- Mixing Charts for Gardening with Hydrogen Peroxide
- To water or mist plants, to soak seeds, to add to water used to wash sprouts:
- To spray on sick or fungusy plants:
- Be Careful: When Gardening with Hydrogen Peroxide, the Concentration Matters!
- Where did these recommended amounts come from?
- What are some other dilution recommendations for gardening with hydrogen peroxide?
- How often to apply H2O2 to plants?
- Subscribe to Hydrogen Peroxide Explorers’ Newsletter
- How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide
- Hydrogen Peroxide Foliar Spray
- How to Mix and Apply Hydrogen Peroxide in Gardening
- Mix water and a bit of hydrogen peroxide in a bucket (or any container), then water the plants
- Spray peroxide on the garden with a garden hose sprayer made for applying fertilizers
- Use left-over bath water to feed your plants
- Misting your plants with hydrogen peroxide
- So, what’s the best way to apply hydrogen peroxide in gardening?
- Bacterial And Fungal Controls
- Ampelomyces Quisqualis
- Bacillus Pumilus
- Bacillus Subtilis
- Barley Straw Rafts and Pellets
- Gliocladium – Beneficial Fungus
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Neem Oil
- pH Up and pH Down
- Potassium Bicarbonate
- Quaternary Amines
- Silica and Silicate Salts
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- Streptomyces Griseoviridis – Beneficial Bacteria
- Trichoderma – Beneficial Fungi
- UVC Light
- H2o2 bath to take care of powdery mildew?
- Garden Uses For Hydrogen Peroxide: Will Hydrogen Peroxide Hurt Plants
- Does Hydrogen Peroxide Hurt Plants?
- How Plants Can Use Hydrogen Peroxide
- 1. Combat Root Rot
- 2. Fight Fungal Infections
- 3. Sanitize Seeds
- 4. Accelerate Seed Germination
- 5. Disinfect Tools, Pots, and Greenhouses
- 6. Use to Fertilize Your Plants
- 7. Use in Aquaponics and Hydroponics
- 8. To Keep Pests Away
- 9. Prevent Bacterial Rot
- 10. Kill Weeds
- Related posts:
Mixing Charts for Gardening with Hydrogen Peroxide
If you want to start gardening with hydrogen peroxide, you need to know how much peroxide to use. Here are charts to tell you how much.
Learn about using hydrogen peroxide in the garden.
Learn different ways to mix and apply hydrogen peroxide for use in gardening.
To water or mist plants, to soak seeds, to add to water used to wash sprouts:
|TO THIS AMOUNT OF WATER||ADD THIS AMOUNT OF 3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE||–OR– ADD THIS AMOUNT OF 35% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE|
|1 cup||1 and 1/2 teaspoons||7 to 10 drops|
|1 quart||2 tablespoons||1/2 teaspoon|
|1 gallon||1/2 cup||2 teaspoons|
|5 gallons||2 and 1/2 cups||3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon|
|10 gallons||5 cups||6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons|
|20 gallons||10 cups||3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon|
|bathtub (aprox 25 to 35 gallons) *||12 to 17 cups||1 to 1.5 cups|
* bathtub sizes vary. It is okay to use more water and/or less peroxide.
To spray on sick or fungusy plants:
|TO THIS AMOUNT OF WATER||ADD THIS AMOUNT OF 3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE||–OR– ADD THIS AMOUNT OF 35% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE|
|1 cup||1 tablespoon||1/4 teaspoon|
|1 pint||2 tablespoons||1/2 teaspoon|
|1 quart||1/4 cup||1 teaspoon|
|1 gallon||1 cup||1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon|
|5 gallons||5 cups||6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons|
|10 gallons||10 cups||3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoons|
|20 gallons||20 cups||1 and 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons|
Please be mindful to choose the correct column in the chart depending on whether you are using 3% hydrogen peroxide or 35% hydrogen peroxide!!
As you may notice, the amount of peroxide in the chart for sick and fungusy plants is twice as much as in the first chart. I have heard of people using stronger solutions, but more is NOT always better. So be careful, and when in doubt, stay safe. You can always apply more another day. If you decide to use a bit more, please make it only a little bit more, don’t get carried away. Gardening with hydrogen peroxide is great, but too much can harm your plants.
Be Careful: When Gardening with Hydrogen Peroxide, the Concentration Matters!
10% hydrogen peroxide is recommended as a weed killer — in other words it will kill your plants at that concentration….
As with all things H202, the amount and concentration of peroxide you use matters. The right amount will benefit your plants, and too much will harm them or even kill them.
There’s some room for variation, but there’s also some risk.
Where did these recommended amounts come from?
I did not make up the amounts in the charts, I got basic proportions from printed books and newsletters. (Think back, if you are old enough, to a time long before the internet. Imagine homemade booklets about hydrogen peroxide, typed on a typewriter!)
What are some other dilution recommendations for gardening with hydrogen peroxide?
There are a variety of published recommendations, and, as you might guess, they do NOT all agree. Still, I think it’s good to start with an amount that has some history of use, so that’s what I’ve done. But also remember that such recommendations are based on the experiences of people who simply tried things out, and looked at the results.
As an example of the variations, I just looked at a few pages about peroxide in gardening. I found one that said to mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with water to feed to plants, but did not say how much to use! I found another that recommends 1 teaspoon of 3% H2O2 in a gallon of water (which is about 1/8th as much as in the first chart, above!) I also found a commercial garden product that recommends using a few drops of 35% hydrogen peroxide per gallon, and using this for every watering (also drastically less than what is listed in the first chart, above).
Lots of gardening and hydroponics websites have a link to this page in order to provide the dilution charts, above, for gardening. Which is great — yet I’m reluctant to have this become the authoritative source on how much to use! I honestly doubt that there is such a thing as a single answer. There could an accepted answer, or a range that is safe, but I doubt that there is a single best answer.
How often to apply H2O2 to plants?
You may wonder how often you should use peroxide on your plants. I don’t have an answer to that. If you are treating a fungus or mold or an ill plant, you would want to use it until the problem clears up or the plant looks healthy again. But you need not use it for every watering! For general purpose use gardening, I have not really seen much in the way of recommendations. I personally use it only once in a while. I’ve seen really good effects using peroxide to water young plants and with soaking seeds, giving the seeds or plants an early boost in growth.
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Is your garden looking less than perfect? Have your plants got mold growth and fungus? As a gardener, it is really frustrating to see these problems cropping up in your backyard. And it is even more frustrating when store bought chemicals or even natural home remedies fail to help. But there is another way. Using this clear liquid on your plants might seem unusual but the evidence shows it is excellent for plant roots, treating fungus, getting rid of mold and even dealing with gnats.
Stop root rot in its tracks and prevent overwatering with this wonder chemical! If you’re still not convinced, we’ve put together some great reasons why you should be using hydrogen peroxide on your plants right now! If you want to get started now, you can see the brand we recommend here.
Table of Contents
What is Hydrogen Peroxide?
This is a colorless, sharp-smelling chemical which looks a bit like water. It is commonly used for household uses such as disinfectant and in cleaning products. It is rare to see pure hydrogen peroxide as it is most commonly used as a watered down solution. It comes mixed with water which is typically 6% HP and the rest ordinary H20. You may have heard of it as a hair bleach and peroxide is what is used by hairdressers to get a bright blonde hair color. It is used for medical problems like disinfecting small cuts or wounds and even treating boils or acne. It has a myriad of uses in household cleaning and it can even be used to kill mites and remove algae and scum from your home aquarium.
