Tips and resources for farmers and gardeners
Talking to Plants
"I just come and talk to the plants, really. Very important to talk to them; they respond."
The theory that plants benefit from human conversation dates to 1848, when German professor Gustav Fechner published the book "Nanna (Soul-life of Plants)." The idea is a popular one, and has spawned several more books and even an album — recorded in 1970 by an enterprising dentist — titled "Music to Grow Plants By." But will crooning compliments to your ficus really have any effect on its growth?
"Plants exposed to wind produce a growth-retardant hormone called ethylene, which causes the plant to be shorter and to have thicker stems. So plants exposed to wind can better survive very windy conditions."
As to another popular theory, that plants respond to the carbon dioxide produced by human speech, Marini isn't buying it. Carbon dioxide levels do influence the rate of plant photosynthesis, he explained, but "people would have to speak to their plants for at least several hours a day to enhance photosynthesis enough to influence plant growth."
Of course, all the good vibrations in the world aren’t going to help the plants if people forget to water them. The bottom line?
"The best thing people can do to help their plants grow is provide them with light, water, and mineral nutrition," said Marini.
While the studies suggest that sound may spur plants to faster growth, there is no definitive evidence that a gift of gab will turn people into green thumbs. Ideal conditions for growth have more to do with temperature than talk. But if you want to whisper sweet nothings to your begonias, well, nobody's stopping you.
Source: Research Penn State
The Secret Life of Plants
The Lost Language of Plants
Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm
Plant Spirit Shamanism
Music To Grow Plants To
You Talking to Me?
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