Any gardener or farmer desires consistently bigger and better plants with higher yields. The seeking of these traits has scientists testing, theorizing and hybridizing plants in an effort to achieve the optimum growth. One of these theories regards magnetism and plant growth. Magnetic fields, such as that generated by our planet, are thought to enhance plant growth. Do magnets help plants grow? There are actually several ways exposure to magnets may direct plant growth. Let’s learn more.
Do Magnets Help Plants Grow?
Healthy plants are impossible without adequate intake of water and nutrients, and some studies show that magnetic exposure can enhance intake of these essential items. Why do plants react to magnets? Some of the explanation centers on a magnet’s ability to change molecules. This is an important characteristic when applied to heavily saline water. The earth’s magnetic field also has a powerful influence on all life on the planet – kind of like with the old-time gardening method of planting by the moon.
Grade school level experiments are common where the students study the effect of magnets on seeds or plants. The general consensus is that no discernible benefits are noticed. If this is the case, why would the experiments even exist? The magnetic pull of the earth is known to have an effect on living organisms and the biological processes.
The evidence indicates that the earth’s magnetic pull influences seed germination by acting as an auxin or plant hormone. The magnetic field also assists in ripening of such plants as tomatoes. Much of plant response is due to the cryptochromes, or blue light receptors, that plants bear. Animals also have cryptochromes, which are activated by light and then are sensitive to magnetic pull.
How Magnets Affect Plant Growth?
Studies have indicated that plant growth is enhanced with magnets. This doesn’t mean you directly apply a magnet to the plant, but instead, the technology involves magnetizing water.
The water in the region is heavily salted, which interrupts plant uptake. By exposing the water to magnets, the salt ions change and dissolve, creating purer water that is more easily taken up by the plant.
Studies on how magnets affect plant growth also show that magnetic treatment of seeds enhances germination by speeding up the formation of protein in the cells. Growth is more rapid and robust.
Why Do Plants React to Magnets?
The reasons behind plant response to magnets are a bit harder to understand. It seems that magnetic force pulls apart ions and changes the chemical composition of such things as salt. It also appears that magnetism and plant growth are tied together by biological impulse.
Plants have the natural response to “feel” gravity and magnetic pull just as humans and animals. The effect of magnetism actually can change the mitochondria in cells and enhance plant metabolism.
If this all sounds like mumbo jumbo, join the club. The why is not as important as the fact that magnetism is proven to drive improved plant performance. And as a gardener, this is the most important fact of all. I’ll leave the scientific explanations to a professional and enjoy the benefits.
By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist