Do petunias like pop, roses like rock and carnations crave classical? Some people think so. ANTONY CLAY tunes in to find out more
NEARLY half of British people play music to their plants — and singer Lewis Capaldi is the most popular performer for the floral fans.
It is well known that plenty of people talk to plants — the Prince of Wales famously admitting to doing so — and scientists have been trying to work out whether they respond to a good tune.
The impact of plants on the pop charts is yet to be properly determined — though sarcastic people might sneer that there are plenty of vegetables involved in the music biz anyway.
But it seems that more and more people hope to make their plants fitter and happier by offering up a nice piece of classical, pop or rock.
Floristry shop Pointless Plants carried out a survey of so-called plant parents to determined how musically-minded they were and how many offered their favourite musical recordings to their floral charges to enjoy.
A Pointless Plants spokesman said: “It may sound daft, but with so many of us becoming plant parents, we’re seeing some unusual trends when it comes to keeping our plants strong and healthy.
“Pointless Plants surveyed 1,150 plant parents between the ages of 25-34 to reveal that 48 per cent admit that they’ve played their plants music to stimulate growth.
“When asked, have you ever played music specifically for your plants to stimulate growth, 48 per cent of respondents admitted that yes they had.”
The Top 10 most popular musicians which plant parents said they played to make their plants grow was:
Lewis Capaldi – 62 per cent
BTS – 55 per cent
Taylor Swift – 51 per cent
Tame Impala – 40 per cent
Elton John – 37 per cent
Stormzy – 32 per cent
Rihanna – 28 per cent
Fleetwood Mac – 22 per cent
David Bowie – 19 per cent
The Weeknd – 7 per cent
Nathan Raab, managing director of at Pointless Plants, said: “Caring for plants is not only a soothing hobby, it’s one that can make us feel miles away from our busy, home-working lives of Zoom calls and Team meet-ups.
“Like any type of parenting, there’s a sense of responsibility that comes with it. As we look for creative ways to keep our plants growing strong, we’re seeing some unusual trends as a result. Many of us now name our plants — believing the personal touch will help us bond with, and care for our plants. Some of us have gone one step further: talking to our plants to soothe them into growing.
“And others have gone further still: playing music to our plants to encourage them to grow. While there’s debate over whether playing music to our leafy friends is actually likely to lead to a growth spurt, we’re fascinated by how many of us are now serenading our plants — and exactly which bands or artists are a hit with our potted pals.
“Okay, so the impact of music on plant growth has been hotly debated by scientists for decades, with numerous studies conducted to find out if different vibrations can really stimulate growth.
“We’re definitely on the side of ‘yes, play that funky music, planty’, but whether or not the science behind plant music is legit, it’s clear that us Brits are using music as a way to stimulate our plants. When asked ‘have you played music specifically for plants’, almost half of those surveyed admitted that yes, they had.
“Whether the bands and singers have a beneficial impact on our plants. or whether they just remain popular musicians to play while we garden, your guess is as good as ours. But the results make it clear that plant care is all about creativity and a good old fashioned dose of music.”
There have been scientific studies which suggested that playing music for plants is a great way to boost their growth.
In 1962, Indian botanist Dr T C Singh found that his balsam plants grew 20 per cent more when he played them classical music. Experimenting with different plants and different kinds of music, Dr Singh concluded that music did help plants to grow.
In 1973, Dorothy Retallack, a student at Colorado Women’s College split test plants up so they received different kinds of sound. The suggestion was that plants did respond to sound and that classical music had a better effect on plants than rock music where the plants died sooner.
Obviously plants do not have ears so it is possible that they respond to the vibrations of the music.
Head researcher at Plant Life Balance, Dr Dominique Hes, said that plants thrive with music that falls between 115Hz and 250Hz, possibly because these vibrations come closest to mimicking the sounds of nature.
She said that classical is the best music to play to plants — but that they should not have music played to them for more than three hours a day.
SOME PLANT-BASED MUSICAL SUGGESTIONS:
Robert PLANT and Jimmy SAGE
GERANIUM and the Pacemakers
Nick Cave and the Bad SEEDS
Mike FLOWER’S Pops
New ORCHIDS on the Block
SOME SONG SUGGESTIONS FOR PLANTS:
FLOWERS in the Rain
TULIPS from Amsterdam
TULIP up Fatty
Show Me The Way to AMARYLLIS
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear FLOWERS In Your Hair)
Where Have All the FLOWERS Gone
Kiss from a ROSE
LILY The Pink
Living on a PRAYER PLANT
BEGONIA the Beguine
Thank You BERRY Much