Buy It Here
How Does It Work?
It is a very similar chemical composition to water and if it was in a sealed bottle you may even mistake it for water. And its effect on plants is actually quite positive.
But when it comes to gardening, this solution on plants does so much more than just simple water. Even though this is a chemical compound, it is actually found in rain naturally. Have you ever noticed how your plants seem to react better to rainwater rather than some from the tap? By soaking your plants in hydrogen peroxide solution, it actually replicates this natural substance found in raindrops and your plants drink it up, thinking that it’s ordinary rain!
How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Using hydrogen peroxide for gardening is pretty simple, but getting the mixture right is key. You want to soak your plants, around the roots, and get rid of fungus, spores and built up mold. A general rule of thumb is to mix about one cup of HP solution with 32 cups of water and head out into the garden in the evening. Pour the solution into your pots or flowerbeds and leave it to soak overnight. Make sure you concentrate on the roots of your plant and avoid spraying the solution onto flowers or leaves. You can also use a stronger solution to help seeds. One ounce of it as a solution in two cups of water will give you a great solution for seeds. This helps them stay healthy and grow faster – we’ve explained more below.
Below, I’ve put together 11 great reasons why you should be using hydrogen peroxide for your plants right now.
Soil Aeration and Treatment of Root Rot
Good soil aeration is really important for any garden plants. Giving your soil enough space for air and nutrients to get through to the roots of your plants is the best way to see your plants flourish. If your soil is too compact, oxygen and nutrients won’t get through and your plants could die. A good way to see if your soil is too compact is to look at the roots of plants you have growing currently. If you pull out a plant and the roots look all squished together and tangled up then it means the soil doesn’t have enough aeration and your plant is struggling. You will also see more toxins and disease in your soil if it is poorly aerated.
Root rot is another problem that can crop up if your soil is too compact. Typically seen in plants which have been overwatered, it is the most common cause of decay around roots of plants and shrubs. Known as Phytophthora root rot, it doesn’t just affect plants in containers as bedding plants and bulbs can also suffer from this. The difficult thing with root rot is that it can sit for years in your soil even if it hasn’t had any plants put in. It is difficult to treat because of this and is exacerbated when the ground is waterlogged or very compact. The most common time gardeners will see root rot is in potato and tomato gardens.
The signs you have root rot in a plant can be difficult to spot as it doesn’t appear above ground until it has well and truly taken over your plant. You will see yellow leaves and some branches dying off completely. If you dig around the roots of the plant you will see the roots are not formed well enough. The good news is it can be treated with hydrogen peroxide. So, if you discover root rot or believe your soil is badly aerated, here is what you can do. It can and will kill off bacteria and fungus.
Use a weak solution (around 3%) and mix it roughly one part chemical to two parts water.
Carefully pour it around the roots and the base of your plant to kill off the bacteria.
Hydrogen peroxide also helps aerate your soil which should help to prevent future cases of root rot. When it is absorbed into the soil, the hydrogen peroxide breaks down and releases oxygen. These high oxygen levels will make sure your roots are healthy and strong. A healthy root system should be long and untangled with fuzzy white growth on the main root which is used for soaking up water and nutrients.
Disinfect Pots, Tools, Potting Benches and Greenhouses
Guess what? It’s also a great disinfectant. It is already used in medical procedures and for cleaning homes due to its great antibacterial properties. But did you know you can use it to clean your gardening tools and accessories too? If you’ve had a disease in the garden or found plants affected by root rot or fungus, the worry that it will spread to your other plants is real. And using tools or containers that have had diseased plants in them for other, healthy plants can cause this disease to spread. If you find a plant disease in your backyard, use a hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect everything that might have come into contact with your troubled plants. It is a great fungus treatment and will take any traces of the disease off your pots or potting benches. Even if you don’t have cases of diseases in your garden, you should be disinfecting your tools regularly anyway. To disinfect your tools, wipe them over with a wet cloth to remove the dirt and debris then fill a bucket with hydrogen peroxide solution. For this, you should use around a gallon of water to two cups of the chemical. Dip in the metal parts of your tools but be careful not to expose wooden or plastic handles to the solution for too long as it can cause them to deteriorate. Make sure you dry your tools thoroughly after they have been cleaned so they don’t rust. With potting benches, surfaces, and greenhouse glass you should mix the solution in a container and then, wear rubber gloves and take a soft cloth and wet it so it is damp. Wipe these surfaces thoroughly with the cloth and then dry with a clean, dry cloth. For greenhouse glass, you can also use newspaper to make the glass shiny and streak free.
Disinfect Growing Medium
There are hundreds of different types of growing media available. Put simply, a growing medium is a solid or liquid compound which is designed to help plants grow. This can be anything from a compost mix to a peat mix. Organic potting compost will have organic matter in it which can include bone meal, worm casing and even bat droppings! While this is great and packed full of nutrients for your garden and containers, you do run the risk of introducing bacteria and fungus into your garden through using this type of potting mix.
An easy way to stop disease infiltrating your garden this way is by disinfecting your chosen growing medium before you use it with a hydrogen peroxide solution.
Just put your chosen soil or potting mix into a clean, disinfected container and then sprinkle over some hydrogen peroxide mixture. The same sort of mix as you would use to pour over a plant suffering root rot. Allow this to settle in over a week or so, watering two or three times and then it should be ready for use in your garden or containers.
Everyone knows that seeds do best if they are soaked in water first, but did you know that using hydrogen peroxide in your water solution will help them germinate faster? Hydrogen peroxide will also kill off any bacteria that your seeds may have picked up. So if you’re buying them from another gardener you can make sure you get the plants you want without bringing in any unwanted diseases into your garden. Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and pour it into a small, watertight container. Leave the seeds for around four hours and this will kill off bacteria without affecting the seeds. You should then rinse the seeds thoroughly in clean, fresh water and then leave them to dry on a kitchen towel or a clean tea towel.
Soaking seeds in hydrogen peroxide can also accelerate germination and even just a minute or two in a weak solution can speed up how fast your seeds will sprout. Put the seeds in a sieve or if you can a mesh bag works best. Something that will allow water through while keeping the seeds in place. Unlike bleach, hydrogen peroxide takes off any bacteria without damaging the seed itself. It should be a solution of one teaspoon in about a cup of water for the seed soak. You can use a much lower concentration but the soaking process will take much longer. You should rinse your seeds with water and then begin the germinating process straight away. You can use a thin layer of wet kitchen towels or sprinkle some potting soil into a seedling tray. These trays are often made of cardboard or other absorbent material which will keep the seeds moist until they need to sprout. Read your seed instructions carefully and keep them at the right temperature. Warm and moist is best and, generally, seeds thrive in a warmer climate so think about putting them in a seed propagator or greenhouse.
Boost Root Development
If your plants are looking a little limp and lifeless, then give them a boost with a dose of hydrogen peroxide. While you can definitely use it as a seed booster and deal with fungal growths, it is also great for helping plants at any stage of their life do better. The hydrogen peroxide solution can be sprayed or absorbed straight into the soil to help boost your plant’s roots. Watering plants with hydrogen peroxide solution will introduce more oxygen into your soil. This boost of oxygen gives the roots more room to take in extra nutrients and water to feed and it will give it a kick start or help an ailing plant get back on track. Use about two teaspoons of 35% hydrogen peroxide to around one gallon of water and then use it on your garden every other time you go out to water your plants.
