Ed Driscoll

Science: Plants that Listen to Black Sabbath Grow the Best Flowers

“Talking to your plants is supposed to be good for them,” the London Daily Mail reports, covering the important news in time for “Earth Day.” However, “if you really want the best blooms, you should blast them with heavy metal music:”

That’s the unlikely finding of a study by horticultural students who tested the effects of music on plants.

TV gardener Chris Beardshaw tells told Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time that a constant diet of Black Sabbath worked wonders – but plants exposed to Cliff Richard songs all died.

Panellist Beardshaw, who has also been a familiar face on BBC2’s Gardener’s World over the years, said using rock music as a nutrient appeared to create larger flowers.

And although the plants themselves were shorter, they were more disease-resistant.

The test came about because one of his horticultural students wanted to write a dissertation based on the effects of music on plants.

He said: ‘We had one greenhouse that was silent and we had one that was played classical music, one that was played Cliff Richard and one that was played Black Sabbath.

‘The ones with Black Sabbath – great big, thumping noise, rowdy music — they were the shortest, but they had the best flowers and the best resistance to pest and disease.

But what happens, as musician Neil Smith asked in the mid-1980s, if you play your Ozzy records backwards?


By the way, am I only the person who’s ever heard this song? I remember it getting several airplays on WMMR or WYSP in Philadelphia back then.