In Today’s article, we will investigate the effect of electricity on Plant growth. Let’s conduct a simple gardening experiment on electroculture and see what happens to plant growth when they are electrocuted with a low DC voltage?

This experiment can be a very good school project for kids to develop their interest in gardening.

This experiment is based on two observations:

  1. Plants appearing healthier after a thunderstorm possibly due to the effect of lightning and electricity.
  2. Plants growing near an electric power cable generally look greener and healthier.

Let’s conduct this experiment starting with our:

Hypothesis: Seeds germinate faster and Plants grow faster and healthier when electrocuted with a low voltage DC current.

I came across a lot of research articles online on electroculture studies. According to electrocuture technique, Plants are sensitive to electricity and magnetism. Improved plant growth and increased yields are some of the positive effects of electroculture. This technology can even be used to protect plants from pests and diseases.

The mechanism of action? Well, I could not fine convincing answers. May be due to the copper electrodes causing electrolysis or electrophoresis and releasing copper and other salt ions within the soil, or the electromagnetic field from the electric current causing movement of different ions into the roots.

Now let’s jump into the experiment:

Materials and Methods:

The materials required for this gardening project are:
– 3 plastic Containers
– Identical Plant seeds for All 3 containers
– Identical Potting Mix for All 3 Containers
– A DC 9V Battery, A DC 3V Battery
– Copper rods or Copper Wires as Electrodes
– A Ruler or a Measuring Tape.

Step1: Label the 3 Containers: Pot A and B are for experiment and Pot C will be the Control for the experiment with no current applied on it.
Step 2: Identical Factors or Constants for the experiment: Fill All the 3 containers with the same potting mix or soil. Plant the same seeds into all three containers. Keep all the 3 containers in exactly the same location to receive the same amount of light and Water them with exactly the same amount and at the same time.

Step 3: Prepare The Circuit: For Pot A we will electrocute with 3 Volt battery and For Pot B, we will use 9V Battery. We will use this copper wire to make our electrodes which will be inserted into the soil.

Step 4: Sowing the identical seeds into all 3 containers at the same time. You can use any plant seed for the experiment.   Sow exactly the same amount of seeds into each container and water them with exactly the same amount of water daily. Keep all 3 pots on the same location like on a window sill.

Step 5: Applying Electric Current to Pots A and B: Two copper rods are inserted into the soil at opposite sides of the pot and should not touch each other. The 3V battery will be connected to Pot A and 9V Battery to Pot B. The circuit is switched on for these pots for 15 minutes daily and the plant growth in all 3 containers will be measured on Day 4 for Seed Germination, Day 7 and then Day 12, 15 and so on.

Now! Let’s look into the Results: Watch Video below:

On Day 4, As you can see, both seeds are about to germinate in Pot C first which infact received no voltage. In Pot A one seed has germinated and in Pot B there is still no definitive signs of germination. You can see in Pot B, perhaps due to high voltage the earthworm is struggling to survive and this indicates high currents are harmful for beneficial soil organisms.

On Day 7, You can notice that the height of the plants in pot A is still lesser when compared with the Control Pot C. And Pot B which received 9V is just starting to germinate now.  So till Day 7 this theory on electroculture is getting disproved. I am not sure what went wrong with this experiment and this needs further investigation.

Will later post an update on this on Day 15. We can even Try to repeat this experiment using different DC voltages like 1.5V, 6V or even DC12V. The experiment can also be done by changing length of exposure time to the DC current and comparing plant growth.

In our next episode, we will conduct a similar experiment to study the effect of magnetism on plant growth and seed germination.

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