Plants require nurturing, just like all of us do. We water plants, place them in the sunlight, and provide them nutrients. But is that the only things that we can do for our plants? Recent scientific evidence has shown signs that plants can hear! This means that talking to our plants might not be considered far-fetched anymore.
How does it work?
Plants can tell when the weather is changing, as they take cover and protect themselves. But can they tell if sound is being directed at them? Even though plants do not have ears as humans and animals do, they do have the capability of hearing sounds. This happens through very small vibrations that occur through their leaves. They are able to distinguish when people talk to them. Plants can also hear predators, and can prepare themselves for that.
Hearing a predator
As opposed to customary belief, plants have their own form of defense against predators. When plants hear chewing sounds nearby, they start to produce chemicals that turn their leaves into something more toxic. At the University of Missouri, a study was conducted involving two groups of plants and caterpillars. With one group of plants, the biologists synthesized the sound that a chewing caterpillar would make. The other group was left in silence. Later, caterpillars were released on both groups of plants. The first group (that heard the fake noise previously) produced more toxic chemicals than the second group.
Not much is known about how plants can distinguish noise and sounds. It is thought that plants can hear sound through proteins, which cause the vibration in the leaves. Despite the many unconcluded hypotheses, it is understood that plants can communicate among themselves. When they sense danger, they are able to release certain chemicals into the air. These chemicals are sensed by the neighboring plants, so the messaged is relayed.
Can music help plants grow?
There have been many experiments relating to the idea of helping plants grow with music or singing. Although some experiments have resulted in an increase in plant growth, there is little scientific evidence to back this up. The growth could have happened due to multiple external factors, there is no way to tell whether music had any effect with it.
Talking to your plants
There is one known benefit to talking to your plants. When you speak (or sing), you are producing carbon dioxide from your body. If you are close to a plant, they can use this to benefit you. Plants are able to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, which enables us to breathe. So although there is no proven advantage to the plant, at least you are making it easier for you and your family to breathe.
Plants are seemingly simple organisms, but they have many well-kept secrets. With new breakthroughs in scientific research happening every day, it is likely that we will soon find out more about the relationship between plants and sound.