Growing Through Song: How Music Can Affect the Growth of a Plant

We’ve all heard about how playing music for plants helps their growth rate. But does music really accelerate plant growth? Or is this just another urban legend?

Are plants really able to hear sounds? Do they even like music if they can hear it? Read on to find out what the experts say on the subject!

What Is Sound?

Sound, or vibrations in the air, are created when an object vibrates at a certain frequency and amplitude. The higher the frequency of sound waves, the faster they travel through the air. 

Growing Through Song: How Music Can Affect the Growth of a Plant

This means that lower frequencies move slower than high ones. For example, you can feel the difference between low-pitched and high-pitched sounds.

Low-pitched sounds are more soothing, while high-pitched sounds make us jumpy.

How Can I Hear Sounds?

The human ear has three different types of receptors: tympanic (eardrum), middle, and inner ears. These receptors help our brain interpret the information received from the surrounding environment. When we hear something, these receptors send signals to the brain, which then interprets them as sound.

Can plants hear sounds? Yes, it’s believed that plants can indeed sense sound, but in a very different way than us humans, as they don’t have a brain or any ears.

What plants do have are vibration receptors that sense turbulence in the air, turbulence that can just as well be caused by sound waves as it can, say, a breeze. Let’s discuss the matter in more detail.

How Do Plants Perceive Sound? 

Plants use two main methods to sense sounds: 1) by using pressure changes in the soil caused by vibrations; 2) by detecting airborne particles that enter the root system.

When plants are exposed to vibration, they respond with various physiological processes. Some plants increase their growth rate when exposed to vibrations. Others may grow more leaves, flowers, fruits, or roots.

When plants are exposed to airborne particles, they react differently depending on the size of the particle.

Smaller particles such as dust, pollen, insects, and bacteria can be sucked into the root system where they are digested. Larger particles such as rocks, seeds, and water droplets fall onto the ground and get absorbed.

How Does Music Affect Plants?

Music affects plants in many ways. It stimulates their senses and makes them grow faster. In addition, it also increases the amount of oxygen in the air.

The combination of increased oxygen levels and increased growth rates cause plants to produce more food and nutrients.

Music has been shown to improve plant growth in several ways. 

  • First, it increases the rate of photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy. 
  • Second, it improves the uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other minerals. 
  • Third, it increases the absorption of carbon dioxide and decreases the emission of nitrous oxide.
  • Fourth, it reduces stress and enhances the immune system. 
  • Fifth, it increases the production of hormones and enzymes that promote cell division. 
  • Sixth, it reduces the effects of pests and diseases. 
  • Seventh, it improves the quality of life.

Does Music Accelerate Plant Growth?

Growing Through Song: How Music Can Affect the Growth of a Plant

Numerous studies have shown that listening to music for plants really does help them grow faster and healthier.

In the sixties, a prominent botanist from India conducted some experiments on the possible correlation between plant development and music.

He found that certain plant species grew an additional 20 percent taller when they were “listening” to some tunes, with distinctly increased biomass growth when compared to plants that were not exposed to music. 

He found similar results when playing music through speakers placed around the fields of agricultural crops, including peanuts, rice, and tobacco.

A Colorado greenhouse owner tried different varieties of plants and different genres of music. She found that plants listening to rock music deteriorated rather quickly, whereas plants began to thrive when exposed to lots of relaxing classical music.

An Illinois researcher was skeptical that plants responded positively to music, so he conducted some rigorous greenhouse tests. He found that corn and soy seedlings grown under the influence of music were taller and had bigger leaves than those grown without music.

At a Canadian University, researchers found out that wheat crop yields increased by nearly 50 percent when exposed to high-frequency vibrations.

Loud rock music causes more stress than soft classical music does. Plants react negatively to heavy rock music. They tend to wilt and become deformed when exposed to loud music.

In contrast, soft classical music encourages healthy growth because it is less stressful.

