A New Plymouth woman who played classical music to her cannabis plants to encourage them to grow was yesterday sentenced to community work.

Solo mother-of-three Zarah Murphy cultivated 20 cannabis plants in a room with photos of healthy plants as role models on the walls and played them "nice classical music", her lawyer Pamela Jensen told New Plymouth District Court yesterday.

Ms Jensen said Murphy was growing the plants for her own use, to treat her diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, the Taranaki Daily News reported.

She was undergoing psychotherapy for her condition and could possibly attend drug counselling in future, Ms Jensen said.

Judge Allan Roberts said the converted room was a "pretty good effort" in which to grow the plants.

He sentenced Murphy to 250 hours' community work, including the remission of $1235 in unpaid fines.

- NZPA