Explainer: How Flowers Save the World

By Faran Krentcil, Fact checked by Jessica Ochoa

2 min read

Flowers

Tomorrow is National Plant a Flower Day (really), so it’s time to reveal something important:

Flowers are the MMA fighters of nature.

No, really. 

There are tons of benefits of flowers. For instance, flowers are vital to soil conservation and global wildlife preservation. Their super-tough seeds survive droughts, floods, and fires, and their crazy-strong roots help prevent erosion while putting nutrients back into the soil, which helps other plants grow. When the Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos wrote, “you tried to bury me but you forgot I was a seed,” he meant it: Flowers go through a lot of disruption and displacement, and that’s exactly why they can help ecosystems thrive. Another reason why flowers are important to the environment?

Flowers are the midnight pizza of the bee kingdom.

Pollinators like bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and even bats crave flower nectar, and will go hard to ensure they get their fill. And after those pollinators feast on flowers, they help grow over 35% of the world’s agricultural land. 

Flowers are nature’s CVS.

Do you know heart disease medication has a compound from foxgloves? Or that before echinacea was an immune booster, it was name-checked by Shakespeare as “coneflower”? Now you do.

By planting a flower, you help your own mental health and the health of the planet.

Growing flowers native to your neighborhood can help retain groundwater, put oxygen back into the soil, sustain a healthy ecosystem, and even lower feelings of stress or isolation, according to a New Jersey study.

It’s really easy to grow your own flowers.

Step 1: Visit your local flower nursery, farm, or farmer’s market.
Step 2: Ask, “What can I grow in my yard / my apartment flower box / the one clean mason jar my kitchen?” They will tell you. It will be fun. The end… unless this is a Lifetime movie, in which case, you will fall in love with the florist. Hey, we don’t make the rules.