jazz music grow towards the sound and even entangled themselves around the speakers. Plants exposed to rock music, however, grew away from the speakers; they even began growing up a glass wall in the enclosure, suggesting that they were trying to get away from the sound. This strange reaction intrigued the researchers, who repeated the experiment with rock music several times and ultimately concluded that plants exposed to rock music began experiencing damage similar to damage caused by getting too much water.
What about other genres of music? The findings are inconclusive as more studies need to be done on the topic. One thing is sure: different forms of music have different sound wave frequencies and varying degrees of pressure and vibration. Louder music, like rock, features higher pressure, which some people think might have a detrimental effect on plants.
How Sound Can Be Used to Promote Plant Growth
It has long been theorized that talking to plants can improve plant growth. The reason for this is likely similar to the reason that certain types of music can positively impact plant growth—vibrations from our words can stimulate protoplasm, which in turn encourages plants to grow more quickly and with stronger results.
You would be hard-pressed to find a plant growth book that does not recommend talking to your plants, due to the positive impact it may have. One study has even shown that plants respond more positively to compliments rather than negative comments because compliments and positive words are spoken in a different tone and volume than negative words.
Like talking, music is also being used at professional levels to encourage mature plant growth. For example, it is very common for greenhouses and vineyards to use music to encourage their grape plants to grow more quickly and naturally. Some vineyards even play classical music around the clock to encourage the plants by stimulating stronger growth.
Should I Play Music for My Plants?
If you are a plant lover who is interested in ways to help your plant grow stronger and more quickly, then yes, you can consider playing some music for your plants. It may benefit them by stimulating growth, which will help your indoor plants thrive.
If you want to know more about this topic, you can consider reading The Sounds of Music And Plants and The Secret Life Of Plants.