Among themselves, plants have ways of looking out for each other and adapting for survival by sending signals through a perplexing myriad of pathways and mediums like soil and air. Some of the most brilliant minds have made discoveries that show plants are self-aware and may influence our behaviour and emotions more than we give them credit for.
Joel Sternheimer, a quantum physicist who has been pioneering a form of “protein” music for plants as a new agricultural technology to yield more crops, made an interesting discovery. While working with a protein for sunflowers, he was astonished to find that intervals matched those of the great classical and baroque music composer and violinist, Antonio Vivaldi’s Primavera arrangement. Vivaldi’s concerti mimicked the same sequence of a protein specific to sunflowers. Coincidentally, of the 46 plant species that have been identified in Botticelli’s renowned painting Primavera, one of those plants included was a sunflower. Which begets the question, did sunflowers subconsciously influence Vivaldi’s classical music masterpiece Primavera? Our environment largely influences us as much as we do it.
So how do we influence our friendly plants with our emotions?
We know plants respond to us from the most basic level of our physical caretaking to sharing our favourite classical music playlists with them. This is not to anthropomorphize plants – they don’t possess neurons the way the human brain does, or want to dress up like a pirate at Halloween. They share most of our senses and have at least 15 senses that are unique to the vegetal domain. Wielding such powerful abilities as calculating gravity and discerning mineral content on the fly, while we struggle with basic algebra, it might be a good bet to say plants have some sense of us.
Generally it is understood that our thoughts can be a powerful force. Just look around you. It’s been shown in numerous accredited studies that what we think and our intentions – in human terms – to love or harm them, specifically, can be sensed by plants.
You’ve likely heard many accounts of furry pets intuitively heading to wait by the door moments before their adoring people pull into the driveway. Imagine creating the type of love you have for a pet with your plants!
How about your broad leafed, prehistoric looking monstera plant opening the garage door for you upon arrival? They may not have legs to get up and greet you with a sloppy kiss but might express their love in more practical ways such as this. Pierre Sauvin, an electronics engineer with a great sense of humour, proved this was possible with his (pet) philodendron plant. Of course wiring was attached to enable this. It was his concentrated thoughts and the bond to his plant however that mobilized this miraculous mechanical feat. On another occasion, he was so connected to his plant that it allegedly registered an off the graph spike when Pierre was making love to his partner on a camping trip in another state. The effects of your thoughts can have the same effect if you are in the same room or on another continent, as was verified by a group of Russian scientists.
Humouring the spirit of romance for a moment, imagine serenading the spikes off a cactus. Convincing it that it would be taken care of and loved unconditionally, that it could trust, be vulnerable.
This is exactly what Luther Burbank did – the guy that created the Russet Potato – also known as the McDonalds French fry. He charmed his cacti with disarming expressions of love. The idea was to encourage the cactus to feel safe enough in his presence, removing the need to grow its protective prickly needles.
Burbank was shrewd with business and a master botanist that was not only behind one of our times guiltiest fast food pleasures, but hundreds of other well-known varieties of fruit and vegetables of the last two centuries. It is because of the importance he placed on developing a healthy bond between plants, which got him the specific results he was seeking.
So how do you form a relationship with your plant?
- Give it water, shelter and light according to its needs.
- Strike up a chat about your favourite classical music piece, or your ideas on what colour you should paint the wall. The carbon dioxide produced by your breath helps them flourish.
- Take a cue from all the above folk, just show them love like you would a friend or a beloved animal pet. A round of tennis or taking a walk may not be in the cards unless you’re incredibly imaginative.
If we can acknowledge this deeper level of connection to our plants, thought alone can do wonders, uttering a word is not necessary. The best friends are those we can enjoy comfortable silence with. So just sit there. Do nothing. Take a nap, fall asleep (spooning is not recommended). Ahh... Let a plant show be your guide into true relaxation.
Or if you’re feeling outward, show your plant that new outfit. Sing them an aria. Do yoga with them. Asking for advice however will require loads of patience, which is the mark of every great gardener.
If you are not cultivating a green thumb but still keen to BFF with your Hydrangea try…
…Sending thoughts of Love…
The man behind all those fun and funky neon colours we have today and black light kits used from everything from music festivals to criminal trials also believed plants could be as reactive to our behaviour the same as our (human) friends and lovers are.
Marcel Vogel, a self-taught prodigy from San Francisco often donning a Hawaiian Shirt, was first enlisted by IBM in the 60’s to help engineers tap into their creativity by exploring our connection to plants, using wave transmission that included thoughts of love.
He really got a kick out of quantifying results by communicating with plants using the simplicity of focussed breath and intention. With access to some of the most classified laboratories he maintained that our psychic energy is most powerful, especially if it is a loving force.
He observed that breathing intensely through the nostrils (another form of yogic breathing), combined with thought, could yield staggering results. Keep in mind that Marcel was one of IBM’s most valued team members for almost 20 years until his passing and is still celebrated for his dynamic array of indelible contributions to our modern world and for crystal carriers, the spiritual world.
Plants always give us the last word…
Maybe you’re not an aspiring green thumb but you can still harness the power of sending positive thoughts toward your plant(s). Think of them blossoming or growing larger, greener if they look like they need a “pick me up”. Recite soothing sweet nothings.
We all love a good compliment. A lot of it is still not entirely understood - like the relationship status so many of us have - “It’s complicated”.
A big KISS for your plant…
Or as the acronym goes, Keep it Simple, Stupid, this love does not need to be complicated.
- Drum up some of those happy thoughts and pair it with your plant in mind.
- Be excited to see your leafy buddy when you walk in the door.
- Provide good care. Say hello. The way you would to a friend, family member or client, even.
- Ensure your plant gets a good night’s sleep away from electric light and devices. They have a 24 hour circadian rhythm too.
- Suffocating your plant with too much love or nourishment is also not a good thing. There is something to be said for allowing them to put effort into the relationship. Their survival and maturity which in turn gives them stronger rooting and self-reliance is necessary.
Life is all about our relationships and expressing our needs and feelings through various forms of communication. The healthiest relationships are about the balance, attention and attitude we bring to them. Be it with ourselves and others from all walks of life, to all species - such as plants, as silly as it may seem.
Like Ralph Waldo Emerson said the “Earth laughs in flowers”.
Calm Radio’s Founder and CEO, Eric Harry, is a composer who loves creating beautiful sounds using different mediums. From piano, to harpsichord, to viola da gamba, to glass instruments, he has now added calming music from trees and flowers to his repertoire to create Calm Radio’s new sleep music and meditation genre, Plant Music.
Plants, trees and every living thing emit electrical impulses in the form of voltages. Eric described it as “I took these varying degrees of DC currents and transformed them into midi voltages, then, used the midi to play beautiful ambient textures that soothe the mind and promote better sleep and deeper meditation. “
Listening to Calm Radio’s Plant Music channels or the massive selection of classical and baroque music, meditation music and sleep music, even the extensive collection of wellness music, will surely enhance your positivity and lift your spirit. Try these new plant music channels - Gingko Tree, Black Clover, Hydrangea, and Geranium.