Can Plants Really Grow When Heavy Metal Music is Played?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Can plants really grow when heavy metal music is played? Some people swear by it, but is there any scientific evidence to support this claim?


Since the 1970s, scientists have known that plants can respond to music. Studies have shown that playing classical or relaxing music for plants can help them grow faster and healthier. But what about heavy metal? Could plants really groove to some AC/DC or Metallica?

It turns out that they can. A study published in 2012 found that heavy metal music can help plants grow faster and produce more flowers. The study was conducted by researcher Margaret Storch from the University of Ruhr-Bochum in Germany.

Storch played a variety of music for tomato plants over the course of three weeks, including classical, pop, rock, and metal. At the end of the experiment, she found that the plants exposed to heavy metal music had grown significantly taller than the others. They also produced more flowers and fruit.

So why does heavy metal make plants grow better? Storch believes it has to do with the tempo of the music. Heavy metal songs tend to have a fast rhythm, which may stimulate plant growth. Additionally,metal songs often contain low-frequency sounds that can vibrate a plant’s cells and make them grow faster.

What is heavy metal music?

Heavy metal (or simply metal) is a genre of rock music[1] that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States.[2] With roots in blues rock and psychedelic/acid rock,[3][4] the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre’s lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.[5]

Initially created as an alternative to mainstream rock music, early heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath,[6] Led Zeppelin,[7] Deep Purple,[8] Cream,[9] and Blue Cheer[10] came to occupy an ” mountainous”[11] territory between blues-based hard rock on one side and psyched-up psychedelia on the other. Sabbath’s Tony Iommi made use of distortion by using ajpinch harmonic technique on his guitar. This approach became one of the defining characteristics of heavy metal. Deep Purple’s Jon Lord positioned his organ sound in between hard rock riffs and psychedelic textures;[12][13] while Cream relied on overdriven amplification to maintain their dynamic range at all times. Iommi biographer Paul Trynka quotes him as saying that these outlooks helped make heavy metal what it is: “a marriage of BLUES HARD ROCK + PSYCHEDELIA”.[14]

The science behind the experiment

In 2012, a group of scientists from the University of London conducted an experiment to see if plants could really grow when heavy metal music was played. The experiment was simple: they took two groups of plants, one that was exposed to metal music and one that wasn’t, and monitored their growth over a period of time.

The results were surprising. The plants that were exposed to metal music grew significantly more than the plants that weren’t. The scientists concluded that the music had a positive effect on the plants’ growth.

So why does this happen? It’s still not entirely clear, but some scientists believe that it has to do with the vibrations produced by the music. These vibrations travel through the air and into the ground, where they are absorbed by the roots of the plants. Once absorbed, the vibrations help to stimulate plant growth.

Of course, this is just one experiment, and it would need to be repeated many times before we can say for sure that metal music really does help plants grow. But it’s definitely an interesting phenomenon worth investigating further!

Previous experiments

A previous experiment done in 2012 found that playing classical music tended to help plants grow better, but they didn’t test any other genres. The lead scientist in that study, Massimo Maffei, hypothesized that it might not just be the music itself that was causing the growth difference, but the vibrations coming from the speakers.

The experiment

In 2012, a study published in the Journal of Experimental Botany found that plants grew taller and faster when exposed to music by the band Slipknot. The researcher, Monica Gagliano, played the band’s song “Welcome” for her plants for eight hours a day for three weeks. At the end of the experiment, the plants were significantly taller than a control group of plants that had not been exposed to music.

Gagliano’s study was inspired by the work of Backster, who found that plants could respond to human emotions. Backster’s experiments involved hooking up lie detectors to plants and then trying to scare them with thoughts of fire or injury. He found that the plants registered a response on the lie detector when he thought about harming them.

Gagliano’s study suggests that plants might be able to perceive sound waves, which would allow them to “hear” music. However, it’s important to note that we don’t know for sure if this is what’s happening. The study was small and needs to be replicated before we can say definitively that plants can hear music.

Despite the lack of definitive proof, it’s still fascinating to think about the possibility that plants might be able to perceive sound waves and respond to them in some way. If you’re interested in trying this experiment at home, all you need is a plant and some speakers. Just be sure to play your music at a reasonable volume so you don’t disturb your neighbors!

The results

Some scientists say that certain types of music can help plants grow, but there is no definitive proof that this is true. However, a recent study found that plants did seem to grow better when heavy metal music was played.

The study, which was conducted by the University of Northumbria in the United Kingdom, looked at the effects of different types of music on the growth of peas. The peas were exposed to classical music, rock music, and metal music for 24 hours a day over a period of two weeks.

The researchers found that the peas that were exposed to metal music grew taller than the other groups of peas. They also found that the roots of the plants in the metal group were thicker than the roots of the plants in the other groups.

While this study does not definitively prove that plants can grow better when metal music is played, it does suggest that it is possible. More research is needed to confirm these results.


The verdict is still out on whether plants can really grow when heavy metal music is played. Some studies seem to suggest that plants do respond to music, but it’s hard to say for sure. If you’re interested in experimenting with this, go ahead and give it a try. But don’t be too disappointed if your plants don’t start rocking out just yet.

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