[O]verdure: Plants need music too

Identifying the music behavior of plant-heads

Birdsong, the beat of wings aflutter, the rustling of the leaves, brawling river, chirping crickets, crackling fire, and the whispers of the wind make up the ensemble of nature. This symphony orchestra plays for itself, a mechanism of the world for self-nurture and, perhaps, indulgence.

Plants are astounding organisms. Despite not having a central nervous system or braincells, they are capable of sensing their surroundings. They perceive light, scent, touch, wind, gravity, and are even responsive to sounds. Several studies prove that music helps plants grow faster. To be more accurate, vibrations from sound waves produce movement in plant cells, which stimulates the plant to process more nutrients.

But what of domesticated plants? Out of the wild and into the concrete jungle, how can houseplants have access to the beautiful songs of nature? Apparently, man’s music would do just fine.

Since last year, plant care has become one of the most enjoyed leisure activities to alleviate people’s anxiety and boredom due to the pandemic. Everyone has been spending way more time indoors due to lockdown and quarantine protocols. Houseplants and their care have bloomed into a healthy hobby for homes all over, the Philippines included.

For those who may not know, famous audio streaming and media service provider Spotify has a dedicated playlist for plants! In the past year, streams of the playlist called “Music for Plants” rocketed nearly 1,400 percent. A global survey conducted by the digital music service revealed that 21 percent of plantitos and plantitas everywhere tried talking to their plants over the last year. Luckily, none of the plants responded. At least for now.

Some of the tracks from the playlist mimic the sound of nature, arranged in such a way that people can enjoy them too.

For listeners who may have developed a passion for plant parenting this past year, the Music for Plants playlist has plenty of good vibrations for our homegrown foliage, and for plant parents as well. The latest listening data and audience research from Spotify affirm how popular houseplants and their care have become over the past 12 months all over the world.

This main playlist sends good vibes to plants, plantitos, and plantitas alike.

Listening data showed that morning is the most popular time for Spotify users to play audio to their plants from the playlist, and the audience data found one in 10 (12 percent) of people worldwide have tried using audio content (music or podcasts) to care for their plants in the past year, while one in five (21 percent) have been talking to their houseplants more.

Users of the app have also created their own plant playlists. An extra nugget of knowledge, some of the most popular houseplants that saw playlists created for them worldwide are jasmine, followed by ivy, and vanda.

A quarter of the respondents or 28 percent to be precise, felt that caring for plants offers more purpose in life. One in four people globally believes they will carry their passion for houseplants long into the future.



In the Philippines, more than 23 percent of those surveyed revealed that they have bought more houseplants during the past year because they are spending more time at home during the health crisis. Meanwhile, 18 percent said they are taking more pride in their plants than ever before.

The Music for Plants playlist has mellow vibrations for green leaves, green thumbs, and green ears, including music and soundscapes carefully handpicked to help encourage growth.

Over 2.9 million user-generated playlists on Spotify are related to gardening and plants. Among the popular picks user have been adding to their own playlists are “Ivy” by Frank Ocean, “Such Great Heights” by Iron & Wine, “Butterfly Effect” by Travis Scott, “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, “Garden (Say It Like Dat)” by SZA, “Here Comes the Sun (Remastered 2009)” by The Beatles, “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen, “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Rose Garden” by Lynn Anderson, and “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac.

Streams of Mort Garson’s 1976 classic plant album Mother Earth’s Plantasia, which features tracks like “Symphony for Spider Plant” and “Concerto for Philodendron & Pothos,” is up more than 40 percent this 2021. Data also say that the top five genres of music for plants on the audio streaming platform include fourth world, art pop, background music, ambient, and lo-fi beats.

Another takeaway from the survey is that green thumbs are extremely meticulous. Consumers have been naming their playlists with the plants they use them for.