Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.
Whoever made this declaration could not have possibly imagined how this would ring true not just about humans but the flora too! Whether we are in a melancholic mood or going through a gleeful phase, music remains a perpetual companion. So wouldn’t it be a wonderful idea to give your plants some soulful music too! Plants are much more aware of their surroundings than we think.
The phenomenon of arranging music for plants might seem absurd to many of you but, to go on record, plants have a predilection for music. Scientists have discovered that the harmonic effect of a melodious tunes caters to an affirmative physiology for the plants.
The effect of Music on Plants:
The first experiment of music on plants was conducted by Dr. T. C Singh in 1962. He found that plants have sensory perceptions and reacted to sound waves and vibrations when they are exposed to music from recorders. The balsam plants that were the object of his study augmented 20% in height and 72% in biomass on listening to classical music.
Later, he repeated his experiment only with the exception of ragas played on flute, violin, veena and harmonium. This time too, the plants did not turn him down and they responded with bounty growth. After clearing through these successful experiments he testified that even the classical dance, ‘Bharatnatyam’ will propel plant growth.
In 1973, Dorothy Retallack initiated an experiment with the same species of plants in different laboratories and employing different genres of music. Her path breaking experiment went to shed light that plants which were exposed to classical music have a better growth rate. They grew twice as healthy and robust, exuding positive energy. However, plants that were on a staple diet of rock music soon hit rock bottom as they became pallid and finally died!
Even plants have a refined taste for classical music! But if you think that is all, then here comes the googly: plants that were privileged to immerse into the sedative allure of classical music grew towards the radio that was playing the music much like a sunflower that would grow facing the sun. She has documented her series of experiments in the much acclaimed book ‘The Sound of Music and Plants’.
If you’re wondering how this magic happens, let me explain: Practically plants do not possess any mechanism to hear the sound but they can sense the vibrations. So when music is played, the sound waves travel through the air and are received by the protoplasm of the plant. The protoplasm is in a state of eternal movement. This creates a condition for accelerated manufacture and mobility of plant nutrients. Hence, the result is a plant that boasts of vitality. The oscillating sound frequencies stirs up the movement of cytoplasm located within the plants.
Seeds exposed to music have gone on to exhibit bigger size and leafy foliage on germination.
Where can this be useful?
Whether it’s a crop field or the miniscule garden in your room, or the kitchen garden in your backyard, you can treat your plants to music. If you have a balcony garden, then install music system and play music for two-three hours daily. If you are the owner of a lavish landscaped garden, then the symphony in the garden will become an ambient music with the playlist comprising of Ravi Shankar to Hariprasad Chaurasia and from Mozart to Beethoven.
Just image the visual of a serene ambience that not just pleases the flora but also the guests who drop by. However, don’t overdose the plants with music or else it will produce reverse effects! Also remember that plants can’t stand noise and wither away so don’t even think of playing rock music even if that defines your music taste. You can try out Jazz too. The genre is flora-friendly.
In Kolkata, Mohor Kunja has ambient music of Rabindrasangeet and it is evident the plants glow with health. For those of you who have visited the place, now you have the answer.
P.S. The bird songs have similar impact.