How to Preserve Cut Flowers with Aspirin

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Nothing brings life to a home like the scent of freshly cut flowers. Unfortunately many flowers wither and die within days when displayed in the home. Use plain aspirin and a penny to extend the life of fresh cut flowers in your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Aspirin
  • Copper penny (minted before 1982)
  • Knife
  • Dissolve an aspirin in 1/4 cup warm water. Once the aspirin is fully dissolved, stir to mix. Add the aspirin and water to a vase that has been filled with plain water. The aspirin creates a more acidic environment which helps water move up the stem easily.

  • Drop a penny into the vase. The copper in the penny acts as a fungicide to prevent fungus growth on plant stems. Remember, pennies minted after 1982 are mostly zinc with a thin copper coating, so look for one dated prior to 1982.

  • Cut the flower stems on a diagonal using a clean sharp knife. This exposes more surface to the water and aids in water absorption.

  • Remove any leaves that will fall below the surface of the water.

  • Remove flowers from the vase as they begin to wilt or fade, and change the water. Re-cut the stems to provide a clean cut. Add aspirin and the penny to the new water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cutting stems while underwater will prevent them from getting air bubble blocks that will cause them to wilt or die.
  • Although a penny minted after 1982 may provide some benefit from its copper coating, older coins contain a much higher percentage of copper. To reap the beneficial action of copper, it is best to use a penny that was minted before 1982.

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