“Does music affect plant growth?” is an interesting question, because many people are wondering if the rumors are true. The response to this question is a bit tricky because multiple studies have shown music to encourage the growth of plants, but more is needed to draw a definitive conclusion.
There is no doubt that plants respond favorably to certain kinds of musical frequencies. We will be taking you on an in-depth dive into all the research conducted on this topic to understand it better.
- Does Music Affect the Growth of Plants in Any Way?
- What Are Some Studies That Prove That Music Affects Plant Growth?
- How Do Different Musical Genres Affect the Growth of Plants?
Does Music Affect the Growth of Plants in Any Way?
Yes, playing music affects the growth of plants and might help accelerate it, according to several studies conducted by leading universities around the world. However, research on this domain is still ongoing, and nothing conclusive can be declared about this topic as of now.
– Effect of Music on Plants
Unlike humans and animals, plants do not have ears and cannot technically hear anything. So, how exactly does music help with growing plants and encouraging them? Music is made of sound waves passing through the air at particular frequencies.
These sound waves strike the walls and membranes of the plant cells and stimulate different processes in them. The cells are believed to be encouraged to divide and grow through music.
The intake of nutrients into the cells and their immunity against pathogens is also improved. Again, we need more evidence to support these claims, and more research is still required to be 100 percent sure.
– Effects of Different Musical Frequencies on Plants
While the sound is just a wave passing through the air, music is a particular sound with a proper rhythm and several frequencies. Scientists have been experimenting with different music frequencies and seeing how each affects the plants. The goal is to determine whether specific musical frequencies are better than others in encouraging growth in plants and seedlings.
One of the most extensive research was conducted by Collins and Foreman on beans. Each bean plant was placed within its chamber under identical conditions, all favorable for the growth of a bean plant. Then different wavelengths of light were directed at each chamber, and their effects were observed.
One result of this experiment was that the sound waves struck the surface of the leaves and removed the moisture level from them. This helped the plants to breathe better and carry out photosynthesis better. Secondly, favorable growth was seen in bean plants when the frequency of music matched the dimension of the plant’s leaves.
What Are Some Studies That Prove That Music Affects Plant Growth?
Some famous studies that prove that music does affect plant growth are that by T.C Singh, Sir Chandra Bose, and Sternheimer. Besides these, in recent times, Korean scientists have been leading the research in botany, plant physiology, and music.
– T.C Singh’s Experiments on Balsam Plants
In the 1960s, T.C. Singh conducted a series of experiments demonstrating music’s effects on Balsam plants’ growth. The results of these experiments were astounding and a first of their kind. They found out that these plants grew 20 percent in height and 72 percent in mass when exposed to music regularly.
The music he used at the beginning was Western classical. Later, his team experimented with raga music played with violin, flute, and harmonium. Both kinds of music produced more or less similar effects on the balsam plants.
Later on, their team conducted this experiment outside the lab on whole fields of crops. The music was played all over balsam fields using large gramophones and speakers. The yields produced in these farms increased by 25 to 60 percent compared to other farms in the region.
– Sir Chandra Bose’s Experiments
Sir Chandra Bose was not a plant physiologist and physicist who spent his lifetime studying the effects of various sound waves on plant cells. He also found that plants react favorably to certain types of music but not excessively. During his research, he also found evidence that plants could feel pain and affection.
– Sternheimer’s Experiment on Music and Metabolism
The French physicist Sternheimer also conducted several experiments on how music affects the metabolism of plants. He discovered that certain specific melodies help accelerate the metabolism within the plant cells. According to him, melodies based on quantum vibrations at cellular levels can stimulate metabolic processes like growth and healing.
Each note in these melodies should correspond to when the amino acids assemble into a protein component. Of course, it would take time for us to reach that level of technology whereby such specific melodies can be created and used.
How Do Different Musical Genres Affect the Growth of Plants?
Different musical genres affect the growth of plants differently by either improving it or stopping it. Multiple studies have shown classical and jazz forms of music to activate genes involved in photosynthesis, while rock might have a negative impact on growth.
– Rock n Roll
A lot of rock enthusiasts ask us whether rock music helps plants grow or not. Unfortunately, plants do not respond well to this particular genre of music. Rock and roll are just too loud and make haphazard sound waves that do not contribute generously to the growth of plants. The same goes for modern electronic dance music with many bass and audible frequencies.
One study conducted by a botanist at a Colorado greenhouse demonstrated that this genre of music might not be suitable for plants at all. Different varieties of plants were used in this study, and all were exposed to hard rock for several weeks. Plants in this study noticeably deteriorated, and some even died within just a few weeks of this experiment.
– Classical Music
Compared to the rock and roll genre, classical music has been shown by multiple studies to have a beneficial influence on the growth of plants. Scientists in South Korea have been particularly leading the research in botany. One such study used Beethoven’s moonlight sonata in rice fields leading to a noticeable increase in rice yields.
One significant study was conducted on classical types of music at the National Institutes of Agricultural Biotechnology. They found out that frequencies of this music at 125 Hz and 150 Hz activated the genes rbcs and Ald in plants. These two genres are known to respond to light and contribute towards photosynthesis.
This research was backed by another similar research conducted at the University of Melbourne. This study also found that plants prefer to avoid being consistently exposed, even to classical or low-frequency music. On average, the plant owners play classical music for plants for three hours a day.
– Jazz Music
Jazz music might not be as effective as classical music for growing plants, but it is still better than rock and roll. This genre of music also produces sound waves of frequencies that activate the light-responding genes in the plant. Jazz music has also been shown to open the stomata present on the leaves. Stomata are tiny pores on the plants that act as lungs and help to breathe.
– Do Plants Grow Better When You Talk to Them?
Yes, plants grow better when people talk to them regularly. As per a study done by scientists at the Royal Horticultural Society, plants that were spoken to exhibited a slightly increased rate of growth than those that weren’t talked to.
– Do Plants Like Rap Music?
We don’t know whether plants like rap music because only a little research has been conducted on this. Plants like soundwaves between a frequency range of 125 to 150 Hz because they mimic the sounds heard in nature. The frequency of rap music is often less than this range.
– Do Plants React to Human Voices Positively?
Yes, plants react positively to human voices and grow better when regularly talked to. Tomato plants in particular, were seen to produce larger and juicier tomatoes when their owners spoke to them. Surprisingly, plants prefer female voices over male ones.
Music impacts plants and their growth, as proven by several science fair projects and university-level research. Different genres of music have different kinds of impact, so remember these points from the article when experimenting:
- Plants technically cannot hear music, but the sound waves interact with them on a cellular level.
- The musical frequencies at which growth appears most stimulated are 125 to 150 Hz.
- Classical and jazz music affects plants the most positively but should only be played an average of three hours a day.
- Music at the right frequency can help plants breathe better and have a faster metabolism.
Now that you have read this comprehensive article, having your houseplants listen to Beethoven for a few hours every day might be a good idea. You could conduct a little experiment on plants by yourself.
- (PDF) Effec of Music on Plants – An Overview (researchgate.net)
- 522-CD0162.pdf (ijesd.org)
- 25 Kalanchoe Types and Colorful Varieties for Your Garden - October 3, 2023
- 17 Hawaiian Flowers That Grow and Thrive in the Hot Summer - October 2, 2023
- Watering a Poinsettia and How is it Done Correctly? - September 30, 2023