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Why you should talk to your houseplant

you should talk to your houseplant

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You’ve probably heard that talking to your houseplants helps them grow better. But did you know there is science behind it? This idea goes back to 1848 when a German professor published “The Soul Life of Plants,” which indicated that plants benefited from human conversation. 

Recently, studies have shown that plants respond to your voice and that by doing so, plants benefit in several ways, such as increased growth and improved health. In this blog post, we will explore the science behind talking to your houseplants and discuss the benefits of doing so and some evidence backed by the Royal Horticultural Society and other sources. We’ll also provide tips on how to talk to your plants for the best results!

Can Plants Hear?

It is true that plants are capable of “hearing.” Plants prefer classical music over rock & roll, according to The Secret Life of Plants, which was published in 1973. However, an increasing number of peer-reviewed studies are making some people doubt the book’s credibility.

The sound of a caterpillar munching on a cress plant, for example, causes the cress plant to produce more defense compounds than the sound of wind or insect singing. By increasing the sugar content of nectar, sweet peas react quickly to the recorded sound of a buzzing bee, and pea-plant roots develop towards the sound of water running within pipes.

Although plants lack both brain and ears, they do contain vibration-sensing receptors; thus, they may be able to detect sound at some level. It is still not clear exactly how Plants react to these sounds, but there is definitely something going on that we don’t quite understand yet.

Perhaps further research will reveal the complex ways in which plants interact with their environment – including the mysterious world of sound.

What is the Effect of Sound on Houseplants?

According to the National Library of Medicine, recent research indicates that plant organisms interpret sound as a mechanical stimulation and respond with cellular and metabolic changes. Sound stimuli may affect germination rates, promote houseplant growth and development, and boost agricultural yields.

In addition, sound waves may boost your houseplant’s resistance to diseases and raise their drought tolerance. The sound exposure enhances the efficiency of light energy absorption, resulting in enhanced photosynthetic activity. Plants can distinguish and react to the mating noises of insect larvae and the buzzing of a pollination bee.

These findings suggest that plants are more adaptable than previously thought and that exposure to sound may be viable for promoting houseplant health.

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Do Houseplants Like Being Talked To?

Many of us have relatives who seemed to have a deep connection with their houseplants. It is believed that their soft murmurings as they watered, pruned, and fed their flowery darlings caused the houseplants to flourish. Do not feel strange if you like conversing with houseplants. There is a scientific basis for the practice.

Numerous studies demonstrate that sound influences your houseplant development. So, should you converse with your houseplants? There is no danger to them, and it may provide you with an emotional lift. Spending time with houseplants is peaceful and beneficial to both mental and physical health.

Scientific Studies and Research

The Royal Horticultural Society conducted a month-long research in which they recorded 10 persons, both men, and women, reading from literary or scientific literature. Each tomato plant has a pair of headphones linked to its container that played a different recording (so, one tomato plant per person).

The same kind of tomato, soil, care regimen, and so on were all employed. They also used two control plants that weren’t told anything. Plants that were played female voices grew an average of an inch taller than male-voiced plants throughout the course of the month.

Sarah Darwin, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin, gave the overall winning tomato a listening ear. In comparison to the other plants, hers grew about two inches higher. The findings of the RHS study astonished the researchers, who believed that the male voice would cause the houseplants to grow more rapidly.

They were confused as to why the female voice was more effective but theorized that it may be due to women’s broader range of pitch or tone, which influences the sound waves that reach the plant, and that sound, like any other environmental component, impacts your houseplant development.

Other research and ideas have reinforced the findings of the RHS study, although the precise relationship between the human voice and houseplant development remains obscure. Here are a few other interesting research findings:

  1. The television program “Mythbusters” performed an experiment in which 60 pea plants were planted in each of three greenhouses. In one greenhouse, recordings of people speaking kindly to plants were played. In another recording, the plants were insulted. The third greenhouse was devoid of sound, with no recordings being played. After two months, the pea plants grew much more in the two greenhouses with the recordings, whereas they grew the least in the control greenhouse with no music. 
  2. South Korea’s National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology discovered that music stimulates plant growth, with the growth seeming to be tied to two genes involved in how plants react to sunlight.
  3. Charles Darwin himself suggested a connection between vibration and plant development. In a non-scientific experiment, he had his son play the bassoon for seedlings, but the findings were ambiguous.

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How do You Talk to Houseplants?

To supply your houseplants with a fascinating conversation, you need not give each pot a set of headphones (although there’s nothing preventing you from going the additional mile!). To encourage plant growth, you may just speak to your houseplants or conduct a conversation around them.

Researchers at the National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology of South Korea have shown that plants respond to sound at levels above 70 dB. This is well within the range of normal human conversation, which means that your houseplants may be listening in on your conversations!

The researchers found that the more often and loudly you speak or play music near your houseplants, the more aroused they will become. So if you want to encourage your houseplants to grow, make sure to give them plenty of interesting things to listen to!

Rich Marini, head of Penn State’s horticulture department, thinks we shouldn’t disregard the idea of talking to plants, “There isn’t a lot of research in this area,” he says. “But there is evidence that plants respond to sound.”

Benefits of Talking to Houseplants 

As any gardener knows, houseplants are sensitive creatures that respond to their surroundings in a number of ways. For instance, carbon dioxide, a human speech waste product, can stimulate photosynthetic activity in plants. Similarly, vibration from things like music or spoken word can activate two critical growth-related genes.

In other words, pretty much anything that happens in a plant’s immediate environment will have some sort of effect on it. However, don’t forget that the best thing people can do to help their houseplants grow is provide them with light, water, and nutrition.

So if you’re ever feeling crazy about reading the newspaper or a book of poetry to your houseplants, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In fact, we commend your efforts!

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You should talk to your houseplant – FAQ.

Why should I talk to my houseplants?

It has been shown that talking to your houseplants results in faster growth. Plants are sensitive creatures that respond to their surroundings, and human voices can stimulate plant growth.

How do I talk to my houseplants?

Talking is essentially vibration, so you don’t need to set up a special conversation with your houseplants – they will be listening in on your regular conversations making your plants grow faster. Playing music also helps; it provides good vibrations.

Does talking to your houseplants do anything?

Yes, talking to your houseplants has been shown to stimulate plant growth. Houseplants are sensitive creatures that respond to their surroundings in a number of ways, and human voice is one way to help them grow.

When should I talk to my plants?

You can talk to your plants whenever you like! They will be listening in on your conversations, and it’ll help your plants grow healthy!

Why you should talk to your houseplant

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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