USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘horticulture’
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Folk Practice

“Cut flowers last longer if you put sprite or aspirin in the water”

Michael was born and raised in Northridge California. He has three brothers all still living on the West Coast. Michael studied horticulture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and then opened his own business in Beverly Hills. Michael is extremely knowledgeable in regards to plants- he knows all names both common and scientific. He has mastered how to care and maintain plants. Michael taught me how to prolong the life of cut plants in my house like a vase of flowers. The simple procedure  of adding a dash of sprite soda or an aspirin into the water will keep flowers alive longer. Chemicals in the 2 additives keep the flowers healthy. Michael remembered investigating this folk remedy at school, “sometimes people even add a small amount of bleach in the water for the same effect. There are many little tricks to maintaining cut flowers, scientifically I’m not sure which have been proved but I know what works for me and my clients.”

Alan Dundes claimed Americans have always been a society to further advance science and this remedy falls in line with that claim. People tend to invent and experiment with improving their surroundings and this is a popular remedy for quick dying flowers. Michael explained that “he always adds a splash of sprite” when he has some in the refrigerator. He explained his remedy to me as he prepared some flowers for his house, pouring about 1.5ounces of sprite into the vase before he added his freshly cut flowers.

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