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Have you ever serenaded your plants? Cranked up the Zeppelin for your sad ficus?
Sure, they’ve got no ears but is it possible that plants can hear and respond to music?
Yes, of course it is.
They may not be able to sing along but there is a growing batch of evidence that plants respond well to certain frequencies of vibration, in a similar way that a deaf person can appreciate music by feeling the beat.
When plants hear music that they like there are specific physiological changes that make it clear that they are responding positively rather than being sonically tortured.
These changes include: much faster rates of growth, blooming/flowering earlier than they otherwise would, higher yields (something that is very important with crops), higher levels of nutritional content (also useful in crops) and lower levels of pest pressure (i.e. they don’t get eaten as easily by bugs).
Now, that’s a very good question and the science isn’t completely sorted on this, yet, but there are theories that include:
The first study to show benefits to plants from being exposed to music was conducted back in 1962 at Annamalai University by T C Singh.
He found that balsam plants grew 20% faster when listening to classical music and grew up to 72% bigger! Raga music also gives them a bigger yield of 20-60% more crop!
There are series of CDs called Sonic Bloom that have supposedly been tailored to the needs of plants.
But the truth is that, while exposing plants to classical music has been explored in great detail, there’s been much less research regarding other categories.
Maybe your tomatoes are secret death metal fans! Your begonias might be thirsting for some classic blues? Your tubers might even appreciate some tuba, for that matter.
The best thing to do, probably, is to experiment and find the music that gives your plants a boost – mind you, we recommend you pick something you like to listen to too.
After all, no matter how much Justin Bieber makes our Petunias bloom, it’ll be of no use if we end up throwing the stereo out of the window in a rage at hearing “Love Yourself” one more time.
It’s true, even if it seems unlikely, plants love music and if you give your plants access to music they will grow faster, grow healthier and be less likely to be eaten by pests.
The best results appear to have come from using Sonic Bloom records, which have been designed for plants but feel free to experiment with other forms of music in your own garden.