Thursday, March 24, 2011

Music for Plant Growth

Hydrangea mycrophylla  in early spring.

Is there a relationship between your singing and plant growth?  When we praise owners of beautiful plants they would gladly whisper to us as if it is a precious secret, "I sing to them every day."  Well, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London is supposed to been helping bring this myth to a scientific level by performing live to plants [*]. 

Do I believe that music make plants grow better?  No.  The plant that is sitting in the family room where music is played all day is no better than the one that is in the bathroom where no music is played except for an intermittent humming by my husband.
Do I believe that a gardener singing in the garden would help the plants grow better?  Maybe.  Let me explain.  When a gardener is singing in his garden he is close to the plants.  He observes the things that are going on and he can respond to such observations accordingly.  On the other hand, when a gardener is singing in the garden and is focused on his music book for the right note, then that singing does not have any effect on plant growth.  In other words, it is the action-initiating proximity, and not the reverberating sound waves, that make the difference.  That is my practical explanation of the matter. 

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was supposed to have been commissioned by QVC (a shopping channel) to perform to the plants [*].   With that I guess that the effort was not so scientific in nature as much as it is commercial.  The plants that were present at the concert are now for sale along with the CDs that contain all the classical music played at that performance.   By the way, what type of music do your plants listen to?   I wonder if the type of music makes the difference.   That would be another study.  :)

[*]  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Performs to Plants

Music in the garden is good for the gardener but not good enough to make his plants grow better.  Plants need the gardener's attention more than music.


Judith said...

Wonderful explanation!
I like music and plants, and cats. Yes, cats and gardening come together, too:) but like music it is not them who directly make the plants grow better...

Anonymous said...

I have cats, but I am not fond of cats in the garden. Bad for my resident birds.And if any singing helps the plants. I bet it is the bird songs. After all, the birds are like a choir when they really get going at the feeder.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, hit the wrong button. I wanted to say that your explanation of the garden songstress is practical, but most likely right. I too believe the plants get better attention. The singer is often more relaxed and not hurried in their care of the plants.

Helen Lewis said...

Judith -
I believe that you love cats - You are the one who brought your Muning all the way from Tuscany to the Philippines! Hey, who needs music when the they can have purrs. :)

Donna --
Indeed the bird-choir makes more sense in improving plant life! They not only provide music but they also arrest most insect pests during the intermission. :)

Jess said...

haha I did my 6th grade science fair project on this very subject. Same conclusion too. Stick to the water and sunlight :)

Helen Lewis said...

Jess --
I believe you! More 6th graders will still study about it...but for the Royal Philharmonic to get involved in the study is a little bit over the top! Don't you think? :)

Judith said...

Yes, thats me! I share the joy of gardening with cats. I guess that's their version of a jungle.
As with music, I prefer to listen to the natural sounds around me while at my garden.

p3chandan said...

I love music and cats but not in my garden! They say talk to your plants and they will grow healthy and bountiful...well maybe same explanation as yours Helen.

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