Aspirin helps sprout your seeds

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Aspirin Water for your Plants???

MARTHA MCBURNEY, the master gardener in charge of the demonstration vegetable garden at the University of Rhode Island, had a bee in her bonnet. After reading up on the ‘Systematic Acquired Resistance’ (SAR) in plants, which helps boost their immune system, she became convinced that aspirin would render their immune system even stronger and keep them healthier.

How much, and how often?

The dosage Martha arrived at after numerous experiments was 1.5 aspirin (81 gr. strength) to two gallons of water. Important note: The tablets should be the uncoated type. She also added two tablespoons of yucca extract to help the aspirin water stick better to the leaves. (The yucca extract can be substituted with a mild liquid soap).


Martha divised a schedule of spraying once every three weeks, no matter the type of plant. The summer when Martha first started testing aspirin water was not the best, weather-wise. It was cool, rainy and damp. Yet, by the end of the season, the plants growing in the raised beds on which the aspirin water had been used looked like they were on steroids! They were huge and green and insects-free. Some disease seemed even to have reversed themselves on cucumbers affected by a virus.

Our master gardener Dave now recommends his ‘aspirin water’ to just about everybodywho is growing grass. DaveĀ  has found that plants do remarkably better when given small amounts of aspirin water. It does really well on potted plants too. Specimen are more vigorous and are having fewer problems with aphids and the typical things that can build up on house plants in general as well as the outdoor crops.


David, who is an avid soil germination guy, also sprays the aspirin water on the seeds directly sowed in the ground. The usual result is close to 100 per cent seed germination, compared to spotty germination in the other trial beds.

Martha’s experience caused scientists at the University of Arizona (along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)), to start studying how salicylic acid (main component in aspirin) induces plants into releasing their natural defences against harmful fungi, bacteria and viruses. They envision it as a commercially viable alternative to synthetic pesticides in a natural way to extend the life of susceptible yet popular crops.

According to our cultivation expert: “Yes this is an organic method.” Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is simply an alcohol extraction ‘derived’ from the white willow tree bark, Salix alba. Its really just like any other organic extract but you don’t need to get your hands on the bark so long as industry has already taken care of the job.


Adding aspirin water to a vase of fresh-cut canabis flowers to keep them longer in better shape is often dismissed as an old wives’ tale. Really – who wants to keep them in a vase when they are better off in a mason jar curing for your daily smoking sensations.

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