Written by – Kaitlynn from MIgardener
Hello MIgardener family! After a busy season at the storefront and the first official day of fall behind us, it’s time for me to get back into the blogging seat. I want to start this season off with something fun and share a subject I’ve been thinking about all summer long: Music.
You’ve probably heard that plants love music. But why? And do they turn up their stomata at genres they don’t like? Many questions come to mind. Although there’s no way of knowing how your crops might feel about a certain song, there may be evidence to suggest biological reactions to the good vibrations produced by music. Let’s dig in!
The Science – Do plants love jammin’?
Not enough research has been done to prove whether or not plants can really listen to music. However, there have been a handful of experiments performed to study a plant’s reaction to the vibrations caused by music’s sound waves. Sound waves cause extremely low levels of stress to the cell walls of a plant. This creates low levels of tension which activates a release of hormones and protective enzymes in the cell walls. These protective enzymes and hormone servings are proven to cause crops to build resistance to some pests and diseases! Essentially, vibrations from sound waves act as an immune booster for your produce.
Read more about the cool science behind this here and here.
Favorite Genre – Mozart or Metallica?
Wouldn’t it be funny if plants were picky about their music? Music major Dorothy Retallack thought so too. During her degree, Retallack performed an experiment where she grew one half of her greenhouse surrounded by classical music, and the other half with psychedelic rock (it was the 70s). Supposedly she found that after two weeks, the classical bunch was growing and leaning towards the speakers while the rock bunch had shriveled right up!
This could have happened because of the difference in volume and speed of the sound waves. Other gardeners who have recreated this experiment found that it was music with predictable and soothing sounds that their produce liked best. Personally, I don’t know if the genre really matters at all. Because of the casual nature of these experiments there is no way of really calling this phenomenon a scientific law. But it would be fun to try at home with the kids! Tell us your results in the comments if you decide to try this at home.
The Results – Pay Attention!
Like a daily immune booster, don’t overdo it. A healthy serving of sound waves will do you and your plants some good, so give it a try! Some musicians and music lovers have become so inspired by this idea that they have conducted albums and curated playlists specifically to help their gardens grow. The most important takeaway from this interesting subject is simple: If you are playing music for your plants, chances are you are paying close attention to them! Spending time in the garden, whether accompanied or not, will help you learn what your plants need and when they need it.
Would you like to see an MIgardener endorsed Garden Growing playlist in your future? Let us know.
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Main Sources: linked throughout post
Additional sources: SciShow, WSU, Penn State