It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Talking/Singing to Plants Helps Them Grow - evidence of plant souls or of the "oneness" of life?

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 06:55 PM
My mother has a wonderful green thumb and swears that singing and talking to her plants help them grow. I always assumed this was just an old wives tale, but was surprised when I recently looked into it further and found that there are a few studies confirming this to be true.

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.

Source: 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.


Mythbusters even did an episode featuring "Does talking to a plant help it grow?" Their conclusion? The "myth" is plausible.

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.

What does this imply?

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.


So singing or talking seem to help - whether that is a recorded voice or an actual person present. Can anything think of a reason for this other than what Professor Fechner argued above? That plants have souls? Or maybe this is an example of how people and ALL living things are connected an some level that goes beyond materialist explanation?

My only thought was the vibrations produced by sound might somehow be helping the plants to grow. Why would a female voice be better? Maybe it has to do with pitch which would effect the vibration? I really don't know. I found at least one scientist that agrees with this line of thinking...

"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."


The studies on this theory are mixed, though, some saying vibration could be the cause but others pointing out that the decibels of a human voice aren't are the right level to make a difference.

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.


Another theory thrown out by some: carbon dioxide produced when we speak is the factor that helps plants grow... but obviously in the studies cited above, a recorded voice was used so there was no extra carbon dioxide. And, as Marini explains:

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."


So while it is widely agreed that singing and talking to plants does help them to grow, the reasons aren't as certain. What are your thoughts?

I'd like to think it is related to how all living things are inter-connected in ways even more profound than we realize.
edit on 15-4-2013 by VegHead because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 07:02 PM
as a farmer on facebook i can verify this does not work

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 07:07 PM
When I was growing in my herb garden I always left music on, I think they did it on Myth busters and music did have noticeable growth.

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 07:34 PM
When I was in middle-school, the early teens, there was a book in vogue called "The Secret Life of Plants" that dealt with this. It was interesting, but largely laughed at outside of the...uh, whatever the people were called back then; it was too late to be hippies and to soon to be a new-ager.
The idea has been floating around for quite a while. You should try a library; I imagine it is not on Amazon.

Edit to add: Holey Moley! Amazon does have it. Amazing.....
edit on 15-4-2013 by stars15k because: added stuff

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 07:56 PM
The geometry of sound affects water quality and structure frequency; since everything is a vibration it would make sense that using sacred sounds and hitting golden notes would affect a plant, a being, a world, which is up to 90% water to catalyze the growth. Common sense really

I guess this kind of relates to the fact that all DNA is the same unless it is exposed to different environments and conditions so it branches off into different mutations and or evolutions.
edit on 15-4-2013 by OmegaSynthesis because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 07:58 PM
To respond directly to the question in the subject line.. I say oneness of life. I feel connected to my plants much in the way I feel connected to my cat and when he was around, my horse. I talk to them, mostly apologizing for not watering them, and they seem to respond. When I just water them without talking to them, my plants tend to look limp and mostly lifeless. But when I talk to them they seem to perk up within a few hours from feeding.

Given that everything in the universe (known and otherwise) can be traced back to a singular event, it's pretty easy to conclude that; All Life Is One.

Just my two cents.

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 08:14 PM
I noticed I had a green thumb when I brought my moms nearly dead plant to "life". She was careless with it, let the plant get brown and dry, the soil hardened to the point is stuck to the plant pretty good. The roots were all dried up and useless, it was nearly gone.

I took the entire plant and dumped it into the bathtub, all of it use to be one piece, after taking it out of the soil I had 20+ rootless stems. I cleaned them up, got them nice and moist, planted them in fresh soil, 6 months later they all have their roots back and they look healthier than when I got it for her 4 years ago. They've grown more in the last 6 months than they did in that 4 year period, and with spring here its flowers are starting to come out.

I started growing Thai Chili plants indoors over the winter. Started with a ziplock bag of moist soil full of seeds, all but a couple seeds germinated with ease. Transferred them to plastic cups, then to some ghetto "pots" I made from milk gallon jugs. Now 5 1/2 months later they're nearly 2 feet tall and need to be transferred to some real pots. Hope my chilis are here before the summer.

I'll try playing some nice Hip Hop or orchestral music for them. I'll post a month update of my results.
edit on 15-4-2013 by FidelityMusic because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 08:19 PM
I've been looking for a reference to this, but I can't find it... About 6 years ago I remember hearing of an experiment done in Italy which used music/sound to try and influence the growth of olives. I remember they found that when a steady tone between 600Hz and 660Hz was played, the olives would respond with accelerated growth and yield a more robust crop.. I'll keep searching for the paper I read...

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 08:22 PM
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.

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 09:43 PM

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.

Hey thanks! This is actually one of my favorite topics. I like anything that suggests a greater connection to everything... I usually don't word it as All Life Is One though, my preferred quote is, "we are all just one universe.."

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 10:21 PM
reply to post by VegHead

It was recently discovered that flowering plants communicate with pollenating bees.

