My partner often finds me in the sitting room nattering away to our fig tree or in the bath catching up with the fern. Have I finally lost the plot? Ahem... No !

Talking to your plants can help them grow into big loving monsters. Majority of your houseplants are about to start winter hibernation. We all like a bedtime story or a lullaby, so why not indulge your cheese plant? Sing, hum or even gossip to your plants.

RHS research shows talking to your plants can help them grow faster, especially if it's a lady doing the talking (no surprises there then). Possibly because of the variation in pitch and tone in female voices, that will have an effect on the sound waves that hit the plant causing stimulation.

Lullaby or Lemmy?

One of my favourite experiments was done by Dorothy Retallack who published a small book called 'The Sound of Music and Plants' in 1973. She filled two rooms with plants. In one she played rock music and in the other, soothing tones. After five days she noticed dramatic changes in the plants. In the soothing room, the plants were super-healthy and even bending towards the radio. In the rock room, the blooms were dropping and bent away from the speakers. By the end of the two weeks, the relaxed plants were lush, green and happy while the rock 'n' roll plants had lived fast and died young. Sorry, Lemmy.

Don't worry, Darwin doesn't always get it right!

Charles Darwin suspected as much. So, he conducted an informal experiment to test the link between plant growth and vibration by getting his son to play his bassoon to some seedlings. Results were inconclusive. (we can't always be winners right?)

This ain't no modern concept...

It might well date back to 1848, when German professor Gustav Fechner wrote a book suggesting plants might be capable of feeling human-like emotions.

So does it matter if the gossip is good or bad?

Not really, no. So far, studies have suggested that it doesn't make much difference in the content of what you are saying.... only the pitches and tones. So get gossiping and let those plants know all that juicy gossip!

Pssst. They're the perfect gossip partner because they'll keep it to themselves.

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