Talk to Plants
Garden Clippings for Jan 27, 2018
Does it really help to talk to your plants?
Grandmothers are always right, but on the theory of plants growing better because they are being talked to, she might be wrong. It’s an age old theory, but so far there is no solid conclusive evidence that plants enjoy a good talking to.
Supposedly, there was once an official study done on the issue. Researchers had four similar greenhouses full of plants and gave them all the same light, water and nutrients. In one greenhouse they piped in classical music, in another heavy metal rock. The third played recordings of the spoken word in both guys and girls voices, and the last greenhouse was quiet.
You guessed it. There was no noticeable difference in plant growth.
Grandmothers would argue that piped in or recorded noise is not the same as the human voice. When we personally speak to plants, we exhale carbon dioxide, an essential ingredient for plant growth. It follows then that the more we chat with plants and the closer our mouths are to the plants we talk to, the better the plant growth.
I don’t know if there has ever been a study or experiment conducted where researchers or even grandmothers have recorded the growth of plants while talking to them. And I would hope that wise university researchers would find better things to study than the impact of the human voice on plants.
Others might argue that when we speak, we create sound waves that cause plants to vibrate, thus strengthening the plant. And we know that wind and movement is good for plants. But are the sound waves created by a human voice significant enough to impact plant growth? Will yelling at a plant yield more results than whispering? Probably not.
My theory, and I am sticking to it, is that when a grandmother speaks to plants, she is demonstrating that she has a personal vested interest in them. She loves them. While speaking to plants they receive attention in the form of water, sunlight, fertilizer, pruning and transplanting. She will turn the plants so they capture more sun. She mists them to raise the humidity level. She watches out for the first signs of insects and disease. She will re-pot them into more suitable containers to improve the plants’ health.
Grandma probably speaks to her cat the same way she speaks to her plants. And this self-professing non cat lover can hardly believe that talking to a cat improves its well-being.