Can Speaking to Plants Aid Their Growth?

Have you ever assisted a friend or family member in planting a garden? Maybe you’ve plucked a flower for a special friend as a simple gesture to express how much you care about them? If you’ve ever worked with live flowers or plants, you are aware that they require special care to survive and flourish.

For instance, plants necessitate a solid foundation of nutritious soil to support and nourish their roots. They also require sunlight to enable their cells to generate food through photosynthesis. Additionally, plants won’t thrive unless they have an ample supply of water.

Occasionally, plants may require specific minerals, which can be provided by applying fertilizer to their roots. If you have fulfilled all these basic needs but a plant is still struggling, there is another method you could attempt: speaking kind words. Many individuals believe that talking to plants aids their growth, and they may very well be correct!

The concept that speaking to plants aids their growth is not a recent notion. Experts believe this theory likely dates back to a book from 1848, in which German professor Gustav Fechner proposed that plants might possess human-like emotions. Although Fechner’s ideas may have been somewhat far-fetched, numerous other scientists have hypothesized over the years that plants might somehow respond positively to sounds.

Individuals who love gardening will often profess that they believe speaking to plants has a positive impact on their overall health and growth. Despite numerous scientific studies on this theory, there is still no definitive evidence to support the claim that speaking to plants aids their growth or, if it does, the reasons behind this phenomenon.

Nevertheless, certain studies provide evidence to suggest that it is a plausible theory that plants do respond positively to sound exposure. For example, some researchers have discovered evidence that plants react to vibrations. While some scientists believe that plant responses to vibrations assist them in surviving in windy environments, it is reasonable to think that sounds, which are forms of vibrations, could also affect plants.

Other researchers believe that speaking to plants may stimulate growth due to the carbon dioxide produced when people exhale as they speak. Since plants absorb carbon dioxide, some scientists propose that it could explain the perceived benefits of speaking to plants.

So what evidence is there to support the claim that speaking to plants aids their growth? The crew of the television show Mythbusters conducted a test on this theory in 2004. They set up seven greenhouses, each playing different recordings around the clock: two greenhouses played negative speech, two greenhouses played positive speech, one greenhouse played classical music, one greenhouse played heavy metal music, and the last greenhouse remained silent.

Among all the greenhouses, the silent one exhibited the least amount of plant growth. The plants in the greenhouses with speech — whether positive or negative — grew faster than those in the silent greenhouse. Surprisingly, the greenhouses with music witnessed the most growth. In fact, the greenhouse that played heavy metal music had the highest growth rate!

So, does the Mythbusters test provide conclusive proof that speaking to plants aids their growth? Not entirely! The Mythbusters researchers acknowledged that further tests needed to be conducted, but their results led them to conclude that it is certainly a plausible theory that speaking to plants can have a positive impact on their health and growth.

Give it a Try

Are you prepared to engage in a conversation with some plants? Make sure to explore the following activities with a companion:

  • To verify the hypothesis presented in today’s Wonder of the Day, what better way than to test it yourself? You will need two plants of the same type and size. Place them in different areas, ensuring they receive equal amounts of water and light. Only speak to one of the plants on a daily basis. Monitor the growth of the plants over the course of a few weeks. What differences do you observe? What conclusions do you draw?
  • If you were a plant, would you appreciate your gardener talking to you? If you could speak, what would you say to the gardener? Would you enjoy music being played for you? If so, which artist would you prefer? Robert Plant? Guns ‘n Roses? Smashing Pumpkins? Let your imagination run wild! Compose a short story that explains how plants perceive music and conversations with gardeners. Have fun and be sure to share your story with a companion!
  • Feeling up for a challenge? Design a garden for your home. If you have a spacious backyard, feel free to create a garden with multiple rows of various vegetables. If you don’t have much space for an outdoor garden, you can always plant a small herb garden in tiny containers on a windowsill in your kitchen. Enjoy cultivating your own plants!

Sources of Wonder



1. Does talking to plants really help them grow?

There is no scientific evidence to prove that talking to plants directly affects their growth. However, studies have shown that certain types of sound vibrations, including human voices, can have a positive impact on plant growth. It is believed that the vibrations caused by talking or playing music near plants may stimulate their cells and promote growth. So while talking to plants may not have a direct effect, it can create a positive environment that encourages their overall well-being.

2. What kind of benefits can talking to plants have?

Talking to plants can have indirect benefits on their growth. It can help reduce stress levels in humans, which in turn creates a calm and positive atmosphere for the plants. Additionally, talking to plants can increase the humidity around them due to the moisture in our breath, which can be beneficial for certain types of plants. Moreover, engaging in conversations with plants can encourage a deeper connection with nature and promote mindfulness.

3. Does the content of the conversation matter when talking to plants?

While there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that plants understand human language, the content of the conversation may indirectly affect the plants. Speaking positively and using kind words can create a positive energy and environment around the plants, which might contribute to their overall well-being. However, it is important to note that the tone of voice and the overall care provided to the plants are more significant factors in their growth than the specific words spoken.

4. How often should I talk to my plants?

There is no set frequency for talking to plants. It is generally recommended to engage in regular interactions with your plants, such as talking, singing, or playing music, as it can create a consistent environment for them. However, it is important to avoid excessive noise or disturbance, as it can have a negative impact on the plants. Observing your plants’ response to your interactions and adjusting accordingly is the best way to determine how often you should engage in conversations with them.

5. Can talking to plants replace proper care and maintenance?

No, talking to plants should not replace proper care and maintenance. While talking to plants may create a positive environment, they still require appropriate light, water, and nutrients to thrive. It is important to provide them with the necessary conditions for growth, such as placing them in the right location, watering them adequately, and ensuring they receive sufficient sunlight. Talking to plants should be seen as an additional form of care and not a substitute for their basic needs.

6. Can plants differentiate between different voices?

Plants do not have the ability to differentiate between different voices. They lack the auditory system to process and interpret sound in the same way humans do. However, plants can respond to vibrations and certain frequencies of sound, including human voices. Therefore, it is possible that different voices may have varying effects on plants, but this is more likely due to the overall energy and tone of the voice rather than the individual characteristics of the voice itself.

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