“I love the colorful clothes she wears
And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair
I hear the sound of a gentle word
On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air
I'm pickin' up good vibrations
She's giving me excitations.”
Those verses from the 1966 hit Beach Boys’ song, “Good Vibrations,” could just as well apply to the plants in your home or garden. Plants seem to flourish with music!
Scientists at the University of Florence, Italy, began studying the effects of music on plants when a nearby wine grower gained attention for using classical music to enhance the growth of his vines. The grapes closest to the speakers ripen fastest.
Apparently, the frequency, intensity, and length of exposure are key determining factors. Vibrations of soothing music literally draw the plants toward the sound. They lean toward the source of the music in the same manner that they lean toward the sun.(1)
How Can Your Plants Benefit from Music?
Those three factors: frequency, intensity and duration of exposure seem to be what you’re after.
- Choose good frequencies! By frequency, we do mean “good vibrations!” Plants don’t have taste for music like we do, but seem to be drawn toward classical or soothing music as opposed to more raucous types of music because of their soothing vibrations. In addition to classical music, plants seem to “prefer” pleasant tunes produced by stringed instruments.
- Keep the intensity low to moderate!The intensity of the music is important too. You don’t want to “blast” the plants with sound, but deliver it at a moderate level of volume.
- Don’t over-expose your plants! Too much sun, water, or fertilizer can harm a plant. And just as humans can be over-stimulated by music, so can plants. Limit plants’ exposure to music to several hours per day. In experiments conducted by Dorothy Retallack and Professor Broman at the Colorado Woman’s College in Denver, they discovered that continuous music proved harmful to plants, while subjecting them to music just two-to-three hours a day, enhanced their growth. (2)
Are your plants “pickin’ up good vibrations”? Why not start your own experiment and see how music can give your plants “excitations!”