Music and Mums: Does Music Affect Plant Growth?
Let me take you back to 1999 for a moment. Britney Spears was just getting started, boy bands were battling it out on the Billboard Top 100 charts, and Smash Mouth had yet to be declared one hit wonders. With the soundtrack of the 90’s about to be bookended with Mambo No. 5 (what a time to be alive), I turned to the music of my youth for inspiration for that winter’s science fair. I had read in one of my textbooks that our house plants could be affected by the music we listen to, so I decided to put it to the test.
Sequestering four different plants in different corners of our Long Island home, I played each plant a different genre for a few hours a day. One was played classical music, another punk rock, the third was played rap, and the last listened to our local top twenty pop station. As it turns out, regardless of the music played around these plants, they will all die if you don’t water them. Lesson learned. Reflecting recently on my fourth-grade failure, I decided to do some real research on the subject in an effort to redeem myself.
Thankfully, there have been countless experiments and studies done on this topic by real, fully grown botanists. While it has been widely reported that plants benefit from classical music above all else, this is not because they love a good flute solo. Plants respond in various ways to the vibrations around them, and it is music in the range of 115Hz to 250Hz that most closely mimics what they’d experience in nature.
Vibrations within these frequencies cause the stomata or pores of the plant to open up for longer periods of time, allowing them to take in more oxygen and grow more efficiently. These vibrations can also stimulate the natural process of cytoplasmic streaming, which is how nutrients, proteins, and organelles are distributed throughout a plant’s cells. Speaking of streaming, what kind of tunes are best suited for your leafy friends?
Our Plants Are Pretty Chill
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you’re not a big Bach or Beethoven fan. Fear not, there are countless songs that fall within that plant friendly range of 115Hz to 250Hz. With the exception of bands like Metallica and Slayer, just about every artist out there has a mellow song or two. From Taylor Swift and Drake to The Weekend and Taking Back Sunday, you can easily compile a Spotify playlist of chill tracks by your favorite artists to help promote plant growth. It’s so easy, in fact, I’ve done it for you! Check out Planet Home’s House Plant Playlist on Spotify today.
Not only are our plants pretty chill, they can help us chill as well! Caring for houseplants has been proven to improve concentration and productivity while reducing stress levels and boosting your mood. Having plants to care for daily allows you to develop a meaningful routine, which can do wonders for one’s mental health. Many plants can even purify the air inside your home, improving your overall well being. So, take a deep breath, turn on some tunes, and let you and your leafy friends flourish.
Oh, yeah. Don’t forget to water them!