Hello this is Cathryne :)
In school I have to do an independent research project and mine is about talking to plants. I need to gather background information on the topic but it has been difficult to get reliable infromation. I am hoping someone here could shed ome light on the topic.
I have always spoken to my plants,even before Prince Charles came out saying that he spoke to his.I also play music to mine. They like country and western music,also 50's rock'n'roll,but they do not like Classical. But then again we can't have everything can we? The plants do not like raised voices,but gentle .They also like a gentle caress of the leaves.
Can I ask your age, and/or what level you are in school? this will give an idea of how much your teacher expects you to do. For example, at "A" level you would be expected to read a lot and give far more detail, as well as have a really well designed experiment, than at GCSE or younger.
If you Google "talking to plants" there are a number of links that should give some reliable information. For example, the carbon dioxide theory sounds likely, in the quote below.
From Yahoo answers http://ask.yahoo.com/20030129.html
It turns out that there may be some truth to the belief that talking to plants helps them grow, but not for the reasons you may think. According to ScienceNet, plants need carbon dioxide to grow, and when you talk to a plant, you breath on it, giving it an extra infusion of CO2. However, for this to have any real effect on your favorite fern, you would have to spend several hours a day conversing with it in close quarters.
The idea of talking to plants was introduced in 1848, when Dr. Gustav Theodor Fechner, a German professor, suggested the idea in his book Nanna (Soul-life of Plants). He believed that plants were capable of emotions, just like humans, and you could promote healthy growth by showering your plants with attention and talk.
In his book Training of the Human Plant, Luther Burbank, a renowned botanist and inventor of the Burbank potato (better known as the Idaho potato), wrote that plants may not understand the spoken word, but they were capable of telepathically understanding the meaning of speech.
And in 1970, New York dentist George Milstein released Music to Grow Plants By, a record of songs to play for your plants. In fact, a few studies seemed to confirm that classical or soothing music would benefit plants, while loud aggressive music, like rock music, could cause them to wither and die. If you are a proponent of the theory, there are several records out there to help your houseplants be happy and healthy.
Ultimately, there is little concrete evidence that talking to your plants or playing music for them will help them grow, but we say if you enjoy it, by all means, do it. Just don't let the neighbors catch you!
And a Daily Mail article that suggests that sound activates certain plant genes connected with growth:
You say you have to do an "independent research project ", so just quoting things from these links isn't enough. You should put some of the comments you read into your own words, (that will show your teacher that you understand what the article says); and also give the reference (such as the web link) where you got the information. If you see an account of an experiment that you would like to try yourself you should say where you got the idea from (again with a link if from the internet; or date and name of the newspaper or magazine).
If you want to make up your own experiment, mustard is the easiest as the seeds germinate quickly and can be grown on damp kitchen paper in shallow dishes. Or you could try mung beans (the ones you grow bean sprouts from in Chinese cooking). Or even do the same experiment on more than one kind of seed if you are REALLY ambitious!
Decide exactly what and how you want to test. You will need to grow several dishes of seeds with the same number of seeds in each dish. Label the dishes ("A", "B", "C" etc). They should of course be started at the same time; and put them in the same conditions as far as possible. One should be the "control". This one should be left alone except for watering, because you need to compare the plants on that dish with the plants you talk to.
You could try just breathing on the plants in one dish, to test the carbon dioxide theory, and talking, playing music etc to the others from a greater distance (to avoid giving them your carbon dioxide). Spend exactly the same amount of time each day - as long as you can spare. You could make a chart with a column for each dish. Write down what you did with each dish, how long, and what time of day it was.
There are lots of variations of this experiment you could play around with, just as you want.
Hope that helps.