Saying ‘I love you’ with toxic flowers?

Saying ‘I love you’ with toxic flowers?

As Valentine's day is on the horizon we thought let’s check our flowers, the symbol of love. 

Did you know most mass-produced flowers are grown using harmful chemicals?

No doubt flowers are beautiful and a cherished symbol of love and passion. This connotation can be traced back to Aphrodite in Greece and Venus in Rome - Goddesses of love. Sadly the situation has become somewhat muddied in our time. Now we are surrounded by cut flowers that are grown with harmful agro-chemicals and pesticides which are damaging the environment, our ecosystem. It's putting florists and people who are working with flower farms at high risk and also at the end of the chain - making us vulnerable by having them in our homes and bedrooms!

A recent study (2016) on cut flowers (roses, gerberas, and chrysanthemums) sold in Belgium showed that the flowers are heavily contaminated. 107 active substances were detected, i.e. an average of almost 10 active substances per sample and a total average pesticide load of 15.72 mg/kg of flowers. In another study, a total of 97 actives substances were detected on 50 bouquets of roses.*

Flower producers heavily use pesticides to achieve higher yields or to reduce waste so they can sell their produce at cheaper prices. However, the chemical pollution created by the cut-flower industry is also negatively impacting air and soil quality and the water supply in the areas where these flowers are produced. We believe this is too high a price to pay for cheaper flowers! Our love of flowers must not, literally, cost the earth.

Organic flowers; valentine's flowers

Why not change this chain and present organic flowers or buy from an authentic source where you have surety your flowers won’t harm your beloved and our shared world.

We can change this practice by not buying toxic flowers and using alternative options to show our love and affection.

Here are a few reliable sources to buy organic (toxin-free) flowers; they might be a little more expensive but they are safe:

If you can’t access non-toxic flowers, why not give something else to show your passion and love? Organic and Fairtrade Chocolate, or getting even more intimate, bedding!  Perhaps, a lovely organic meal, or give them a chore-free day.


Nisa Shah, co-founder Sleep Organic


*Risk Assessment of Florists Exposed to Pesticide Residues through Handling of Flowers and Preparing Bouquets. Khaoula Toumi et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017; 14(5): 526. 


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