Colloidal Silver Makes Cut Flowers Live Longer
How would you like your cut flowers to last up to twice and long, with the blooms remaining vibrantly colored and wilt-free during the entire time?
Here’s a nifty tip that really works: Add a little bit of colloidal silver to the water in the flower vase in order to prevent microbial growth and stop bacteria from colonizing the flower stem!
Experienced colloidal silver users have taken advantage of this technique for decades, which allows cut flowers to thrive longer than any other known method of fresh cut flower preservation.
And now there’s scientific proof demonstrating why and how it works. Here’s the story you won’t find anywhere else…
Hi, Steve Barwick here, for The Silver Edge…
Several decades ago, when independent colloidal silver researchers such as Mark Metcalf and others were writing about the many healing benefits of colloidal silver, one of the fascinating facts they pointed out was that if colloidal silver were added to cut flowers in a vase, the flowers would last far longer than flowers that had not been treated with silver.
As Mark Metcalf wrote at the time, in the 1996 issue of Perceptions Magazine:
“My next experiment was a little different. I cut flowers in the back yard and left one on a shelf without water for twenty-four hours.
When I picked it up the next day it was completely limp. I made a fresh cut at the bottom of the stem and placed it in a glass of high concentrate colloidal silver.
Each day it got better. On the third day, the stem had become firm again, as if it had just been cut. Not a single petal was lost.
The second flower that was cut had been placed immediately in ordinary water. Many of its petals had already fallen. Though the flower was in water from the start, it was already dying.
It’s as if there is something in silver that is tied to the very core of the life process itself.”
These anecdotal reports were sometimes sneered at by mainstream scientists and the mainstream media. But they can’t be sneered at any longer, because since that time clinical researchers have repeatedly proven them to be true.
For example, in 2014, scientists from the Department of Horticulture at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran tested the hypothesis that silver-treated cut flowers in a vase would last up to twice as long as untreated cut flowers in a vase.
What they found was that in the untreated cut flowers, bacteria rapidly formed in the vase water, and quickly colonized the xylem of the flower, which are the tiny micro-tubular channels in the flower stem (similar to veins, in humans) that bring nutrients and moisture to the flowering head itself.
But in the silver-treated flower vases, the bacterial growth was dramatically reduced, and therefore the xylem remained unblocked by bacterial colonization for longer periods of time. This allowed moisture and nutrients to be effectively carried up the stem far longer than in untreated cut flowers. The result was beautiful fresh flowers that lasted up to twice as long as normal.
As explained in this August 21, 2014 press release from Inderscience titled “Cut Flowers Last Longer with Silver Nanotechnology”:
“Once cut and dunked in a vase of water, flowers are susceptible to bacterial growth that shortens the length of time one has to enjoy the blooms.
A few silver nanoparticles sprinkled into the water, might be the answer to longer-lasting cut flowers according to research published in the International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation.
Once the stems are cut and flowers added to a vase bacteria start to colonize the open ends of the stems and block the channels through which water enters. This is the main cause of a short-lived display even for the most expensive flowers, such as lilies, roses and freesias.
Many florists provide a small packet of plant food with their bouquets, but this does nothing to prevent the stems becoming blocked with bacteria.
Adding a drop of household bleach is perhaps a useful tip, but not all flower lovers wish to have the odor of bleach in the vase spoiling the scent of their flowers.
Now, a team in the Department of Horticulture at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, have tested silver nanoparticles, which are known to have antibacterial activity, in extending the blooming life of cut lilies (Lilium orientalis cv. ‘Shocking’).
They used suspensions of silver nanoparticles in water at levels of 5, 15, 25, 30 parts per million (ppm) and compared the floral life against controls with untreated vase water.
Seyed Hossein Nemati and colleagues found that control blooms gave a bright flora display on average for just under a week. Whereas the lower concentrations of silver nanoparticles extended this period by a couple of days.
However, at 35 ppm their blooms were maintained with good color and healthy petals for almost twice as long as the controls (less than 12 days).
Analysis of the stems and water revealed that at this concentration of silver nanoparticles bacterial growth was stymied for the longest period compared with controls where bacterial growth began within the first two days.”