Fight Fungal Infections
One of the best uses for hydrogen peroxide is to fight fungal growth or mold on plants. You might be concerned about using something that will kill mold and spores around your precious plants but you don’t need to worry. This chemical mixture is brilliant at killing off fungus while also being kind to your shrubs. If you spot the tell-tale signs that a fungus has taken hold of your plants, then mix up some hydrogen peroxide solution and water your plant really heavily. And I mean really heavily. You want to almost flood your plant and keep watering until the liquid pours out of the pot or the flowerbed is waterlogged. Don’t panic! This might sound like bad advice but using this much “clean” water will completely rid the area, and soil around your plant, of the bacteria-carrying dirt and flush it clean. Don’t let your plants sit in a tray of water, though. Water them in one place and then move the container to another. Leave the watering until the plant has very nearly completely dried out and you should see the fungus die off. So, remember; hydrogen peroxide for powdery mildew, residues, and mold is the most effective and safe.
While some bugs and insects are helpful for your garden (the friendly honey bee for example) there are some that are downright pests and can really damage your crops. Rather than trying to kill everything that comes into your backyard, a kinder way is to just put off the pesky bugs from coming in the first place! And this awesome clear solution can do just that. A 1% hydrogen peroxide solution is safe to use and will keep away insects and kills any eggs. It is also much safer and cheaper than some of the store-bought insecticides and repellents which can be full of toxic chemicals harmful to pets and other wildlife. Some of the most common (and frustrating!) garden pests can also be repelled by this wonder chemical. Aphids will be deterred from sitting on the leaves of your plants with just a spritz of this solution.
Hydroponics and Aquaponics
Using HP in a hydroponic set up is a great way to grow healthy, thriving plants. Growing plants with hydroponics mean you can see problems like a lack of nutrients as well as bacteria growth due to the warm atmosphere. The harmful bacteria present in hydroponic gardens thrive in a water with low oxygen content. As explained above, hydrogen peroxide hugely boosts the amount of oxygen in your water and this can combat the low oxygen found in warm or room temperature water. It will kill off bacteria too, so if you find some fungus or mold spores in your hydroponic set up you can quickly combat this with the solution. You can use a 3, 5 or 8% strength solution which is bought cheaply from supermarkets or wholesalers. You should keep your solution in a black bottle, though, as light makes the chemical break down faster and if it is going to be kept in the same area as your hydroponics it will be exposed to light.
While a weak solution of HP will kill off bacteria and fungus and leave your plants unharmed, a stronger concentration can actually be used as a weed killer. A 10% concentration will kill off unwanted plants if it is applied directly to them. Simply, mix it with water in a spray bottle to target the weeds. Or you can mix the solution in a bucket and pour right over them for a more effective way. Just be careful not to get it on or near the flowers and wanted plants in the garden. It will kill those, too.
It can also be used to treat the water you use instead. If you are collecting water in a tank or water butt, you can treat it with hydrogen peroxide. Or, if you’re in the middle of summer and are forced to use tap water in your garden, you can treat it with hydrogen peroxide first. Just mix some into your watering can before you take it out into the garden. As hydrogen peroxide has strong oxidation, it will remove any harmful chemicals or pesticides found in ordinary tap water. This includes getting rid of chlorine which is added to water at treatment plants. In hydroponic growing, you can add the solution to your water tank and it will fill your water with more oxygen. It purifies the water and will help your plants to absorb more nutrients.
Do not heat or Boil
While it is really a wonder chemical, it should also be handled carefully. You should NEVER try to heat or boil hydrogen peroxide as it is a very unstable compound and will explode if exposed to heat.
Store in Safe Place
For this reason, make sure it is stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or another heat source. As with all garden chemicals, it should be in a tamper proof bottle or flask.
Use Rubber Gloves
If you are using a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide, as a weed killer or before you dilute it with distilled water, then make sure you wear gloves as you handle it. Rubber gloves are recommended as ordinary gardening gloves are not waterproof.
keep out of reach of children
You should also make sure it is away from pets and children. Hydrogen peroxide, while able to be used on your skin to treat wounds and cuts, should never be swallowed or ingested. It can cause you to have too much oxygen in your blood which can lead to a myriad of issues. If you do use it on your skin, use it sparingly as hydrogen peroxide can reduce the number of cells you have which clean and repair damaged tissue when it is absorbed through the skin.
So, did you find out something new about hydrogen peroxide? It’s not just for bleaching hair or giving your home a spring clean, it can be used to fight off root rot, treat water, and even as an insect repellent in the garden. As a gardener, you can sometimes feel like you’re fighting against the elements to make sure your plants thrive and grow into healthy blooms or give you a bountiful crop. With this simple chemical, you can treat so many common gardening issues and make sure your backyard is healthy and thriving. You can start using it even before the plant is growing as a seed treatment and if you find fungus growing around the base of a tree or long-standing plant you can quickly treat it and bring it back to life. Comment and share below if you have any gardening tips of your own and if you’ve found this article helpful!
*You might also like: Aloe vera Plant – Uses, Benefits and Proper Plant Care
Hydrogen Peroxide Foliar Spray
3% = Dilution rate.
FACTS & INFO:
Plants need 02 for repiration just like animals. Plants have wonderous systems to move liquids but, this system doesn’t participate in moving the gases. Almost everyone is aware of how the Co2 is taken into the plant in the leaves through the stomata.Leaves are well equiped to take are of their own gas exchanges. The distance these gases must diffuse in the plants is extremely small. Every living cell in the plant is relatively close to the surface. This arrangement is fairly obivious in leaves. The other living cells are just below the surface of the bark. Most of the living cells have at least part of their surface exposed to the ambient air. The loose packing of these cells in the parenchyma are interconnected with air space. Gases diffuse through these air spaces thousands of times more effeciently then through liquids. When the gases, 02 or C02 reach these air pockets they diffuse rapidly and efficiently.They also pass through the cell walls and plasma membranes by a method called diffusion. The plasma membranes are aided by aquaporin channels in them. The bark of the plants have tiny openings called linticels that expose the interior living cells to the outside alowing for the exchange of gases as needed. On many plants the green limbs are as important in photosynthesis as the the leaves are. Many plants deprived of free flowing 02 at their roots drown. Also this deprivation of 02 impedes water or mineral uptake. The uptake of gases is less aggressive in plants than in animals because all of the lliving cells of the plants are distributed under the bark and exposed to the the air.
The plant will choose and select the gas they need to survive in a given situation. If they need 02 for repiration thats what the cells will use. If they need Co2 for photosynthesis thats what they will use although both gases will be availabe to them at the same time. The plants obtain 02 by Direct contact
Submitted to: Proceedings of Horticultural Industry Show
Publication Type: Proceedings/Symposium
Publication Acceptance Date: February 8, 2007
Publication Date: May 1, 2007
Citation: Webber III, C.L., Sandtner, S.J., Webber, C.L. 2007. Hydrogen peroxide as a soil amendment for greenhouse nasturtium production (Tropaeolum majus L.). Proceedings of Horticultural Industry Show. 26:140-144.
