Scientists Find Unique Way To Keep Cut Flowers Fresh, Pee On Them?

If you want to keep your cut flowers fresh and beautiful as the day you bought them, there might be a rather unusual, if potentially unsavory, solution. Pee on them. Wait, what?

According to the Mirror Online, the best thing you could do is pee on them. Yes, that’s right, urinate into the water in which you have beautifully arranged your flowers. Well, maybe that is actually a little off the official target, but it is pretty close to the truth.

They are quoting new research published in the International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation, although not strictly sticking to the information revealed in that research.

What the research uncovered was that a flower food made from certain acids and urea would keep the flowers fresh and beautiful that much longer and, of course, urea is a major organic compound of human urine.

The reason for the research was a particularly popular flower and one of the most commercially grown type of plant. The Gerbera jamesonii, which is also known as the African or Transvaal daisy, is a species native to South Africa. While making a beautiful display in a flower arrangement, the flowers tend to have a very short shelf life and soon droop.

EurekAlert quotes information from the paper released by the International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation, saying that it was Maryam Jamshidi and Ebrahim Hadavi of the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Islamic Azad University Karaj and Roohangiz Naderi of the University of Tehran, Iran that decided to come up with a possible solution to the problem.

Keep cut flowers fresh

They tested various different treatments to extend the life of cut gerbera flowers, including tests with combinations of salicyclic acid (which is apparently an active ingredient of aspirin), with malic acid (the chemical which gives the tart taste of many fruits), along with the aforesaid urea.

By the way, urea is the main nitrogen-containing chemical in all mammalian urine, not just in our good old human pee.

They found that by getting just the right combination of the ingredients they can extend the bloom time of a vase of flowers from the normal up to seven days, to keeping the cut flowers fresh for a period of over two weeks.

It seems the combination of the chemicals stops the submerged stems of the flowers from being contaminated with bacteria (most people have experienced the terrible smell of the water when cut flowers are discarded). The urea acts as a source of nitrogen, easily absorbed by the cut flowers as a tasty nutrient.

So there you go, all these particular compounds are apparently readily available on the market and many flower foods could potentially contain the right mix to keep those cut flowers fresh for far longer than average.

However if you can’t get quite the right food to keep your cut flowers fresh in your location, you now have a solution. Try peeing in the vase! Well, it’s worth a try!

Mind you, when searching on Twitter you can find several other methods of allegedly keeping your cut flowers fresh, including aspirin (that would be the salicyclic acid mentioned above) and even Viagra!

In the meantime the very existence of flowers is coming under threat, as the Inquisitr reported recently that 40 percent of all bee hives died last year. Those little pollinators are necessary not only for the existence of flowers, but also, of course, for so much of our food.

[Image: Yellow gerbers CC BY-SA 2.0 Serge Melki, vase of gerbers CC BY-SA 2.0 Anthony]