IKEA is known for succulent meatballs, infuriating flat packs and now, wacky social experiments.

The Swedish megamart has released an anti-bullying campaign where school kids were asked to bully plants for a month and observe the (frankly wild) results.

The experiment involved two nearly-identical houseplants that were placed in a school and given the same amount of water, fertiliser and sunlight for 30 days.

Students were encouraged to record their voices, some saying lovely things and others saying shitty things, and these recording were then played to the individual plants on loop for thirty days.

The results at the end of the month were startling: the plant given encouragement remained healthy and thriving, while the bullied plant appeared to wilt from mean words alone.

Sure, we can’t be sure of how scientific this experiment actually was, there is some research abound that suggests sound, music and vibrations can stimulate growth factors in plants.

The results? Dramatic.

Again, we really can’t stress the fact that we don’t know if someone was tampering with these bad boys, but even if they were, the kids don’t need to know that. Keep the illusion alive, like Santa Clause and debt-free home ownership.

It’s a tactile way of proving the affects of bullying. In Australia alone, roughly 1 in 4 students (27%) have reported being bullied, from elementary to high school. Peers are present in 87% of bullying interactions, mostly as onlookers who do nothing to help the victim.

The naff little experiment proves a point to kids and adults alike that what you say to the people around you matters, because in the words of our new life coach IKEA, “happiness is spread through how we treat each other”.

So next time your fiddle-leaf fig is starting to brown around the edges, or your devil’s ivy won’t grow a spool down the side of your cupboard like on Pinterest; refrain from calling them fucking idiot weeds.

Instead, hit ’em with some Paul Kelly on loop. That should do the trick.

Source: Bustle
Image: IKEA / YouTube