Interpretive Summary: Hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, occurs naturally in animals and plants, and can help protect plants from diseases or signal the plant concerning stress. In addition to its use as a disinfectant for humans and in water purification, hydrogen peroxide is approved for the control of plant diseases. Hydrogen peroxide is used to control diseases on plant leaves, roots, and cuttings. The soil can also be treated with hydrogen peroxide before a plant is started in the soil. There are also common reports that hydrogen peroxide provides additional growth benefits beyond its ability to control diseases and help the plant deal with stress. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of soil applications of hydrogen peroxide solutions on plant growth and flowering. Container grown nasturtium seedlings cv. Scarlet Glean Improved were irrigated with either distilled water, tap water, or hydrogen peroxide solutions. The hydrogen peroxide treatments included adding 1.3, 13, or 26 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of distilled water. Distilled water was used to be sure there wasn”t something else in the water that was helping or hurting the plants. Hydrogen peroxide applications did affect the nasturtium leaves, stems, roots, and flowers. Nasturtium leaves and stems, and the total plant (leaves, stems and roots) dry weight were greater when using 1.3 teaspoons/gallon than the 13 teaspoon/gallon. Twenty-six teaspoons/gallon resulted in more root growth than using 1.3 teaspoons/gallon. Flowering was also better when using 1.3 teaspoons/gallon than either 13 or 26 teaspoons/gallon. The results indicate that watering with 1.3 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide/gallon of distilled water did provide growth and flowering benefits to nasturtiums grown in containers, although the results were not as great as the non-scientific reports would suggest. The difference between our results and what many people generally report may be the benefit of hydrogen peroxide decreasing or eliminating diseases in the soil containers rather than it directly helping the plant grow better.
Technical Abstract: Hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, is a highly reactive oxidizing agent naturally occurring in plants and animals. Plants produce hydrogen peroxide to destroy either infected plant cells or the pathogens within a plant. Hydrogen peroxide also acts as a stress signal to plants. It is approved for the control of microbial pests, fungi and bacterial that cause plant diseases and it is applied as a foliar spray, as a dip for cuttings and roots, and as a pre-planting soil treatment to prevent or control plant pathogens. There are also anecdotal reports that hydrogen peroxide provides additional growth benefits beyond its actions related to plant infection or plant stress. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of soil applications of hydrogen peroxide solutions on plant growth and flowering. Container grown nasturtium cv. Scarlet Glean Improved seedlings were irrigated with either distilled water, tap water, or hydrogen peroxide solutions. The hydrogen peroxide treatments included 0.005% H2O2 (1X), 0.05% H2O2 (10X), and 0.1% H2O2 (20X), which are equivalent to 1.3, 13, and 26 tsp/gallon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. The foliage and root fresh and dry weights harvested at 22 days after initiating treatment (DAIT) and the fresh weights at 33 DIAT were not significantly different as a result of the hydrogen peroxide concentrations. Hydrogen peroxide concentrations significantly impacted the foliage, root, and total dry weights at 33 DAIT. The 1X concentration of hydrogen peroxide produced significantly greater amounts of nasturtium foliage and total plant dry weights at 33 DAIT compared to the 10X concentration, but it was not significantly different from the distilled and tap water applications. The 20X root dry weights were significantly greater than all other treatments except the 1X hydrogen concentration. The 1X concentration produced significantly greater total number of flowers than either the 10X or 20X concentrations and 64 and 57% greater numbers of flowers than the distilled and tap water treatments. The results indicate that watering nasturtiums at the tested hydrogen peroxide applications rates did provide slight growth and flowering benefits to nasturtiums grown in containers, although the results were not as great as anecdotal reports would suggest. The most likely explanation for the anecdotal reports of dramatic growth stimulus of hydrogen peroxide watering solutions may be a result of hydrogen peroxide decreasing or eliminating diseases in the soil containers rather than it serving as a direct stimulus to the plant.
How to Mix and Apply Hydrogen Peroxide in Gardening
Okay, suppose that you’re keen on the idea of using hydrogen peroxide in gardening, but you just want to know how to apply it…. Okay, I’m ready to explain!
As usual, there are options — there are several ways to go about feeding hydrogen peroxide to your garden.
Mix water and a bit of hydrogen peroxide in a bucket (or any container), then water the plants
The chart here shows the quantities of water and hydrogen peroxide to use for applying hydrogen peroxide in gardening. You can mix peroxide into a whole bucket of water, or just into a glass of water, whatever amount you need.
The same mixture of peroxide and water can be used for watering houseplants as well as plants that are in the ground. So, a glass of water may be all you need for an indoor plant, where you’ll need a bucket to mix enough to water a tree or a flower garden. Whatever size container you use, it is simple enough, just mix in peroxide as shown.
Take care to be sure you are using the right column in the chart depending on whether you are using 3% hydrogen peroxide or 35% hydrogen peroxide!!
Spray peroxide on the garden with a garden hose sprayer made for applying fertilizers
There’s a sprayer device that can be found at hardware and garden stores. It’s a great gadget to have — mine says “lawn sprayer” on it.
It’s got a plastic reservoir (mine holds around 3 cups). You fill this container up with liquid fertilizer (or liquid pesticides, I suppose, for those who use such horrid things, but let’s no go there)…. Then you attach the whole thing to the garden hose… (There’s a connector that is threaded just right to attach a garden hose)… Then you turn the hose ON — and out comes a very diluted combination of whatever’s-in-the-reservoir plus lots of water. It comes shooting out, just as water out of a hose — and you use it to water the garden. It takes a while to use up the 20 gallons of water as it comes streaming out of the sprayer.
The sprayer I have mixes the liquid in the container (about 3 cups) into 20 gallons of water. Another model might be set up for a different amount. Anyway, it is calibrated, so it’s all set up to dilute the stuff in the container to a particular level.
Since mine is set up for 20 gallons, I need to put the correct amount of fertilizer into the reservoir to treat 20 gallons of water.
So, how much hydrogen peroxide should be mixed into 20 gallons of water, to feed to plants? The answer varies a little bit depending on what source you ask. I’ll tell you what my chart says: 3/4 cup of 35% hydrogen peroxide is about right for 20 gallons of water. (See the chart for more info on the amount of peroxide to use with various quantities of water, to use for gardening.)
Of course, the amount to use would be different with a different sprayer — say, one that treats 10 gallons of water…
So, since the reservoir on my sprayer holds about 3 cups of liquid, the way to add ¾ cup of 35% peroxide to 20 gallons of water, using this sprayer, is to dilute the peroxide in the reservoir. Put 3/4 cup of 35% peroxide into the container, then add water to fill it up. This mixture will be mixed into 20 gallons of water.
By the way, this is one of the applications where 35% peroxide is handy. Checking the chart for how much peroxide to use, you’ll see that with 3% hydrogen peroxide, you could use 10 cups of peroxide to 20 gallons of water. But you can’t put 10 cups of liquid into a 3-cup container! So, using 3% peroxide, you would have to use a more dilute solution — which is also okay. Filling the container with 3 cups of 3% peroxide would be be fine – this would be somewhat more dilute than necessary, but this would still work just fine. However, by using 35% hydrogen peroxide, you’re more able to control the concentration, and it’s easy to use 3/4 cup of 35% peroxide in the sprayer — just add water to fill.
Use left-over bath water to feed your plants
If you take baths with hydrogen peroxide, you may want to run a hose from the bathtub to the garden and then start a siphon to move the water from the bathtub, out through the hose, and on to the plants and the soil. You could also carry the water out to the plants a bucket-full at a time.
