Viagra, the drug designed to help revive a man’s love life, can have the same effect on a wilting bouquet.
Apparently just one milligram of Viagra can give cut flowers another week of life.
The handy tip comes from TV gardener David Domoney, who declares: “You only need a tiny amount of Viagra to stiffen things up nicely.
“Just 1mg – there are 50mg in a single tablet – dissolved into water with your plants will make them last a week longer.”
David Domoney says nitric oxide, the chemical in the drug which relieves impotence by relaxing the muscles on blood vessels, causing them to dilate, also slows down the dying process in plants.
He adds: “Now scientists are working on ways to market a gardeners’ version of Viagra for plants. Soluble aspirin also works in the same way, too. Put one tablet into some wilting flowers and the effervescence will prolong their life.”
Scientists in Australia originally discovered Viagra’s plant preserving qualities and the research was published in the British Medical Journal, which said: “Viagra can double the shelf life of cut flowers.”
David Domoney, now hosting Garden ER on Channel 5, also claims a range of other unlikely products – though none quite as unlikely as Viagra – can improve the health of your plants. They include:
• Vodka: A shot of the spirit in a vase stops the water going green with algae.
• Beer: Works brilliantly as a slug trap – bury half a cup in the soil near plants that have been attacked by the pests.
• Sugar: Use it to feed house plants.
• Tea: A great food for azaleas and other plants and good for fertilizing hanging baskets.
• Deep Heat muscle relaxant: Spray it on a tea bag and place it around the garden to provide a harmless cat repellent.
• Banana skins: Put them fleshy side down on flower beds to feed the roses.
• Cola: The fizzy drink is a good fertilizer for pot plants but be sure to use the regular variety rather than the sugar-free.
• Soap: Grate it into the holes where you are planting bulbs and it will stop squirrels coming to eat the bulbs later on.