[More information: Nemati, S.H., Esfandiyari, B., Tehranifar, A., Rezaei, A. and Ashrafi, S.J. (2014) “Improvement of Vase Life and Post-harvest Factors of Lilium orientalis Bouquet by Silver Nanoparticles,” Notulae Scientia Biologicae.]
of Silver Worked Better
In their study, the clinical researchers pointed out that all four concentrations of silver nanoparticles (i.e., 5, 15, 25, 30 ppm) “significantly enhanced the vase life of cut flowers,” but that the higher concentration produced the longest extended life.
The researchers concluded, “Owing to its strong antibacterial properties, silver nanoparticles are dramatic tools for extending cut flowers post harvest life.”
The researchers also pointed out that even at the highest concentration used (i.e., 30 ppm) there were no apparent toxic effects on the flowers.
What’s more, the ability of the cut flowers to uptake nutrients decreased rapidly in the control flowers that had no silver added, while the nutrient uptake of the flowers in the water treated with silver nanoparticles barely decreased during the lifetime of the cut flowers.
Finally, the fresh weight of the control flowers that were not treated with silver nanoparticles dropped significantly over a period of several days, while the silver-treated flowers “maintained fresh weight at high values” according to the researchers.
In short, the researchers discovered that higher concentrations of silver nanoparticles used in the vase water resulted in far less microbial growth. This in turn resulted in far lower bacterial colonization and “clogging” of the xylem of the flower (i.e., the vessels or channels in the stem that bring nutrients to the flower head itself).
Another Clinical Study
Another clinical study, this one by Chinese researchers, also confirms silver’s life-extending properties for cut flowers.
Rose-growing expert Robert B. Martin, of the Pacific Rose Society, explains it as follows:
“Having been aware of the growing development of nanotechnology as well as the use of silver to preserve cut flowers, I was therefore fascinated to read in the column on Recent Rose Research in the January/February 2011 issue of the American Rose of a study by five Chinese researchers titled “Nano-silver pulse treatments improve water relations of cut rose cv. Movie Star flowers”.
The study itself appeared in a recent issue of the scientific publication Postharvest Biology and Technology.
According to the abstract of the article, the vase life of cut roses of the variety ‘Movie Star,’ when placed in deionized water, was normally only 9 to 10 days regardless of maturity at harvest.
However, when those flowers were placed in a nanosilver base solution for 24 hours and then kept in a low concentration nanosilver solution, the vase life of the cut rose flowers was prolonged by an additional 11.8 days.
Further examination revealed that the silver solution not only alleviated and delayed vascular blockage caused by bacterial contaminations but also inhibited stomatal conductance so that the water balance in cut roses was significantly improved.
Put simply, the vase life of roses treated with a nanosilver solution was extended from about 9 days to over 20 days, primarily because the silver inhibited bacterial contamination.”
Once again, we see that clinical research proves fresh cut flowers will last up to twice as long when silver is used to treat the flowers.
Even More Evidence
According to the book, Horticultural Reviews, by Jules Janick, in a chapter titled “Stems Placed Directly in Water After Cutting,” there have been a number of additional studies demonstrating silver to extend the life of cut flowers by reducing bacterial growth in the vase water. As Janick explains:
“Cut stems of flowers often have difficulties taking up water. Lack of adequate water uptake can occur after a few days in stems placed in a vase solution, even if the stem cut surface had never been exposed to air.
This problem mainly relates to the development of bacteria that clog the xylem vessels, which occurs within 2-3 days of vase life…
…The effect of bacteria seems a purely physical phenomenon. Bacteria cannot pass the pit membranes between xylem conduits as the pores in these membranes are too small and bacteria are unable to digest the membrane. They occlude the small pores in the membrane, through which all water has to pass…
…A dip of the stem in an aqueous solution containing silver ions, or the continuous presence of Ag+ [i.e., ionic silver] in the vase solution, inhibited bacterial growth in cut flower stems and in the vase water (van Doorn 1997).
Recently, silver nanoparticles have also been used. Solgi et al. (2209) applied silver nanoparticles to Gerbera jamesonii ‘Dune,’ and compared its effect with silver nitrate.
The chemicals were included in the vase solution along with 6% sucrose. Vase life was 8 days in controls, and 11 days in the silver plus sugar treatments. The nanoparticles had the same effects as silver ions.
Liu et al. (2009) reported that freshly cut ‘Ruikou’ Gerbera flowers had a longer vase life when treated with colloidal silver nanoparticles, compared to a treatment with just water. The longest vase life was 8.9 days compared with 3.6 days in the controls.”