This is just a way to re-use the same hydrogen peroxide in gardening as you’ve used in the bath to soak in, making another use of it, instead of sending it down the drain.
Of course, you would not want to reuse your bath water in the garden unless everything in the bath water is biodegradable and safe for your garden. That includes: no commercial shampoos, no creme rinse, no Epsom salts, no salt scrubs, no chemicals that would be harmful to plants.
If you want to reuse your bathwater in the garden, you’ll need to limit yourself to water, peroxide, and biodegradable soap in the bath.
The mixing chart includes a row with the amount of water in a bathtub. However, bathtubs vary, so yours may hold more of less than the 25 to 35 gallons of water that I’ve listed.
Depending on how much hydrogen peroxide you’ve added to your bath, you may need to add additional water to further dilute the peroxide, before feeding the water to the garden. (See the page about bathing with peroxide for more information!)
Misting your plants with hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide can also be added to the water in a mister (this is a foliar feed, as the plants take it in through their leaves). The same chart also includes the dilution to use for spraying plants. (It is the same dilution as what’s used to water plants.)
Just use whatever plant “mister” (device) you have. Put the water-and-peroxide mixture in, and mist your plants with it.
So, what’s the best way to apply hydrogen peroxide in gardening?
The simplest way to start out is just to mix peroxide into some water, in a bucket or any container, and use it to water your plants. Then, if you want to continue to use hydrogen peroxide in gardening, you can try all the ways I’ve listed, to see what works best for you…. and maybe you’ll find a few additional ways to apply hydrogen peroxide in gardening that I haven’t thought of.
Return from how to mix and apply hydrogen peroxide in gardening back to the main gardening page…..
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Bacterial And Fungal Controls
When you run into trouble with your grow you’ll want to act as fast as possible to prevent bigger problems. This guide will learn you all about bacterial and fungal issues that may occur with your grow.
These are naturally occurring hyperparasites of powdery mildew. They form colonies on the infection, reducing growth and may eventually kill powdery mildew on cannabis leaves. Rain perpetuates the life cycle of this beneficial fungus. A formulated powder is available under the brand name AQ-10.
Bacillus Pumilus is a spore-bearing bacterium found in soil. It is resistant to environmental stresses, include UV light. The growth of Bacillus Pumilus on plant roots prevents Fusarium spores from germinating. A commercial product is available by the name of Sonata. Application boosts the cannabis plants’ immune system, inhibiting fungal germination and growth.
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Bacillus Subtilis is a naturally occurring anti-fungal bacterium found in soils. It has proven to fight blight, gray mold and several strains of mildew, yet has no adverse affects on the environment or humans. For this reason, it has been approved as a fungicide and bactericide for use in organic farming. Bacillus Subtilis compounds prevents pathogens from colonizing crops. This biological fungicide can be procured online under several brand names. Two strains are available; one for foliage applications (QST 713) and one to be used as a soil amendment at the time of planting (GB03 or MBI600). Download my and learn to grow like a pro!
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Barley Straw Rafts and Pellets
Barley straw rafts are used in hydroponic cannabis systems to inhibit the growth of algae. Barley straw does not kill existing algae but does prevent the growth of new algae cells. While barley straw has not been approved by the EPA for use in public waters, it is available for purchase by homeowners for hydroponics and private ponds.
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The use of copper as a fungicide has been practiced for centuries. The most popular use today is in the form of Bordeaux Mixture, which combines copper sulfate with lime. The purpose of adding lime to copper sulfate is to reduce the damaging effect copper sulfate can have on marijuana plants. It is an added benefit that Bordeaux Mixture is also effective in controlling bacteria. As such, it is a good combatant for plant diseases caused by fungi and bacteria such as powdery mildew, downy mildew, leaf spots and fire blight. Bordeaux Mixture is a good option for controlling these diseases on outdoor grown marijuana plants, as it withstands rains, enabling its effect to remain on the foliage. However, it should only be applied before the flowering stage. Use a diluted solution on young plants to prevent burning of the tender leaves. Also avoid applying in temperatures over eighty five degrees to avoid the leaves yellowing and dropping off the plants. Follow label directions before using.
Gliocladium – Beneficial Fungus
Gliocladium is a species of parasitic fungus living in the soil. It produces volatile organic compounds which are toxic to other fungi and bacteria. Gliocladium protects Mary Jane from gray mold by suppressing spore production. It is best applied as a soil drench and is available under several brand names.
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This common product found in drug stores and supermarkets, at 3% concentration, is a natural treatment for algae, gray mold, Pythium and powdery mildew. Using hydrogen peroxide on your marijuana plants will not bring them harm. Peroxide helps aerate the soil by adding oxygen and is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Cannabis plants can be fed a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water as a fertilizer and disease deterrent, resulting in healthy plants. It can be misted on the leaves and/or applied directly to the soil. An easy way to apply is to fill a clean fertilizer spray bottle that attaches to a garden hose and feed as you would, say Miracle Gro. The bottle will have gallon markings on it. Fill the bottle with peroxide. When you turn on the hose, it will automatically dilute. If feeding sick plants, add one cup 3% hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water. Pour into a spray bottle and spritz the leaves, making sure to cover completely. For general feeding, add one half cup to a gallon of water.
Hydrogen peroxide can also be added to the water in hydroponic environments. It can be used to sprout seeds by adding it to the water they soak in before planting; they will sprout quicker and grow stronger. Follow the general application recipe for the peroxide to water ratio if using to soak seeds.
Just as milk is essential to a healthy human diet by building the immune system and providing good bacteria to ward off infection, it works in much the same way for plants, including marijuana. Milk is a natural germicide and may boost plants’ immune systems in much the same way it does humans. It is a formidable treatment for powdery mildew. Applying weekly sprays of one part milk to nine parts water significantly reduces the presence of powdery mildew and will prevent it from forming if the plants are not currently affected. When rinsing empty milk bottles prior to putting in the recycle bin, pour the diluted milk around your plants rather than pour it down the drain. Your plants will love it!
Milk also acts as a disinfectant. Dip your gardening tools in milk, rather than bleach, when sterilizing between uses.
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Neem oil is extracted from the nut of the neem tree, native to India. The insecticidal component of neem oil is azadirachtin which when applied, stops insects from feeding and developing. Neem oil is an effective defense against ants, aphids, fungus gnats, leaf miners, mealy bugs, scale, thrips, white flies and root weevils. Other components in neem oil have fungicidal properties combating gray mold, root rot, Septoriaand powdery mildew.
The beauty of using neem oil in the cannabis garden is its low toxicity factor for humans, animals and the beneficial bugs you want to keep around. Neem oil is so safe for humans it is an ingredient in many household items such as toothpaste, shampoo and cosmetics. It is considered an organic control, will not harm the environment and can be found at local lawn and garden centers.
Neem oil can be applied as a foliar spray, soil drench and is safe to use in hydroponic systems. In the latter, apply one teaspoon per quart of water. The oil will be taken up by the root system and distributed throughout, protecting the plant from attack.
