Do Houseplants Make Sounds?

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Science has been updated!

It turns out that plants make noises when they’re stressed.

It’s invisible to the human ear (if you know what I mean) so scientists had to create a soundproofed greenhouse in order to create the recording.

They also tortured performed various experiments on plants to get them to make said noise. As it turns out, plants are particularly vocal about being left to dry for too long (oops) and being cut with scissors (who isn’t?).

The research is now going to look into why plants make noise – is it a simple ‘ow’ such as what a human might emit, or are they trying to deter things like pests from setting up shop in an already compromised spot? We don’t know, but scientists are investigating.

What I find most intriguing about this research is the way the noise was described – scientists are saying the plants emit a fast clicking noise. But after I dug a bit deeper I found that ‘fast’ means 59 times an hour’.

That’s not fast.

Who are these scientists?

Twice a second is fast. Slightly quicker than once an hour is SLOW.

And, might I add, this is top speed.

I’m assuming they meant to say ‘faster than we thought it would be’.

Whilst we’re pretty sure plants can communicate (they use fungal networks underground), we’re not entirely sure if they’re using the sounds they make to communicate with each other. They’re certainly not communicating with us, because the sounds are too high-pitched for us to hear, but they could be talking to other plants, mice, and bugs.

Still, exciting stuff in the botany world!

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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