It is my conviction that all things are perfectly conscious beings, experiencing reality according the the utmost of their biological mechanisms and capabilities. Flowers know they are flowers, and know exactly how it feels like to be a flower. Even a rock knows precisely how it feels to be a rock.

"But I know every rock, and tree, and creature has a life, has a spirit, has a name......
The rainstorm and the river are my brothers.The heron and the otter are my friends. And we are all connected to each other, in a circle, in a hoop that never ends"
- Colors Of The Wind, Pocahontas Soundtrack

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 10:31 PM
Agreed 100%

Like our mother earth, we are part of one cycle, we are the trees, they are our brothers and sisters. So to show them that we include them in the family, even a simple task as talking to them, makes them happy, like any other being on this planet.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 12:43 PM
reply to post by PollyPeptide
There are some magnetic water filters that are out there which some farmers have supposedly tried using and they claim that they can get 1.5-2 times the yield in terms of average size and such of squash and other crops with much less water than they previously used.
One of the farmers states naturally, that he did not believe it so he water 2 fields of the same crops side by side. All other elements like fertilizer and watering schedule the same and the difference was quite noticeable.

I am not sure I want to jump on the believer wagon that quickly but I am planning to build a version of it this summer and try it out. The commercial one that was being offered cost about $5k -$10k. I am not on my PC where I have it bookmarked but can post it later.

ETA: For those of you who may be interested in the mysteries of The Coral Castle (homestead FL) and the work of Edward Leedskalnin, he, too, has stated in one of his cryptic books that magnets under plants help them grow.

Magnetic alignments and audio waves both may affect the water quality (water memory?) or the plant protein's ability to absorb the water.

edit on 17-4-2013 by evc1shop because: ETA

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 08:56 PM
There has been a very interesting show on PBS about plants called What do Plants Talk About. Research has demonstrated that sibling plants respect and give room for each other's roots. They also showed how large trees feed nourishment to their seedling offspring. They showed that the forest floors is a connections of different plants all participating together in a beneficial way. Very cool!
edit on 06/02/2011 by grayeagle because: spelling

posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 05:32 AM
reply to post by VegHead

This is very interesting indeed! I would not rule it out at all, although we have to concede that there is no scientific explanation as of yet.

Well, as you mentioned, there have been some studies and I do not think that we should ignore those results.

What WOULD be interesting to know if we could extrapolate some kind of rule of thumb (haha) out of these experiments. If we could formulate some rules or identify certain frequencies that seem to do the job.

IF this works, then it should be easily repeatable and the experiments for that are really simple as well.

Does anyone know of any current experiments in this regard?

posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 05:45 AM
I would not rule out that it is possible that sound affects the plants, as there are many miracles in nature.

However, another theory is that those who would talk to their plants generally care about the well-being of their plants more, and are more likely to notice their needs.

If you care enough to talk to them, you are more likely to notice that they are in distress and need water, or need some pruning or food, etc. You might notice that their roots need more room to grow. It results in an overall better care when you are empathizing and considering that a plant has feelings.

Just perhaps... it might also be more a projection of your own energy that you are... emitting? (that sounds like an inappropriate word, but you know what I mean). This energy can strengthen all life around you. I kind of feel like this is what love really is, when you share your strength with those you love. People who have a positive energy improve the others around them, including people and animals, so why not plants? People who have a dark, negative energy, seem to cause stress and harm those around them.

posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 05:50 AM
while i could not pin down the science behind this, i'm not surprised - i've worked in biodynamic gardening and know that life attracts life and that the interconnectedness between beings produces effects that rational science (as opposed to for example so-called "goethean science") still has difficulty quantifying.
as for the counterpoint - to suggest that the small amounts of CO2 released into an open environment when chewing the fact with your Ficus would stimulate growth is just daft. i've also born witness endless times to the far far superior taste of organic and bio-d veggies, as well as the quality of the ecosystem at such farms and gardens - they hum with many forms of life and are beautiful places to be

posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 05:56 AM
Just adding this little tidbit here.


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

Interesting article and kind of on topic for this thread. Sometimes it amaes me that us humans (on the whole) take our 5 senses as the "end all". But we are coming around and starting to realize there are other "senses" that we just simply don't have the equipment for yet we still try to peg things to our senses alone.

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?

posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 06:06 AM

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?

it's an interesting question - i'm not a vegan though i have not eaten meat for sabout 25 years... i would expect that the majority of vegans have long been aware that plants communicate and have an awareness but see them as a different order of being - meat eaters could be argued to do this afterall, we all discriminate in what we eat. care for Roast Adolescent and Yorkshire Pud? No? perhaps a Kitten Lasagne instead?

posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 06:15 AM
reply to post by skalla

Yorkshire pudding... hold the adolescent please ...

Personally I eat both... and if I got hungry enough those kittens better beware...

But you are right... we do discriminate in what we eat. Would just add to the boredom if we all ate pills like THX-1138. Be happy...

Kinda disconcerting knowing that when I pick my jalapenos, the plants are trying to figure a way out to get rid of me...
edit on 18-4-2013 by Terminal1 because: Edit: Afterthought

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in