Why Does Music Help Plants Grow Faster?

Plants are sensitive to sound waves. When plants hear music, they respond by increasing their metabolism. This helps them absorb more nutrients from the soil and increases their overall health.

When plants are exposed to music, they release chemicals called phytohormones. These chemicals stimulate cell division and encourage new growth.

When plants are stressed, they produce more ethylene gas. Ethylene gas can inhibit plant growth. By reducing the amount of ethylene gas produced, music stimulates plant growth.

Music also affects the way plants sense light, which, too, can aid in development.

How Can I Use Music To Improve My Garden’s Health And Productivity?

Growing Through Song: How Music Can Affect the Growth of a Plant

There are many ways you can use music to improve your garden’s health and productivity. You can play music while planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, watering, fertilizing, weeding, and harvesting.

You can listen to music during all stages of gardening. For example, you can play soothing music as you prepare for a long day of work in the garden. Or you can play upbeat music as you harvest vegetables.

Plants respond to music in many ways. Some of these responses could possibly include:

Increased Photosynthesis – Plants absorb light from the sun and use this energy to make carbohydrates. When plants are exposed to music, they increase the rate of photosynthesis. This means that they can take in more light and therefore grow faster.

Improved Nitrogen Uptake – Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for plants. When plants are exposed to music, they absorb nitrogen much easier than they normally would. This helps them to grow bigger and stronger.

Increased Water Absorption – The roots of plants absorb water through their cells. When they hear music, they absorb more water than normal. This allows them to absorb more nutrients and grow taller.

Reduced Stress Levels – Plants experience stress whenever they are under duress. When they hear certain types of music, they relax and feel less stressed. This leads to increased growth rates and improved health.

Increased Fruit Production – Many plants won’t produce fruit when they are experiencing stress. If you play music while your plants are growing, they will be able to concentrate on producing fruit rather than worrying about how they are going to survive.

You can also play music while working in the garden. It will help you stay focused and motivated.

If you have a large garden, you may want to consider using multiple speakers to broadcast your favorite tunes throughout the area. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of music while you work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It A Proven Fact That Music Can Help Plant Growth?

Not really, it’s basically down to anecdotal evidence and some controlled trials. The results aren’t conclusive, but there are enough positive reports out there to suggest that playing music can benefit plants.

Can I Grow My Own Food With Music?

Yes, you can definitely do this if you wish. But keep in mind that it takes time and effort to create a successful garden. If you’re looking for quick results, then you might find better success with indoor growing methods.

Do Plants Respond To Different Types Of Music?

According to selected studies, it is not actually the ‘type’ of music that matters, but the level of vibrations produced. They respond to any kind of music that produces vibrations. The frequency of those vibrations determines how much energy they receive.

Are There Any Negative Effects On Plants When They Are Exposed To Music?

Apparently, rock music has a negative effect on plants because it contains high-frequency sounds. High-frequency sounds cause plants to vibrate at a higher rate than low-frequency sounds. As a result, plants tend to wilt and die, perhaps because it raises rather than decreases stress levels.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid playing rock music in your garden. It simply means that you need to be careful about which songs you choose.

How Does Music Affect The Way Plants Perceive Light?

Plants consume light as part of photosynthesis, a process that essentially converts sunlight into lots of tasty plant food. When listening to certain types of music, a plant’s capacity to absorb sunlight increases, meaning they’re getting more resources for sustenance and growth. This amounts to faster development and greater constitutions.

Final Thoughts

Whilst there is not sufficient evidence that playing music in your garden will affect your plant growth either negatively or positively, we don’t think there’s really any harm in playing a little bit of Vivaldi whilst you’re propagating your plants.  

At the very least, it may keep you relaxed which may make you a better gardener, which will lead to healthier, happier-looking plants. Whatever your feelings are on the matter, we hope we’ve given you a bit more information on whether music impacts plant growth. 

Morgan Daniels

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