Hydrogen Peroxide: O.K. *during* germination?

growitnowFebruary 23, 2006


New to germinating seeds, but have read FAQ and various posts on using Hydrogen Peroxide to minimize damping off/fungus.

When and how do you apply it?

Spray on surface only? Water in?

From the moment the seeds are sowed, or only after germination?

Can you water regularly with it and continue until transplant outside?

From posts, I plan to use 1:10 ratio hydrogen peroxide to tap water.



zone 7, Virginia

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a couple of thoughts to open this discussion...the AHS book on propagation states that "ideally" one should use new containers for seed propagation/with a chosen seedling mix,seeds planted at the proper depth.Furthermore,my opinion is the aknowlegement of written credible sources of the media temperature requirements to increase germination rates;assuming the seeds are viable, harvested and stored correctly and are derived from credible seed companies.Additionally,other factors involve(my take) media moisture management, density of seed placement and consideration of seed/media temperature from credible sources of cultural notes. At the emergent stage of germinants:air circulation, air/root zone temperatures and sufficient light quality and duration based upon the written accounts(from credible sources) of the cultivar you are working with...I would think that any useful book on seed propagation simply will have a better presentation than I have and will hopefully emphasize hygene throughout seedling stages of production....

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 12:27PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I know some people water with it. I think I've read more like 5% H.P. to 95% water. I don't but I've used the water/H.P. mix in past years to soak seeds when I use the baggie method. Some seeds will rot in the baggie and I will clean off the remaining seeds with this soak. This has worked for me.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 6:06PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I have not had a case of damping off in the last 10 years. If you are having this problem you are not following good seeding practices. What is the cause of your problem? Correcting damping off is more difficult than preventing it. Al

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 10:17AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I think you have to consider the environment as well. Some places are more humid and mold-prone than others. You just can't compare places like Calistoga, CA to the East.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 6:31PM
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hello loretta;I think that what we are attempting to emphasize is a revisitation of noted works to establish protocols for seed propagation.If one attempts to grow seeds from collected seeds,there is a chance that the seeds inherently may contain seedborne pathogens ,so that it may be wise to make an attempt to study the lifecycles and temperature requirements that promote the the co-existance and competition of pathogens vs. seed germination. My preference in such cases, is to weigh the Best Management Practices (BMP)of the greenhouse trade over IPM and (implicit) preventative measures...

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 7:47PM
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Thanks for your feedback.

In reply to calistoga, I am not experiencing a problem, because I have never sown seeds before. I read on several posts that hydrogen peroxide was a good remedy, when damping off did occur. Since in my naive hands I anticipate the worst, it seemed wise to also anticiapte what to do when the worst happens.



    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 9:28PM
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I have used in seed germination experiments. Too strong a concentration can kill tomato seeds.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 10:42PM
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Growitnow, being prepared is good ... but try not to overdo the pessimism there! I posted a question myself today about damping-off ... I discovered white fuzz on the surface of the flats just as the first seedlings are beginning to emerge. Like you, I expected the worst, even though I'd read that while there are lots of fungi out there, there are only 4-6 that cause damping off.

I've increased soil temp, light and air circulation (removed clear dome covers), made sure there's no standing water in the base trays, misted lightly with chamomile tea, which some say has antimicrobial properties, and am keeping fingers crossed.

It's good to know the hydrogen peroxide is an option if it's needed.

Best of luck to you!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 11:57PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

The poster is only asking for people to share their experience with hydrogen peroxide...

If your not having a dampoff problem, I wouldn't go crazy with it yet. As you go along and start killing a few plants, you can start troubleshooting. There are many ways to kill seedlings besides dampoff.

I'm not sure I did well by my seedlings when I tried watering with it. I don't remember those seedlings doing well. So I stopped. But I will still use it as a seed soak. This year, I am dipping seeds that need it in alcohol and letting them evaporate. I know which ones need it because I use the baggie method. Can't tell you anything yet whether or not this will burn them.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 2:14AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

The major causes of damping off are too much moisture and too much heat and not enough air circulation. The fungi causing damping off are everywhere and good sanitation will help but not eliminate them. To avoid the problem it is best to provide growing conditions that do not favor the growth of the fungi, this will avoid the problem of how to kill the fungi without killing the seedlings. This is true no matter where you garden. Al

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 10:31AM
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Just wanted to thank everyone for the comments. Very helpful.

hi-ho-the-merry-O, a-growin-I-will-go


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 5:37PM
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