Talking to plants

100316 Daffodil

My first blooming daffodil of the season!

Tonight I heard Jennifer McLean share her observation about a tree she loves.  She lives in an upper level apartment from which she can see this particular tree.  Yesterday she was comparing a similar tree in the same position relative to another apartment building.  She noticed the tree she loves is twice as tall as the comparison tree and is leaning toward her apartment building.  Because both trees have the same sun exposure and the same distance from their respective apartment building, Jennifer was able to rule out other typical growth influences.

What a testimonial for talking to and befriending a tree–or other plant!

This morning I received a forwarded e-mail about a study of plants’ response to the human voice.  From the June 20, 2009 issue of The Times online from the UK . . . .

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) conducted a month-long study of the human voice on tomato plants.  Recordings were made of ten volunteers reading passages from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids and Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.  Each plant “listened” to a different recording through the headphones of an MP3 player attached to its pot at root level.  The plants were kept in the same greenhouse and measured before, during and after the experiment.  Control plants were not exposed to the sound of a human voice.  In addition to finding that plants who “heard” the recordings grew more than the control plants, another result was “female voices had the edge over male voices in helping plants grow.”

Wow!  Two marvelous stories in one day!  I naturally talk to my plants, especially the ones which are newly sprouting in the vegetable garden.  At this time of year, I greet and welcome each sprouting flower bulb.  Since I planted these bulbs within the past year, I optimistically envision and encourage each bulb to flower beautifully and multiply quickly to fill in the landscape which has been “barren” from when this house was constructed  in the mountains of North Carolina.

Tulip sproutingNow I wonder what will happen when I listen (more closely) to a plant’s response to my comments directed toward it.

Do you have any fun stories of plants responding to your voice?

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