the effects of sound waves on plants

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by leaf kotasek, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. leaf kotasek

    leaf kotasek Active Member

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    i've often wondered about whether the music i listen to affects my houseplants. for example, is my pothos rocking out with me when i listen to gwar? how do my african violets feel about the faceless? about billie holiday and bird? i've always felt compelled to sing to my plants and talk to them, but do they care?

    yeah, i dunno, but this article is kinda interesting. what do you guys think?

    http://www.rexresearch.com/agro/1strnhm.htm
     
  2. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Fascinating! Takes me back to the days of Kirlian auras and the like.
    Plants can sense light, dark, moisture, heat---why not other things as well? Seems plausible to me.

    Gosh, leaf! You do have an eclectic musical taste. I say, if the music makes you feel good, do it, and if you feel good chances are you'll take better care of your plants.

    However, much as I am entertained by GWAR...uh, would not be on my plant playlist. Yikes! Would cause plants to grow LOTS OF EXTRA SPIKES.
     
  3. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I think it does. I did an experiment with my bananas once - played them a week straight of classical (mostly Mozart and Karl Orff), then played them a week straight of really heavy metal (mostly Tool). They did better with the Mozart and Tool made them all wilty.

    I'm with Togata - I'd expect that Gwar would be excellent for cacti, but not for cheerful leafy things.
     
  4. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Hmm. Perhaps Lady Gaga for hibiscus? Outstandingly showy and colorful!
     
  5. leaf kotasek

    leaf kotasek Active Member

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    lol! you guys are rad...

    i think my cacti are all afraid of gwar; they're mostly small and silly. seriously, though, my schefflera actinophylla and my pothos seem to have grown more since i put them next to the speakers. O.o

    i suppose that since different genres of music emit different soundwaves, plants could actually have musical tastes. i dunno what my plants might prefer, though, as they're constantly being bombarded by my crazy playlists (ex. the gwar and ella fitzgerald playlist, the turbonegro and phil dwyer playlist). there's no way to tell. i'd have to actually perform an experiment.

    yep, i'm a metalhead who eats jazz. or maybe a jazz singer who swigs metal. ^_^Y
     
  6. Hartley Botanic

    Hartley Botanic Active Member

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    As a GaGa fan, I must give this the (green) thumbs up! :D
     
  7. leaf kotasek

    leaf kotasek Active Member

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    free jazz for mint!

    k, i'm getting silly. but has anyone else grown plants right near speakers? i know anecdotes aren't very scientific, but i'm interested in people's experiences.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  9. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Uh, well...back in the day, there just mighta been some plants grown near speakers...but no, really! That's a false aralia!! Really! A horsechestnut seedling!
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Sure that's togata57, with a "g" instead of a "k"?
     
  11. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Take the fifth on that one.
    (Quart, maybe!)
     
  12. leaf kotasek

    leaf kotasek Active Member

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    thanks for posting that, ron!

    togata, u = cute.
     
  13. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It is broadly speaking unproven to date. If you visit other pages on that site (and I don't recommend it), you'll find a number of pseudoscientific claims and assertions.

    Links that talk about the topic from a scientific perspective (in addition to Ron B's above):

    Science Projects and Sound from Ross Koning (or a quick summary version by him from an old listserv: Plants and Music

    Does music affect sunflower growth? from Mr. Smarty Pants at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center provides an excellent (and balanced) summary.

    Finally, if you have access: Telewski, F. 2006. A unified hypothesis of mechanoperception in plants. American Journal of Botany. 2006;93:1466-1476.

    In short, ultrasound has more evidence on its side in affecting plant growth, particularly seed germination. Sound within our audible range -- the jury is still out on. One recent study did show sound to have an effect on seed germination in zucchini. However, studies in the past about the general overall health of plants being affected by music -- are mixed.
     
  14. leaf kotasek

    leaf kotasek Active Member

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    good reading, daniel. thanks!

    i guess i got interested in the whole thing because someone overheard me singing to my plants and said something about how most people don't know how much plants like music. i only sing to my plants because i love them, but the topic piqued my curiosity.

    :D
     
  15. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Another well-known one is a certain member of the British royal family who talks to plants . . .
     
  16. danc

    danc Active Member

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    not bad at all, until he or she starts a quarrel with them, in which case the plants would have to play some kind of music for the first time ever to get the things calmed down
     
  17. Ontarian

    Ontarian Member

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    My guess, leaf, is that the humid, carbon dioxide rich air you breath out while singing to your plants has more effect on them than the vibrations -- that and the love you give them. Having said that I often turn the radio on softly when I leave the house to keep my plants happy.
     
  18. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Also, if you are close enough to your plants to sing to them, you are better able to observe them and more likely to notice potential problems (pests, etc.) and to circumvent them before they become major ones.
     

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