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Music: The Fuel for Plant Souls
Plants and Music
Do your gardenias grooves to Gershwin or your marigoldsmelt to Mozart? Perhaps your peonies perk up to Pavarottiand your roses rock out to the Ramones? There is muchspeculation in the scientific community, but many gardenersswear music will revive wilting plants and urge flowers tobloom. In 1973, the revolutionary book The Sound of Musicand Plants was written by Dorothy Retallack on scientificexperiments involving plants and music.
Retallack's book was based not on myths but facts. Yes, sheconducted experiments to come to the conclusion that musichas an everlasting affect on plants. Retallack placedplants of same species in three separate laboratories atthe Colorado Women's College, Denver. She played differentdurations of music to each plant and analyzed their growthpattern. What she observed was that the plant that listenedto music three hours a day grew thrice as large and twiceas strong as the plant that was placed in the music-freeenvironment.
Dorothy Retallack tried experimenting with different typesof music. She played rock to one group of plants andsoothing music to another. The group that heard rock turnedout to be sickly and small whereas the other group grewlarge and healthy. What's more surprising is that the groupof plants listening to the soothing music grew bendingtowards the radio just as they bend towards the sunlight.
This experiment was a great eye-opener for plant lovers.They started playing music to their plants and stronglyrecommended others to do the same and also pick the righttype of music for your plants. Remember that slow andsoothing music has a beneficial effect on plants, and loudand jarring music has a harmful effect on them. Anotherpoint to be considered is the length of time to play musicto the plants. Dorothy Retallack showed through herexperiments that about three hours of music a day is justright. More than that would damage the growth of yourplants. As a rule, plants have shown the best response toclassical music. That is why plant lovers like to playMozart, Bach and Beethoven rather than more boisterousmusic.
Although music is not an absolutely proven factor in plantdevelopment, several studies, along with DorothyRetallack's groundbreaking series of experiments, haveaided the musical development theory. If you areinterested in exploring this option with your owngarden, consult The Sound of Music and Plants or otherresources to ensure you expose your plants to the optimaltype of music for the appropriate amount of time.
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