Should Fresh Flowers Be Allowed in Hospitals?

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

A beautiful comfort to patients or a disease spreading hazard —

what is the place of a bouquet of flowers in a hospital?

TIME magazine reported five years ago that there was a growing trend of U.K. hospitals banning fresh cut flowers. A new study reveals that today, nine in 10 U.K. hospitals ban fresh cut flowers. Additionally, the report finds that three out of four Britons opposed the bans.

The original reasons for the ban stemmed from the thought that the flowers (and the water they are placed in) can spread disease, and that they also can aggravate allergies. While the original concerns were traced back to studies from as early as the 1970s, later studies found there was little to no bacterial risk from flowers.

However, what the studies from the past five years do find is that while flowers may not be a physical risk to patients, they can be a major problem for nurses.

As one nurse said of flowers in the aforementioned TIME article: “I hate them… My staff don’t have time to change stagnant water; spillage is responsible for slips, trips and falls; and they cause hay fever.”

So what are your thoughts? Should banning flowers in hospitals become a trend on this side of the pond?

What do you think about flowers in patients’ rooms? Let us know in the comments section below.


This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.



  1. Last I heard, its not about the nurse, its about the patient…yes I am a nurse, and yes I have horrible allergies, but if it is something that brings joy to my patient and helps improve their mental well-being, then by all means…bring the flowers.

  2. Please bring on the flowers. And make a plan to change the water! Maybe volunteers or housekeeping could help. They are a great way to connect with patients! Great touch points and conversation starters. Also if they do bring some bacteria in, well.. Wasn’t it over use of antibacterial agents and over use of antibiotics to kill bacteria that brought to the era of “superbugs”. I says YES to normal flora and fauna. Joy?


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