It all sounds a bit potty, but a study shows that playing music to house plants is a growing trend.

And topping the playlist of self-proclaimed “plant parents” is Scottish chart topper Lewis Capaldi, with 62 per cent of respondents saying his tunes helped their potted plants to thrive and grow. 

Pop sensations from Korea, BTS, with 55% came second in the poll with American pop/country star, Taylor Swift, third on 51%. 

But it wasn’t just the sounds of the new acts on the block that people favoured because Sir Elton John, David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac – with “Grow Your Own Way” perhaps – all featured in the caring-for-plants’ top 10. 

While scientists are still seriously questioning whether sound plays a part in helping plants grow – for elephant ear, for example? – owners, according to the survey at any rate, are turning over this new leaf to be creative in their care strategy for such a calm-inducing hobby.  

Pointless Plants, a plant-delivery service on an eco-mission to make the world a greener place, surveyed 1,150 people aged 25-34 and covered potted plants that could be kept both indoors and outdoors. Respondents were able to choose multiple responses from a long list of popular singers, with the results then ranked to reveal the most popular.  

Almost 50% said they did play music to their plants, with genres ranging from folk and grime to rock and pop at a time when there has been a significant increase in music streaming, with a pandemic lockdown record high of 155 million streams last year, representing an 8.2% rise on 2019 figures. 

Nathan Raab, managing director at Pointless Plants, said:  “Caring for plants is not only a soothing hobby, it’s one that can make us feel miles away from our busy, home-working lives of Zoom calls and Teams meet-ups.  

“Because of this, many of us became plant parents and name our plants, believing the personal touch will help us bond with, and care for our plants. Some of us have gone one step further and talk to our plants to soothe them into growing.  

“Others have gone further still by playing music to encourage them to grow.” 

Mr Raab freely accepts there is scepticism that playing music to plants does any good. 

“The impact of music on plant growth has been hotly debated by scientists for decades, with numerous studies conducted to find out if different vibrations can really stimulate growth,” he said. But it’s clear people are using music as a way to stimulate plants. 

“Whether these bands and singers have a beneficial impact on our plants – or whether they just remain popular musicians to play while we garden – your guess is as good as ours. But the results make it clear that plant care is all about creativity and a good old-fashioned dose of music.”   

Harmless fun or utter nonsense, it is an issue that is deep-rooted. 

In 1986, Prince Charles revealed he talked to plants, attracting great ridicule and scorn, but over the years various studies have suggested he might well be right. 
The internet has examples of many varied research projects about the benefits music can bring to plants, with tips including you should limit their exposure to music to three hours a day. 

One Indian botanist discovered that his balsam plants grew 20% more when he played them classical music. In 1973, Dorothy Retallack, a student at Colorado Women’s College, carried out her own series of experiments, testing plants with different kinds of sound.  

She played classical music to some of her plants and rock music by Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix to others. She found those that lived on a diet of hardcore rock died sooner than those treated to gentler classical music.  

Experts point out plants are more likely to be drawn to the vibrations – Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys, maybe – that cause sound, as opposed to sound itself.  

Plants, some research shows, also react favourably to low levels of vibrations, with about 115-250hz deemed to be ideal. 

It is reckoned the vibrations come closest to mimicking the sounds of nature. 

All in all, sounds like a topic for a novelty record.