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In a month-long study performed by the Royal Horticultural Society, researchers discovered that talking to your plants really can help them grow faster. They also found that plants grow faster to the sound of a female voice than to a male voice.
...in the month-long study, the Royal Horticultural Society recorded ten people reading from either literary or scientific works, both men and women, and played their voices through a set of headphones that was attached to each tomato plant's pot (so, one tomato plant per person.) The same tomato variety was used, same soil, same care regimen, etc. They also included two plants that were not read to as a control. At the end of the month, the plants that had been attached to female voices grew an average of an inch taller than those attached to a male voice. The overall winning tomato listened to Sarah Darwin, great-great granddaughter of Charles Darwin. Her plant grew approximately two inches taller than the rest.
Explanation: An adage out there goes "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all." But when MythBusters Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and Scottie Chapman experimented with the power of words on plants, the opposite rang true.
Some plant enthusiasts think that showering seedlings with sunlight, water and healthy soil isn't enough. To really make their roots sing, these backyard botanists believe they can sweet talk their gardens into growing better. To see whether kind words could really yield fertile results, the skeptical MythBusters procured 60 pea plants and divided them into three greenhouse groups. Then, they recorded two soundtracks — one of loving praise and one of cruel insults — and played them on repeat in two separate greenhouses. A third greenhouse remained mum as an experimental control.
To give the myth a fighting chance of flourishing, the team charted the plants' growth over 60 days. Afterward, the MythBusters determined the winning greenhouse by comparing plant masses from the three groups. To their surprise, the silent greenhouse performed poorest, producing lower biomass and smaller pea pods than the other two. Although there was no difference in plant quality between the nice greenhouse and the mean greenhouse, the soundtracks seemed to produce a positive effect in both.
Based on the plausible myth, botanists might want to chat with their plants more often, even if what they have to say isn't all-too friendly.
In 1848, German experimental psychologist and professor of physics Gustav Theodor Fechner argued that plants have souls and that, like humans, they desired for and benefited from the companionship, conversation and nurture of others. Fechner believed that plants not only enjoyed the sound of music, but would be encouraged to grow better and bigger if they were spoken or sung to.
"There isn't a lot of research in this area," says Rich Marini, head of Penn State's horticulture department, "But there is evidence that plants respond to sound." In fact, plants react readily to a host of environmental stimuli, as the ability to respond to changing environments is vital to their survival. Explains Marini, "Wind or vibration will induce changes in plant growth. Since sound is essentially vibration, my guess is that vibration is causing a response."
Research supports Marini's guess. A 2007 paper from scientists at South Korea's National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology proposed that two genes involved in a plant's response to light—known as rbcS and Ald—are turned on by music played at 70 decibels. "This is about the level of a normal conversation," says Marini. The Korean researchers found differing responses depending on the frequency of the sound. The higher the frequency, the more active was the gene response.
But other studies suggest that conversation may not be enough, notes Marini. A Canadian paper showed that seed germination is influenced by sound at 92 decibels—much louder than one would normally speak.
Carbon dioxide levels do influence the rate of plant photosynthesis, he explains, but "people would have to speak to their plants for at least several hours a day to enhance photosynthesis enough to influence plant growth."
Originally posted by VegHead
reply to post by PollyPeptide
I came across a similar study (not quite the same, though) done on crops in (if memory serves) South Korea. But it wasn't conclusive enough nor could I find enough on it to include here.
I liked the thoughts you gave in an earlier response above, and I'd like to think that your line of thought on this is correct.
The more researchers study the science of plants, the more remarkable those chlorophyll-filled wonders seem to be. If your definition of ethical eating involves dining only on non-sentient plants, you might rethink your food choices. Tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and other members of the plant family are lively, highly reactive to their environments and, in a variety of ways, communicate with the world around them. This excerpt is taken from “Sorry Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like to Live, Too,” first published in The New York Times. — MOTHER EARTH NEWS
Originally posted by Terminal1
And a side note... since plants seem to be aware of their surroundings and can even send information to each other (read: communicate) what is a vegan to do now?