As a foliar spray, test an inconspicuous area of the marijuana plant before applying to the entire plant. Wait twenty four hours to see if it is well tolerated. Once confirmed, spray the leaves lightly. This should be done weekly until there is no longer evidence of pests or disease. Do not apply in extreme temperatures or during the day. Apply at night to allow the leaves to absorb the oil.
pH Up and pH Down
Maintaining the proper pH level of your cannabis garden, whether soil grown or hydroponically, is vital to deterring the growth of disease bearing fungi. Highly acidic environments lend themselves to the fungi species that can be detrimental to your growing efforts.
pH Up and pH Down is used in hydroponic situations to adjust the alkaline and acidity levels. Tap water typically is at the 8.0 level due to the high alkaline content. The optimum pH level for hydroponically grown plants is 5.5 – 6.5. Acids are used to lower the pH level, while alkalis are used to raise the level. Be sure to use a product labeled for hydroponic use or you can damage the crop.
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Potassium bicarbonate is a water-soluble compound often used to neutralize acidic soil in crops. It is now under consideration as an organic fungicide. Potassium bicarbonate is a synthetic compound resultant of a combination of potassium carbonate, carbon dioxide and water and is found naturally in virtually all life forms. It is most seen in crystal form or as a soft, powdery substance.
Potassium bicarbonate is an effective defense against powdery mildew, Septoria leaf spot, blight and many other fungal diseases. To apply, mix three tablespoons potassium bicarbonate, three tablespoons oil and one half teaspoon castile soap with one gallon water. Pour mixture into a spray bottle and mist the cannabis leaves. (This also works on most edible plants).
Potassium bicarbonate can be purchased from garden centers, hardware stores and pharmacies, or can be obtained online under various brand names.
Pseudomonas is a genus of bacteria found in water and plant seeds. The application of this strain became widely used in the 1980’s as a way to prevent the growth of crop pathogens. It is applied to the soil or seeds, in agriculture. It is believed the introduction of pseudomonas to the soil or seeds, induces systemic resistance of the emerging plant to pathogens. The application is available by several manufacturers to control many fungal and bacterial diseases. Pseudomonas refers to a variety of species, so check labels for the particular fix you need.
This is a broad term referring to a class of compounds which act as disinfectants. Its use should be confined to cleaning gardening tools and work surfaces, but should not be applied to consumable plants. Sterilizing equipment and surfaces with quaternary amines will help guard against the spread of fungal pathogens to your cannabis or other plants. Check the internet for suppliers.
Silica and Silicate Salts
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When silica is added to the soil, it provides a strengthening agent for plant cells; it facilitates thicker cell walls, which results in stronger stems. The availability of silica to a plant’s roots provides a protective barrier, dissuading fungal reach into the inner workings of the plant’s ability to uptake nutrients. The plant becomes more capable of surviving stress once clad with the armor silica provides. In addition, enhancing the soil with silica containing materials help to keep it aerated, allowing free flow of oxygen. This is good news for Mary Jane and her counterparts!
Hydroponic environments can also benefit from the addition of soluble silicon added to the water solution. The roots become stronger and healthier, resulting in increased yields. The addition of silica in either growing situation has proven to reduce the occurrence of powdery mildew.
Several forms of silica are available for soil or water growing media:
• Syna-Gro Po-Tekt, a potassium silicate solution, can be used in the soil, hydroponic systems and as a foliar spray.
• Pyrophyllite clay, and aluminum silicate in powder form, can be applied as a dust or foliar spray.
• Silica stone is used in hydroponic systems and can be re-used after a thorough cleaning.
• Greensand can be added to the soil to enhance the benefits of silica.
• Vermiculite and perlite is available at garden centers. Mix it into the soil. Many potting soils come with the amendments already added.
• Diatomaceous earth contains the shells of marine microorganisms. This amendment also serves as a control for soft organisms such as slugs, as the tiny shells pierce their skin causing dehydration through the loss of body fluids.
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Colloidal silver has long been used as a defense against algae in swimming pools and hydroponic systems. It serves to guard against plant attacking pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Pathogens are literally suffocated to death by the tiny metal ions attaching to their respiratory systems. It is a completely safe control, as humans, plants and animals will not be harmed. It can be used in the germination process, as a soil soak or foliar application. In fact, colloidal silver has been known to strengthen many food bearing plants, including their immune systems. Marijuana plants will not be harmed in the least, as there is no such thing as overdose with colloidal silver.
Commonly know as good old baking soda, this inexpensive medium has many uses, including homemade treatments for ailing gardens. By utilizing baking soda in the garden, the cannabis farmer can prevent and/or control many fungal diseases. Baking soda also has the benefit of adding to the good health of your crop.
Powdery mildew will stunt the growth of your plants and eventually lead to their demise if not caught and corrected. To make a foliar spray, combine one teaspoon baking soda with four cups water and one half teaspoon liquid dish detergent or, preferably, castile soap. Spray the affected plants once every two weeks until the infection has dissipated. You don’t want to overwater due to the higher sodium levels than are in potassium bicarbonate.
Streptomyces Griseoviridis – Beneficial Bacteria
That’s a mouthful, huh? This particular bacterium is available commercially and is used to prevent root rot, stem rot, wilt and various fungal diseases such as Fusarium, gray mold and Pythium. Mycostop, RootGuard and Microgrow are a few products available to the cannabis gardener.
Fungi cannot make their own food therefore they depend on your beloved Mary Jane (and other foliage) for food. Consider them the vampires of the plant world. When they appear there should be one goal in mind: attack and retreat!
Sulfur can lower the pH level of highly alkaline soils and is also used as a treatment for powdery mildew, gray mold and Septoria. If using as a foliar spray, test it on a few branches and wait a couple of days before applying, as sulfur can cause leaf damage if not applied properly. Sprinkle sulfur dust on the infected plants, but follow directions carefully. Sulfur can be applied as a dust or foliar spray. Sulfur in both liquid and powder form is available at most garden centers.
Trichoderma – Beneficial Fungi
Trichoderma is present in all soils and has been developed as a bio control against fungal diseases due to its opportunistic lifestyle. It is parasitic in nature, forming on the roots and feeding on other fungi. Trichoderma has also been known to deter foliar fungal diseases. Recent studies have shown that due to the parasitic nature, Trichoderma actually promotes healthy root growth. Check the internet for approved available commercial products.
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UVC lights are non-chemical fungal controls for the hydroponic or indoor growing system. They can be placed in the air ventilation system to help eliminate algae, mold and mildew spores from penetrating the indoor garden. It is important to mention that if you have added beneficial microbes to your hydroponic cannabis system, they will also be eradicated, so you may want to think twice when considering this form of control. UVC lights can be purchased at hydroponic supply houses and online.
In the growing trend towards green living and green gardening, many household items have once again come to light with available uses other than the apparent. As a fungicide, add one tablespoon white distilled vinegar and one quart water to a spray bottle. Spray your plants to kill powdery mildew. Make sure you use a diluted vinegar solution. Vinegar alone is a great weed killer, but is non-selective. Vinegar in its full strength will kill all vegetation it hits.
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That about covers the dangers you can’t see until they have reared their ugly faces. Let’s now move on to controls for pests and other vermin.
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible.
The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing…
H2o2 bath to take care of powdery mildew?
heard a 1:5 ratio of SKIM milk to water works quite well. absolutely has to be skim milk, can’t exactly remember why, think it has something to do with the milk fat. sorry i couldn’t answer about h2o2 but i hope the info still helps you …any kind of milk will do, even powdered milk will work ok. …and you can mix it at any strength, it’s just you have to dilute it because straight milk would clog the sprayer in no time, …and that’s how the milk is applied, not a bath, a spray and you’ll need to re-apply the milk every 3 or 4 days until the pm stops coming back.
