Music has had an effect on humans for centuries and has been an integral part of culture. Few people know, however, that music can also affect the growth and health of plants. Plants can respond positively to some sounds and negatively to others.
In a study conducted by Dorothy Retallack in 1973 at the Colorado Woman's College in Denver (see dovesong.com), it was found that plants responded well to ambient, classical or North Indian classical music by artists such as Ravi Shankar. When the music was played, the plants leaned toward the sound.
In Retallack's study, plants were played music by Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Plants responded negatively to both rock and acid rock by leaning away from music.
Plants responded best when music was played for short periods, about 3 hours at a time. However, plants died within 14 days when music was played continuously for 8 hours, according to Retallack's study. Plants that weren't played any music didn't do as well as plants that were played music in short intervals.
Country and western music had neither positive nor negative effects on plants' growth, according to Retallack's study.
In a study published in volume 10, issue 1, of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, it was found that healing energy directed toward okra and zucchini seeds had a significant effect on their germination, just as music did, compared to untreated plants.
- Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
- Dove Song Foundation Library
- Music and the Brain
positive effects of music, negative effects of music, effect of music on plants
About this Author
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for over 15 years. Coe is the former publisher of the politics and art magazine Flesh from Ashes. She has worked to protect water and air quality. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University.