It’s well known that some avid gardeners and plant parents talk to their plants. Why? Perhaps because they believe that the vibrations or the expelling of carbon dioxide from our mouths will help them grow. Some even sing to their plants! But what about playing music? A new study shows that there’s a stronger link between music and plants than you might think…
The study, conducted by PPL PRS (the people who issue licenses to shops so that they can play music) shows that almost two-thirds (63%) of gardeners play music to their plants! This is despite over half of gardeners (55%) not realising that playing music is proven to help plants grow.
Incredible – but what’s the science behind it?
Science shows that playing music to plants stimulates growth because it mimics vibrations found in nature. With houseplants, a good beat can mimic the natural vibrations they would experience outside. Jazz and classical music are the best genres of music to stimulate plant growth – despite more respondents playing pop and chill out music, so pivoting to more traditional genres could benefit their plants.
Plants in the great outdoors will benefit from the bees that are drawn to high-frequency sounds in music – these powerful pollinators play a pivotal role in plant reproduction as they pass pollen from one flower to another.
Does music help boost mood?
So, we know that music can help plants thrive – but what about us gardeners? Marianne Rizkallah, Music Therapist Expert at PPL PRS, explains, “Music has a profound effect on the brain, providing a boost to our mental wellbeing, our mood and our motivation. It can even help to alleviate symptoms of more serious mental health conditions like stress and anxiety.
“Considering the similarly positive effect that being among nature can have, it’s no surprise that so many of us credit listening to music in the garden with feelings of calm and happiness. Gardening has a similar impact on our wellness to music – it’s good for relaxation, exercise and mental health. It’s a truly winning combination.”
Here are some more intriguing stats about music, plants and gardening!
- Pop (52%) and chill-out (31%) music are the go-to genres to play for plants – but house (8%) lacks flower power
- House music (8%) and heavy metal (9%) are not as popular with plant lovers
- Most (81%) play music all or some of the time while they tend to their plants , with happiness (37%) the most commonly felt emotion
- Nearly a third (30%) say a soundtrack supercharges their productivity in the garden
- Nine in 10 (93%) look after anywhere up to an astonishing 10 houseplants but 4 in 5 (82%) struggle to grow them depending on the species and time of year, so playing music could help to eliminate problems
- Roses relish classical music while chrysanthemums thrive after just 30 minutes of play
The most popular music genres for plants
What are the top 10 music genres that gardeners play for their plants? Find out in the chart below!
I’ve created a playlist on Spotify which contains songs that have just the right frequencies to help plants thrive. You can read more about each song, and about the science of music and plants, here. Try it out on your plants over the next few weeks and let me know what happens!
What kind of music do you play for your plants? Let me know in the comments section below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.