It's true! Talking to your plants can actually help them grow faster, based on results from multiple studies.

In a month-long study done by the Royal Horticultural Society, they recorded 10 people, both men and women. The recordings were played through headphones that were each attached to a tomato plant's pot (one plant per person). The same tomato variety was used, same soil, same care regimen, etc. For a control, they included two plants that were not read to. Oddly enough, they found that the sound of a female voice seems to be more beneficial to growth than the sound of a male voice. At the month's end, the plants that were attached to female voices grew about an inch taller than those attached to a male voice on average.

In another study, researchers from South Korea's National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology discovered that music stimulates plant growth, and the growth appeared to be connected to two genes relevant to how plants respond to sunlight.

"Mythbusters" even got in on the action! The TV show did a study in where 60 pea plants were divided amongst three greenhouses. In one greenhouse they played recordings of people complimenting the plants. In another, the recordings spewed insults at the plants. The third greenhouse was a control and had no recordings played. After two months, the plants showed greater growth in the two greenhouses with the recordings, and showed the least growth in the control greenhouse, suggesting that it doesn't necessarily matter what is being said.

Dr. Dominique Hes, a biophilia expert and lead researcher at Horticulture Innovation Australia’s Plant Life Balance said, “Plants probably don’t hear like we do, but some research shows that speaking nicely to plants will support their growth, whereas yelling at them won’t. Rather than the meaning of words, however, this may have more to do with vibrations and volume. Plants react favorably to low levels of vibrations, around 115-250hz being ideal.”

Could this be the reason for the Royal Horticultural Society's findings on female voices vs male voices? I imagine the vibrations would differ slightly. Talk about good vibrations!

 

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