Aspirin and plants

David R. Hershey dh321 at PGSTUMAIL.PG.CC.MD.US
Thu Apr 24 22:38:30 EST 1997

This is something I have wanted to investigate further when I get the 
chance. Ken Post in his 1949 text, Florist Crop Production and Marketing, 
(NY: Orange Judd) noted a study that found that two aspirins in 1.5 pints 
of water increased the life of gladioli from 10 to 14 days. I have not 
seen the original citation - Pridham, A.M.S. 1925. Keeping flowers by cold 
storage. Florist's Review 56(1439):19-20 [June 25].

Commercial cut flower preservatives usually contain sucrose, an acid, and
a biocide. Aspirin could possibly act in either of the latter two
capacities. I believe there was a thread in this newsgroup on the
metabolic activity of salicyclic acid in plants within the last year or
two. I haven't had a chance to check the archives. 

David R. Hershey

Snail mail: 6700 Belcrest Road #112, Hyattsville, MD 20782-1340

Adjunct Professor, Biology/Horticulture Dept.
Prince George's Community College, Largo, MD 20772-2199

Email: dh321 at


On Mon, 21 Apr 1997, Paul Cotton wrote:

> Is there any evidence that the application of low concentrations of 
> aspirin has a beneficial effect upon the longevity of cut flowers? and 
> if so what mechanism is involved?

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