…if you are in veg a single treatment with Eagle20 will rid your plants of pm but it isn’t safe to use in flower so milk is an excellent, organic choice that is safe to use right up to the day of harvest with the caveat that when spraying your flowering plants you take care not to saturate your buds or you risk budrot, aka, mold.
…while i’ve not personally used the h2o2 i know it works in a limited fashion but like milk it will need to be continuously re-applied and unlike milk, it WON’T eventually rid your plants of the ‘infection’.
btw, here is some info on milk where you can see it works very well as an organic fungicide that even boosts the plants immune system.
Milk is a useful fungicide in the garden, and is more effective than standard chemical brands.
Researchers believe the potassium phosphate in milk boosts a plant’s immune system to fight the fungi.
Where most organic gardeners use a baking soda, soap and oil solution, milk may be substituted to combat the unwanted fungus.
Preparing a Milk Solution and Spraying Schedule
The correct dilution and spraying schedule for garden plants depends on the situation and takes some trial and error.
A milk fungicide solution can range from 1 part milk to 9 parts water, to a strong, milk-only solution. A 1:1 dilution may work for a week, but a 1:8 solution requires spraying every 3 or 4 days.
Skim milk may work better than whole milk, as the higher fat milk may clog a sprayer; even reconstituted powdered milk works.
Uses for Milk Fungicide
Milk was originally used in the garden to treat powdery mildew on squash plants. It is now also commonly used on flowers such as rudebekia (Black-eyed Susans) and Begonias to cure powdery mildew.
Milk has also been used to cure Botrytis on a Cyclamen houseplant. This was applied full strength every morning (leftover breakfast milk). Rotten leaves were picked away and the plant pulled through with no more Botrytis.
Black spots and rust on roses can be controlled but not cured with milk. Fortunately, milk can prevent the spread of these fungi to other plants and new leaves. This can be very useful when bringing home a plant from the nursery and finding a black spot.
The copyright of the article Milk as a Garden Fungicide for Powdery Mildew, Botrytis, and Black Spots in Organic Gardening is owned by Deborah Turton. Permission to republish Milk as a Garden Fungicide for Powdery Mildew, Botrytis, and Black Spots in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
by Arzeena Hamir
Less than 3 years ago, researchers in South America discovered a new alternative to controlling powdery mildew. Wagner Bettiol, a scientist from Brazil, found that weekly sprays of milk controlled powdery mildew in zucchini just as effectively as synthetic fungicides such as fenarimol or benomyl. Not only was milk found to be effective at controlling the disease, it also acted as a foliar fertilizer, boosting the plant’s immune system.
Powdery mildew in the cucurbit family is caused by the organism Sphaerotheca Fuliginea. It is a serious disease that occurs worldwide. For decades, organic gardeners had to rely on making a spray from baking soda to control the disease. Now, instead of measuring out the baking soda and combining it with a surfactant (a “sticking” substance) of either oil or soap, gardeners need only head for their refrigerators.
In his experiments with zucchini plants, Bettiol found that a weekly spray of milk at a concentration of at least 10% (1 part milk to 9 parts water) significantly reduced the severity of powdery mildew infection on the plants by 90%. While some gardeners may be tempted to increase the concentration of milk for more control, Bettiol found that once concentrations rose above 30%, an innoccuous fungus began to grow on the plants. How does milk control powdery mildew?
Scientist aren’t 100% sure how milk works to control this disease. It seems that milk is a natural germicide. In addition, it contains several naturally occurring salts and amino acids that are taken up by the plant. From previous experiments using sodium bicarbonate, potassium phosphate, and other salts, researchers have found that the disease is sensitive to these salts. It is possible then, that milk boosts the plant’s immune system to prevent the disease.
Milk used around the world
The benefits of using milk to control powdery mildew haven’t been isolated to Brazil. Melon growers in New Zealand are saving thousands of dollars every year by spraying their crops with milk instead of synthetic fungicides. The melon growers in New Zealand have been so successful that the wine industry is taking notice and beginning experiments using milk to control powdery mildew in grapes.
What kind of milk should be used?
In Bettiol’s original experiment, fresh milk was used, straight from the cow. However, this is obviously not feasible to most home gardeners. The research work in New Zealand actually found that using skim milk was just as effective. Not only was it cheaper, but the fact that the milk had no fat content meant that there was less chance of any odours.
Wagner Bettiol’s original article was published in the journal Crop Science (Vol. 18, 1999, pp. 489-92).
Garden Uses For Hydrogen Peroxide: Will Hydrogen Peroxide Hurt Plants
You no doubt have some hydrogen peroxide in your medicine cabinet and use it on minor cuts and scrapes, but did you know that you can use hydrogen peroxide in the garden? There are actually a number of garden uses for hydrogen peroxide. Read on to find out how to use hydrogen peroxide for plants.
Does Hydrogen Peroxide Hurt Plants?
Almost anything in large quantities can be harmful, and using huge doses of hydrogen peroxide on in the garden is no exception. When using hydrogen peroxide for plants, however, the solution is generally diluted, making it especially safe. Also, it is recognized by the United States EPA, giving it an extra seal of approval.
Hydrogen peroxide is also made up of the same atoms that water is made from with the exception of an additional oxygen atom. This extra oxygen (H2O2) gives hydrogen peroxide its beneficial properties.
So, the answer to the question “does hydrogen peroxide hurt plants” is a resolute no, provided the strength is sufficiently diluted. You can purchase hydrogen peroxide in various potencies. The most commonly available is a 3% solution, but they go up to 35 %. The
3% solution is the type readily available at the grocery or drug store.
Hydrogen peroxide can be used for any of the following in the garden:
- pest control
- treating root rot
- pre-treating seeds
- foliar spray to kill fungus
- infection preventive on damaged trees
While it has also been used as a general “fertilizer” either added in during watering or sprayed onto the foliage, hydrogen peroxide is not fertilizer, but it can help boost plant growth. How exactly? Hydrogen peroxide helps encourage healthy root growth because of the extra oxygen molecule. Oxygen can help plant roots absorb nutrients from the soil. Therefore, this extra bit of oxygen better enables the roots to absorb more nutrients, which means faster, healthier, and more vigorous growth. And as a bonus, hydrogen peroxide can help discourage unwanted bacteria/fungi that may be lurking in the garden.
To give plants an added boost of oxygen or for pest control using the 3% solution, add 1 teaspoon per cup of water in a spray bottle and mist the plant. This amount is also suitable for pre-treating seeds to control fungal infections. For plants with root rot or fungal infections, use 1 tablespoon per cup of water. The solution can be made up and stored for future use, but be sure to store it in a cool, dark place as exposure to light diminishes the potency.
If you want to cover a larger area, it might be more economical to purchase the 35% hydrogen peroxide. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide to ten parts of water. That is one cup per four square feet of garden. Mix the solution in a watering can or into a large sprayer. Water at the base of the plants and avoid wetting the foliage. Be very careful when using this percentage of peroxide. It can bleach and/or burn the skin. Spray the veggie garden after every rainfall or as needed.
Not only is this an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides, but it has the added benefit of being anti-fungal and gives plants a healthy boost of oxygen too. Also, 3% peroxide solutions are commonly available (even at the .99 cent store!) and generally extremely economical.
Hydrogen peroxide has earned a reputation for being an effective household bleaching agent and disinfectant. What you may not know is that you can use hydrogen peroxide for plants and other gardening tasks. Using hydrogen peroxide for the garden will save you money and time.