In short, according to Janick’s Horticulture Reviews, clinical studies have demonstrated that both ionic silver and metallic silver (i.e., silver nanoparticles) can extend the life of cut flowers by almost double, simply by inhibiting bacterial growth in the water in the vase.
The Latvia-based company, Ag-Life.com, also known as SIA Silver Technologies Ltd., sums it all up as follows, in a message to professional florists:
“Fresh and healthy flowers are the best advertising for every florist. However, it is impossible that all flowers would look freshly cut by the time of buying, even if water in the vase was changed frequently.
The use of silver water will noticeably increase time to the moment of flower fading and will make the offer of your shop more attractive in customers’ eyes.
Colloidal silver water consists of microscopic silver particles that, when being used in particular concentration, can eliminate about 700 harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other types of microorganisms.
Premature aging and fading of cut flowers’ cells is frequently caused by putrefactive bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms. Colloidal silver not only destroys pathogens in water, but also, getting into the plants’ cells, delays aging processes inside plant and recovers damaged cells.
Flowers, put into the vase with colloidal silver, will preserve their freshness for 7- 10 days longer. For some cut flowers this period may reach even up to 2 months.
Silver water may be also used for spraying and watering plants. This way it will not only delay the process of fading, but also save plants from fungi and other diseases.
What is more, such water does not leave marks on leaves or flowers, and it does not contain chemicals hazardous for human health.”
The bottom line is that colloidal silver truly can make cut flowers last up to twice as long in the vase, or even longer with some flower species. And it’s all thanks to the wondrous, germ-fighting capabilities of the silver itself.
For additional information using colloidal silver on flowers and plants, including garden plants, see:
Even More Unusual Uses for Colloidal Silver
To learn about more unusual uses for colloidal silver, see the following three articles:
You can also learn how hundreds of experienced colloidal silver users have healed their own infections and diseases with colloidal silver, at this link.
Make Your Own Colloidal Silver for Pennies
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, like me, you can learn here how astonishingly inexpensive it is to make your own high-quality colloidal silver (i.e., about a penny per ounce) with a Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from The Silver Edge.
This means there’s no longer any need to pay $20 or $30 for a tiny, four-ounce bottle of colloidal silver in health food stores, when you can make it yourself by the quart for about 32 cents.
If you’re skeptical, or if you think it must be a difficult process, at this link you’ll discover how incredibly simple it is to make your own colloidal silver. Indeed, with a device that’s even simpler to operate than a coffee pot (see above photo), just about anyone can make their own high-quality colloidal silver for just a few pennies per quart!
Finally, if you have questions about making and/or using colloidal silver, or would like to correspond with thousands of other experienced colloidal silver users, you might want to consider joining the Colloidal Silver Secrets Group on Facebook.
There, you’ll find over 16,000 fellow colloidal silver users sharing their usage secrets and success stories as well as the latest news and information on the infection-fighting qualities of colloidal silver.
Meanwhile, I’ll be back next week with another great article on colloidal silver….
Yours for the safe, sane and responsible use of colloidal silver,
Steve Barwick, author
The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual
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Meet Steve Barwick
Important Note and Disclaimer: The contents of this Ezine have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information conveyed herein is from sources deemed to be accurate and reliable, but no guarantee can be made in regards to the accuracy and reliability thereof. The author, Steve Barwick, is a natural health journalist with over 30 years of experience writing professionally about natural health topics. He is not a doctor. Therefore, nothing stated in this Ezine should be construed as prescriptive in nature, nor is any part of this Ezine meant to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Nothing reported herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author is simply reporting in journalistic fashion what he has learned during the past 17 years of journalistic research into colloidal silver and its usage. Therefore, the information and data presented should be considered for informational purposes only, and approached with caution. Readers should verify for themselves, and to their own satisfaction, from other knowledgeable sources such as their doctor, the accuracy and reliability of all reports, ideas, conclusions, comments and opinions stated herein. All important health care decisions should be made under the guidance and direction of a legitimate, knowledgeable and experienced health care professional. Readers are solely responsible for their choices. The author and publisher disclaim responsibility and/or liability for any loss or hardship that may be incurred as a result of the use or application of any information included in this Ezine.
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