So, obviously, watering your plants and making sure they get the right amount of sun is key to keeping them alive. But if you’re looking to take your plant parenting skills to the next level, you can get a bit more intimate with your potted pals. While naming your plants can make you more likely to provide them with diligent care, playing music for plants might just help them grow.
No, your plants don’t have ears. For them, it’s all about the vibrations.
“People have theorized those vibrations can help to stimulate the plant, causing movement and potential growth,” says Erin Marino, director of brand marketing at The Sill. “Again, this is a theory and there has been no conclusive scientific evidence, but it’s not far-fetched to believe plants can have responses to environmental stimuli.”
The idea began gaining traction when The Secret Life of Plants ($17) was published in 1973. Written by Christopher Bird and Peter Tompkins, the book is described as “a fascinating account of the physical, emotional, and spiritual relations between plants and man.” There have been numerous studies done on this subject, but as Marino points out, none with the rigor to yield conclusive results.
“It’s a really interesting idea that should be explored further,” says Marino. “I might be biased towards plants, but they’ve already proven how incredible they are. I would not be surprised if there are many things we do not know about a plant’s relationship to its surroundings. I like to think plants are more ‘aware’ of us than we know!”
Even if this isn’t the most scientifically sound activity, it probably won’t hurt your plants to play them some tunes. “It might even positively add to your care routine,” says Marino. “For example, you might find that ‘chore’ becomes more relaxing and something you look forward to each week.”
Some studies say certain frequencies are better for certain plants, but we’re not gonna get that deep into this. “Some studies caution against loud, rock music, but knowing some plant parents on The Sill team that like to jam out at home, and how wonderful their plant collections are, I don’t think you have to worry about playing the music you prefer,” says Marino. To get you started, you’ll find a few albums below that are perfect for your leafy companions.
Music for plants
A Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants by Stevie Wonder
Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder recorded the soundtrack to accompany The Secret Life of Plants documentary. According to Pitch Fork, the film “never got a wide release in theaters and was never put out on VHS, DVD, or made available on streaming services.” Though critics were brutal when this album came out, it’s pretty nice on the ears. It’s got that signature Stevie Wonder understated funk and Solange even credited the album as an influence for her most recent work, When I Get Home. A Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants is available to stream on Spotify, YouTube Music, and Apple Music.
Mother Earth’s Plantasia by Mort Garson
This 1976 album has become a collector’s treasure. The synthy sounds aren’t the best I’ve ever heard, but it wasn’t designed for me, or humans for that matter—it was made for plants. With tunes like “Symphony for a Spider Plant” and “You Don’t Have To Walk a Begonia,” you’re bound to find a tune that your plant vibes with. Fittingly, NPR reports that the album was only for sale at Mother Earth plant store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles (or it came for free if you ordered a Simmons mattress from Sears). In the decades since it became a favorite elusive find for record and CD collectors. But last year, the album was re-released by the Brooklyn-based Sacred Bones Records. It is available to stream on Spotify, YouTube Music, and Apple Music.
Music for Plants: To Stimulate Plant Growth, Plant Music & Music for Gardens by Nature Song Artists
If you think your plants prefer more dulcet tunes, turn to this 2010 album by Nature Song Artists. The instrumental album features songs soothing enough to meditate to. Take a seat, set your intention, and join your plants on a mindful journey. If seated meditation isn’t your jam, just caring for your plants counts as a form of active meditation. It is available to stream on Spotify and YouTube Music.
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