Does Talking to Plants Help Them Grow?

Do you talk to plants? Plants, especially cuties like succulents, are living beings which can inspire happiness with their vitality and help people to not feel lonely. So it’s no wonder that people develop emotional attachments to their plants and sometimes talk to them. Gardeners have speculated for years about whether or not talking to plants helps them grow. Scientific studies have not formed a strong conclusion, but there is good evidence that talking to & playing music for plants does indeed help them grow. In this article we’ll talk about the history of research on talking to plants and some practical reasons for plant stimulating conversation.

Juicykits Music for Succulents

Image from Magickal Gardening (http://magickalgardening.blogspot.com/2012_04_01_archive.html)

Image from Magickal Gardening (http://magickalgardening.blogspot.com/2012_04_01_archive.html)

It’s thought that the idea of talking to plants to stimulate their growth stems back to 1848, when a German professor named Gustav Fechner suggested plants might have human-like emotions. This was further researched by other scientists with extremely unconvincing results. One of their experiments involved boiling shrimp in front of plants and judging their reaction via an electric lie detector! Unsurprisingly, the plants didn’t seem to care about the shrimp. This research and more was later written about in a book called The Secret Life of Plants (1973), which has been criticized by botanists such as Arthur Galston for endorsing pseudoscientific claims.

In 2009, the Royal Horticultural Society (whose Instagram feed is pretty cool) performed a month long study with 10 men and women. Each person was recorded reading a piece of scientific or literary text. The recordings were then played through headphones attached to ten tomato plant’s pots. There were also two pots that did not listen to records as a control group. At the end of the month long study researchers discovered that plants which were exposed to female voices grew one inch taller than those exposed to men’s voices. It is not certain why plants reacted to female voices better. One theory claims that range of tone produced by women is greater and therefore has a greater effect on plant growth.

The MythBusters greenhouses with no aural stimulation performed the poorest…

More recently, the show MythBusters performed their own experiment on whether or not talking to plants helps them grow. MythBusters divided 60 pea plants into three greenhouse groups with 2 soundtracks and a silent control group. One soundtrack consisted of loving praise and the other vicious insults. After 2 months the MythBusters determined the winning greenhouse by comparing plant masses between the three groups. There was no difference in plant quality between the pleasant greenhouse and the angry greenhouse, both produced a positive effect. The MythBusters greenhouses with no aural stimulation performed the poorest, producing lower biomass and smaller pea pods than the other two.

Video: MythBusters Finds Out If Talking or Playing Music Helps Plants Grow

The MythBusters experiment and the Royal Horticultural Society’s experiment both showed positive results for aural stimulation of plants. Scientists have postulated several theories as to why this may be the case but results have been inconclusive. As it stands, we don’t know why playing sounds for plants seems to help their growth, but it does. So play some music for your succulents. What kind of music? Results on this have been inconclusive as well but a student study in 2013 found that plants enjoyed Black Sabbath. Try different music with your Juicy Kits, or record yourself, or make an effort to speak with them daily, and tell us how it works out!

black_sabbath_-_technical_ecstasy_1976

Other helpful articles on Juicykits.com:

How to Care for Your Succulent Terrarium
Pests in Your Succulents? Here’s What You Need to Know3 Tips for Watering Succulents & Terrariums
Grow Light Basics: Artificial Lighting for Succulents & Cacti
How To Repot A Succulent In 1 Minute
How to Care for Air Plants

As the holidays approach, maybe consider letting your succulents and air plants enjoy some holiday music or even to be part of the party conversation. According to MythBusters, it couldn’t hurt. Hehe, hope you had fun reading! Please share this article or ask us questions in the comments below.

~ Team Juicy

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