When diluted, it has numerous uses in both the home and the garden. This is because of its ability to generate antimicrobial and oxygen properties. A colorless liquid, hydrogen peroxide has a chemical formula of H2O2, which is similar to water.
The only difference is the extra oxygen atom that it contains that breaks down, releasing the molecule of water. It is this extra oxygen atom that makes hydrogen peroxide such a useful ingredient. It acts as a supplement of oxygen for your plants and aerates the soil when the oxygen is released.
How Plants Can Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Although hydrogen peroxide is commercially available, it can’t be considered organic because plants and animals produce the chemical naturally in their tissues and cells. But, because it ultimately decomposes into oxygen and water, it is extremely environmentally friendly and safe to use, even in organic gardening.
1. Combat Root Rot
When you overwater your plants, you cause a shortage of oxygen at the roots. Overwatering fills the spaces of air found in the soil around your plants, efficiently suffocating the roots of the plant. This lack of air causes the plants especially ground cover plants, to begin dying after just 24 hours.
To save your plants from this issue, you can water them with a mixture of one quart of water and 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. The extra oxygen found in the hydrogen peroxide delivers the much-needed oxygen to the plant’s roots. After applying this solution to your plants avoid watering again until the top two inches of the soil is thoroughly dried.
2. Fight Fungal Infections
Does hydrogen peroxide kill fungus? Yes, similar to neem oil for plants, you can use hydrogen peroxide to combat every kind of fungal infection that is affecting your plants. Fungus on your plants can render them weak, effectively keeping them from growing. Use the following solution on dwarf fruit trees or other plants that show signs of powdery mildew, rust, white spots, and other fungal infections.
What You Need to Fight Fungal Infections
- Four teaspoons of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide concentrate
- One-pint water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on any plant that shows signs of fungal infection. Be sure to use the correct dilution of hydrogen peroxide as too much can burn the tissue of the plants. It is crucial to always experiment in a small area.
3. Sanitize Seeds
Young seedlings can quickly be killed off by seed-borne pathogens before they even have a chance to take hold. You can avoid this by disinfecting your seeds before you sow them. Using 3-percent hydrogen peroxide concentration, heated to 140° F, soak your seeds for five minutes.
If you are growing sprouts, whether for personal or commercial use, it is essential to thoroughly disinfect the sprouting trays with hydrogen peroxide to avoid contamination by foodborne illnesses like e-coli, salmonella, listeria, and others. Let the seeds soak in 3-percent hydrogen peroxide for five minutes. Then thoroughly wash off the chemical by running water over the seeds for a minute.
4. Accelerate Seed Germination
Hydrogen peroxide will help your seeds germinate faster and will promote healthy growth. This is because when the hydrogen peroxide breaks down, it releases oxygen. Since a high level of oxygen is a necessary ingredient for sprouting seeds, the extra oxygen supply is exceptionally beneficial to new growth.
To accelerate germination, soak the seeds in a solution of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and water, for 30 minutes. Rinse the seeds with water before planting.
You also want to mix hydrogen peroxide into the soil when you first sow the seeds and use a week solution to water the garden bed for the first week because it will kill the pathogens that are present on the seed coat.
5. Disinfect Tools, Pots, and Greenhouses
Due to its broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity, hydrogen peroxide is often used in laboratory and medical establishments to sterilize surgical tools and work surfaces. To disinfect pots, seed trays, and other containers, clean them with a 6 to 9 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide.
To avoid introducing harmful pathogens into your plants, dip your pruning tools into hydrogen peroxide before using and in between plants.
6. Use to Fertilize Your Plants
To help strengthen your plant’s root system you can use hydrogen peroxide. When you want to grow vegetables at home, or other types of plants, the extra oxygen molecule in peroxide allows plants to absorb the beneficial minerals and nutrients from the soil more effectively.
Here is an effective fertilizer recipe to help boost your plant’s growth with a simple water and hydrogen peroxide mixture. This remedy also works well when growing vegetables in pots or other types of plants, as well.
Fertilize Your Plants
- One-gallon warm water
- One teaspoon 3-percent hydrogen peroxide concentration
In a medium container, combine the water and the hydrogen peroxide. Stir to mix thoroughly. Pour the solution into the soil around your plants.
7. Use in Aquaponics and Hydroponics
If you have an aquaponic or hydroponic system, adding hydrogen peroxide to the water will keep the system healthy. The aquatic life and roots of the plants will appreciate the extra supply of oxygen. Root rot is a common condition with hydroponic systems.
Since hydrogen peroxide decomposes to oxygen and water without leaving behind toxic residues, using it in your systems is a lot safer than other chemical laden antiseptics that are used to combat the disease.
8. To Keep Pests Away
Hydrogen peroxide can be used in the garden to keep pesky insects from destroying your garden. Sap-sucking insects, like the fungus gnat, stink bugs or even house flies, are affected the most, but the chemical solution can also kill the eggs and larvae of other harmful pests due to its substantial oxidizing effect. Hydrogen peroxide is an easy-to-use way to get rid of flies. It is inexpensive and safe for the environment.
What You Need to Keep Pests Away
- One cup, 3-percent hydrogen peroxide concentrate
- One cup water
Combine the ingredients, stirring to mix thoroughly. Add the mixture to a plastic or glass spray bottle and spray the mixture throughout your garden. The hydrogen peroxide will also kill any bacteria that may develop on your fruits and vegetables.
>> Extra Plants Tip: How to get rid of spider mites
9. Prevent Bacterial Rot
When plants are infected with a bacterial infection, they can quickly turn to mush. Usually starting as mold or mildew, hydrogen peroxide sanitizes and prevents spreading. The primary causes of bacterial infections are cuts and bruises on plant tissues, but the bacteria can be spread through insects as well.
You can protect your plants from bacterial rot by spraying them with a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. To stop the threat of bacterial infections, spray the solution on fresh cuts on tree branches or after pruning. When you are preparing your bulbs and tubers for storage, dip them in hydrogen peroxide to prevent bacterial rot from taking over as they are stored.
10. Kill Weeds
A 10-percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide can be an extremely effective weed killer. Unlike the commercially available products, hydrogen peroxide doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your family and the environment.
Kill the weeds that are growing between concrete or flagstone pavers by pouring hydrogen peroxide directly onto the weed. You can’t get a simpler natural weed killer recipe than that!
Because sunlight quickly breaks down the chemical, it’s best to apply it in the early mornings and late in the evenings to guarantee a prolonged action.
Since a 10-percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide and above will indiscriminately destroy all kinds of vegetation that it comes in contact with, you need to use caution when using it around your plants. If it splashes on your hands or in your eyes, immediately flush the area with a lot of cold water.
Hydrogen peroxide is a fantastic chemical that can be used as a cleaning agent, antibacterial agent and even in the garden. It is important to remember that when you are using hydrogen peroxide in the garden, you must dilute it to avoid killing your plants.
Not only is hydrogen peroxide an environmentally friendly alternative to the harsh pesticides sold commercially, but it has the added benefits of being a strong anti-fungal and provides plants with a healthy boost of oxygen as well. So, if you haven’t already started using diluted hydrogen peroxide at home or in your garden, what are you waiting for?
We hope you enjoyed this article about the surprising uses of hydrogen peroxide for your garden. Please feel free to share it with everyone you know.