Monday, 22 Jun, 2009 Science

Plants Enjoy Women's Voices More than Men's


Plants grow faster if you talk to them and the effect is even better if you're a woman. Researchers at Royal Horticultural Society carried out an experiment to find that the voice of a woman gardener makes plants grow faster.

The experiment lasted a month and by the end of the study scientists managed to discover that tomato plants grew up 2 inch taller when women gardeners talked to them instead of male.

Sarah Darwin was the one of make the plants registered the best growth. Her voice was the most "inspiring" for plants than the voices of nine other gardeners when reading a passage from the On the Origin of Species. The great-great daughter of the famous botanist Charles Darwin found that her plant grew about two inches taller than the plant of the best male gardener.

Colin Crosbie, Garden Superintendent at RHS, said that the findings cannot yet be explained. He presumes that women have a greater range of pitch and tone which might have a certain effect on the sound waves that reach the plant. "Sound waves are an environmental effect just like rain or light," said Mr. Crosbie.

The study began in April at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey. Scientists started with open auditions for the people who were asked to record passages from John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids, Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream and Darwin's On the Origin of Species.

Afterwards researchers selected a number of different voices and played them to 10 tomato plants during a period of a month. Each plant had headphones connected to it. Through the headphones the sound waves could hit the plants. Scientists decided to leave two plants in silence, thus to be positive that the experiment is fair. It was discovered that plants that "listened" to female voices in average grew taller by an inch in comparison to plants that heard male voices.

Miss Darwin said: "I think it is an honor to have a voice that can make tomatoes grow, and especially fitting because for a number of years I have been studying wild tomatoes from the Galapagos Islands at the Natural History Museum in London."

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