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Should you play music for plants?

Updated: May 14, 2023

Around here, music is constantly playing.

My son has even come home from friends' houses and talked about how strange it is that some people live so quietly. From morning playlists to ending the day with jazz, we have a playlist for everything.

And that got me thinking. Is there such a thing as music for plants? And does playing music for your flowers make any difference?

What kind of music is best for growing plants?

The truth is, there isn't really a ‘best’ type of music for growing plants.

I’ve seen some gardeners promise that classical music or jazz is good for plants, or that certain frequencies or rhythms can help them grow. But there's just not enough scientific evidence to back up those claims.

So there’s no need to set up a speaker system in your greenhouse just yet.

Do plants like music?

Some studies found that playing music for plants can increase their growth rate, while others report no significant difference.

Some researchers believe that the vibrations created by music may help strengthen the plants' cell walls. And others propose that sound waves may stimulate the release of hormones that promote growth.

One of the most recent studies agrees that more evidence is needed, but it’s hopeful that “sound possesses a huge potential for reducing the use of pesticides, fertilizers and other hazardous chemicals to boost agriculture.”

Can you imagine a day without pesticides? A day where Janet Jackson is played across farms globally? Wow. What a day.

Unfortunately, the evidence is mixed and more research is needed to understand the full effects of music on plants. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a few bops on the radio while you sow seeds, water and turn your compost pile.

The most important thing for plants is to have the right kind of light, temperature, water, and nutrients. So, while it might be fun to play some tunes for your plants, they'll probably do just fine without it.

What’s the science behind music and plants?

It’s not just you and I wondering about music and its relationship with plants. Real scientists have spent real money trying to figure it out.

One study, published in the journal Current Science (2005) found that playing classical music for plants increased their growth rate compared to plants that were not exposed to music.

Another study, published in the journal The Journal of Experimental Botany (2008) found that a combination of classical, pop and devotional music had a positive effect on the photosynthetic process and increased the chlorophyll content of the plants.

A study published in the journal Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants (2016) found that plants exposed to instrumental music with a frequency range of 20-20,000 Hz. had a higher rate of photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and relative water content.

On the other hand, a study published in the journal Environmental and Experimental Botany (2010) found that playing a variety of music including classical, rock, and pop for plants had no significant effect on their growth or overall health.

So that sounds kind of promising, right?

Before you dig out your old Whitney albums or stream the latest Harry Styles single, remember that some of these studies were conducted under laboratory conditions and the results may not be the same for plants growing in your borders and containers.

Besides the specific lab conditions, these results were based on certain plants… not every perennial in the world. And we’re not even sure if they fertilized the plants, etc. There’s a lot more to it than just a great song.

Do plants actually react to music?

I’d love to say yes (and a lot of gardening bloggers do say yes).

But it’s not totally clear if plants actually react to music. Some studies have shown that plants might move a bit or change direction when they hear certain sounds, but there’s just not enough evidence to say that all plants will grow better with music.

But don't worry, even if your plants don't care about your playlists, if you give them the right light, temperature, water and nutrients, they'll be just fine.

And while you wait for more concrete research to emerge, feel free to put on your favorite summer jams when hanging out with your plants.

If you need a few new ones to add to your gardening playlist, check out the top 10 songs with lyrics about plants and flowers below.

Top 10 songs with lyrics about plants or flowers

  1. “Daisy” by Wyatt Espalin — A song about the beauty of a daisy and how strong it is. And it’s secretly talking about a person and her strength.

  2. "Blackbird" by The Beatles — The lyrics of the song allude to a blackbird singing, and it's often interpreted as a metaphor for freedom and the beauty of nature.

  3. "Flower" by Moby — The lyrics of the song talk about the beauty and fragility of a flower, and the way that the singer wants to protect it.

  4. "The Rose" by Bette Midler — The lyrics of the song talk about the rose as a symbol of love and beauty, and how it represents the ups and downs of a relationship.

  5. "Flower of Scotland" by The Corries —The lyrics of the song are about the national flower of Scotland, the thistle, and it's often seen as a symbol of Scottish pride and identity.

  6. "Wildflowers" by Tom Petty — The lyrics of the song are about the beauty of wildflowers and how they represent the freedom and simplicity of nature.

  7. "Plant a Radish" by Stephen Sondheim — The lyrics of the song are a humorous take on gardening and the process of planting and growing radishes.

  8. "The Garden" by Mirah — The lyrics of the song allude to a garden, and it's often interpreted as a metaphor for love and growth.

  9. "The Flowers" by Pavement — The lyrics of the song are about the beauty of flowers, and how they represent the fleeting nature of life.

  10. "Flower" by Prince — The lyrics of the song talk about the beauty and sensuality of a flower, and the way that the singer wants to enjoy it.

15 songs with flower in the lyrics or title

And what about flowers?

Here are 15 songs with flower in the title. Add them to your gardening playlist and see if you notice anything growing at super speeds. If you do, let me know in the comments below!

  1. "Flower" by Moby

  2. "Black Flower in the White House" by Ani DiFranco

  3. "Flower" by Madonna

  4. "Flower of the Mountain" by Fleet Foxes

  5. "Black Flowers" by Joe Bonamassa

  6. "Flower of Life" by Loreena McKennitt

  7. "Wildwood Flower" by Johnny Cash

  8. "The Flower of My Secret" by Spain

  9. "Flower of the Universe" by Sade

  10. "Flower of the Night" by Tangerine Dream

  11. "The Flower Duet" by Léo Delibes

  12. "Flower of Scotland" by Runrig

  13. "The Flowers" by Elton John

  14. "Flowers in the Window" by Travis

  15. "The Flower of Carnage" by Shostakovich

My gardening playlist

If the songs above don’t do it for you, give my playlist a listen.

We’ve curated smooth R&B and mellow grooves to make every gardening activity enjoyable… and that includes pulling weeds.


Welcome to my garden

Hi! I'm Lars (Denmark).

Thanks for joining me as I share tips and inspiration for perennial gardening. 

Click below to see what's growing in my garden right now? 

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