Love your house plants, but occasionally see one wilt despite your best efforts? Other than watering your house plants adequately, giving them fertilizer, and making sure they get enough light, what else can you do to care for your house plants and help them bloom and grow?
The answer might lie in how we see plants, and how we treat them. A new area of research called plant neurobiology has revealed that plants have all the senses of humans, and then some. “In addition to hearing, taste, for example, they can sense gravity, the presence of water, or even feel that an obstruction is in the way of its roots, before coming into contact with it.” If you’re interested, read this fascinating article as well as this piece in the New Yorker magazine for more on how plants even have the ability to learn and retain memory!
While research is not conclusive yet, all the evidence gathered so far do point to how plants actually do respond to people and their environments. Perhaps you can try out some of these unconventional ways that you might not have thought of, that could actually help your plants thrive!
1. Name them. Not only for their benefit, but for yours too! Giving them a name might actually help you to ‘humanize’ them, and to develop a bond… You might actually start remembering to water them more often, especially if that’s been tricky for you!
2. Play music to them. The popular TV program Mythbusters produced an episode that tested whether plants responded to music. “To their surprise, the silent greenhouse performed poorest, producing lower biomass and smaller pea pods than the other two. Although there was no difference in plant quality between the nice greenhouse and the mean greenhouse, the soundtracks seemed to produce a positive effect in both.” Plants seem to respond to the vibrations of music, so start playing on that piano or enjoy your favorite music together with your plant. It might not bob along to the music with you, but it might be spurred on to grow faster!
3. Talk to them. There’s just something about talking to your plants that makes them grow, according to research by the Royal Horticultural Society. “Researchers discovered that talking to your plants really can help them grow faster. They also found that plants grow faster to the sound of a female voice than to a male voice.” Well, we all know that female voices are definitely more pleasant to listen to – and plants seem to concur. So why not whisper some sweet nothings to them in your spare time?
Do give these methods a try and let us know whether they work – we have a feeling that your house plants will appreciate the attention either way!