As I was researching different topics, I found an interesting bit of information. While it is well known that music can be beneficial for humans, and there have been studies that music can help animals, but I never thought that music actually had an effect on plants. I mean, this concept has always been something as an urban legend where I have lived, but I never knew there was a legitimate study that supports the validity of this myth.
In 1962, an Indian botanist conducted several experiments on the growing habits of plants when they were exposed to music. It was found that agricultural crops, such as peanuts, rice, and tobacco, had a twenty percent height increase when exposed to music. Even have been reported to produce more leaves and taller plants than normal, causing an almost complete change in the plant’s genetic structure, when placed in an environment with continuous music.
However, while music has been reported to have positive effects on plant life, it is also reported to have deteriorating effects as well. A similar study to the one previously mentioned was conducted by a greenhouse owner in Colorado, who noted that rock music seemed to cause deterioration in plants faster than without. So, why is this? Do plants really just not like the sound of rock music, or is something else in play? Well, to answer this question, one must understand what it is in music that a plant actually ‘hears’.
According to researchers, plants do not hear music like we do, which is obvious seeing as plants do not have ears. Instead, plants react to the vibrations that music produces. These vibrations “stir up” the plant cells, which, in turn, stimulates a plant to produce more nutrients. It is for this reason that rock music appeared to have a negative affect on plant growth, the vibrations create a greater vibrational pressure that actually hurts the plant rather than help it.
However, like many theories and scientific studies, there are those that do not believe that music has this kind of power. Researchers at the University of California, for example, say that there is no conclusive evidence that is music that causes this increased growth. It is believed that a plant’s growth solely comes from the care that the gardener or botanist gives the plant in the study. For them, there is no sure fire way to truly tell if music has any kind of effect on vegetation.
Despite the, more or less, split in the scientific community, I do believe that music can have some kind of affect on plants. After all; every living creature seems to respond in some way to music, so why not a plant. This is just another example of how influential music really is in the world.