Experiments in horticulture have been nothing if not interesting over the years. During the 1980s, you heard a lot about how plants loved classical music, and they grew better when you played it for them. Meanwhile, the experts said that rock music kills plants.
Does rock music kill plants? No conclusive evidence exists either way. Some studies suggest that loud and aggressive metal music has been shown to kill plants. You have other studies where playing Black Sabbath even showed positive growth for the plant. It needs more testing.
Why Does No Conclusive Evidence Exist?
It could be that music doesn’t affect plants either way. It neither affects them negatively or positively. This could explain why rock music seemed to kill plants in one study when it led to the plants doing well in another study.
One of the things that we must remember with science is that we don’t put forth theories to prove ourselves right. We must continually seek to prove ourselves wrong. In fact, the strength and quality of our thoughts and theories rest on that principle.
The fact that you get inconclusive evidence suggests one of two things. Either the plants don’t get affected much by music either way, or the people who conducted the research from one of the studies biased the results in either direction.
Test It for Yourself
Especially when you have a non-conclusive study where the evidence points in both directions, one of the things that you can do is to test it for yourself to learn if rock music kills plants. In this way, too, you can learn if it has a negative effect on plants.
No one can fool you either when you conduct the same experiment, and it can be a lot of fun.
The Studies Conducted
Researchers from the MSU’s Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Wildlife conducted a study where they looked at how rock and country music had an impact on soybean plants. They also did the sounds of the city to see if it had any affect whatsoever.
In this study, researchers found how plants exposed to AC/DC for two weeks in a row started to deteriorate. As the lady beetles came around less, the aphids surged, and this led to mass harm of the plants. Country music, meanwhile, had no effect either way.
You have another study from the Journal of Integrative Agriculture. During this study, they played sound at 100 dB and 1 kHz. When researchers looked at this more deeply, they discovered how endogenous hormones and protective enzymes had been enhanced, which may have led to a greater crop yield for a number of plants like spinach, cucumber, tomato, cotton and rice.
This shows us how plants may be unaffected by music at all. Some people really believe this, but it can be a fun experiment to play Black Sabbath and Mozart for two weeks to see what kind of impact it might have on your plants.
Why Certain Music Could Harm Plants
While plants themselves might act as a more neutral party, you do have one thing that could have an impact on them–the bugs! Lady beetles, for example, may dislike the loud and noisy music that you’d get with an AC/DC album, and it repels them, which could have a direct impact on the health of plants.
With that said, it has also been shown that the noise from farm equipment and other common noises can have a negative impact on the lady beetles, which has an impact on the plants because the lady beetles don’t eat the aphids.
Sharks Attracted to Heavy Metal
Perhaps it could even depend on the species of plant because one study found how great white sharks were attracted to heavy metal. That’s strangely appropriate.
Researchers learned how great white sharks were attracted to the low frequency vibrations of heavy metal music. They use this to detect shoals of fish when hunting.
Could it have less to do with the music played and more with the types of sound vibrations that it transmits to the plant? We know for a fact that music is basically vibration.
Evidence Counter to the Theory That Rock Music Kills Plants
Despite some of the evidence that says rock music kills plants, you have evidence that runs counter to this. Chris Beardshaw, a garden guru, for example, conducted a horticultural experiment where he played Black Sabbath music, which caused blooms in the plants.
Meanwhile, Beardshaw’s experiment found how easy listening like Cliff Richard could kill off the plants. Beardshaw is a reputable gardener, which makes the evidence from before difficult to prove or disprove. It shows us how it could be possible that plants don’t get effected either way.
Because of the evidence that points in all directions and we don’t really know, one of the things that people can do is to have fun and try to find out for themselves if rock music can, in fact, kill their plants. However, it is recommended that you do this with plants that you don’t care as much for.
How Classical Music Differs from Rock Music
If you were to look at the evidence overall, most studies seem to suggest that classical music has a more positive effect on plants. They bear more fruit, and they do better in general.
One thing, however, is that if you look at the same plants that were exposed to classical and rock music, you often can’t tell much difference between them. They look the same. That is what has led some researchers to conclude that it doesn’t make much difference at all what type of music you choose for your plant.
Most research suggests that classical music has the edge over rock music. They have found that the plant produces better fruit, and it looks healthier, but most studies seem to have found different things, which calls a lot of the evidence into question.
The one thing that we have to keep in mind is how nothing has been proven conclusively either way. You can’t necessarily say that rock music has caused plants to produce more fruit, and you can’t necessarily say that it hasn’t either.
Many studies have been done, but all of them have shown conflicting evidence. There’s too much differences in evidence, which means that if we were to do an experiments on this, we would want to do it in a way where we could prove the evidence in another way. For example, what would be the effect of plants that listened to binaural beats? What could further this research would be if we were to test music on plants in new and interesting ways outside of the common genres like rock, classical, country and jazz.
In all likelihood, it is a myth that rock music kills plants because plants don’t seem to care either way.