Question About Soaking in Hydrogen Peroxide and Water

alameda/zone 8August 22, 2010

This is my first time to try this method - I understand it works well. I am using the 6 T to 1/2 gallon of water mix. I have read that you soak for 24 hours, or soak until germination, changing water daily, soak for 5 days, changing water daily. I am confused.....which works best? I am putting a large group of seeds to soak today and not sure how long to leave them. Suggestions??

Thanks! Would also appreciate any tips on seed starting and germination.....


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Julia NY(6)

I have done the peroxide mix to germinate the seeds and been very successful with most seeds. I replace my mix every 3 days and leave the seeds in the mix till they germinate (show the radicle) or 2 weeks. Most germinate within a few days to a week max. If they don't germinate in 2 weeks, I then dry them off and put them back in the refrig for a couple more weeks and then try the presoak again. 99.9% of the time they germinate within a couple of days.
Sometimes it is just a bad seed and won't germinate.

I have all my seeds in the refrig for a minimum of 4 months before I start any of them in January/February.

Everyone has their preferred method as I'm sure you've read when doing a search on this forum. Some folks never soak and just plant the seeds. I don't want to waste space with ones that may not germinate so I soak first till the radicle appears and then plant. At least I have a higher percentage continue to grow once they are planted in the promix.

Good luck with your seeds. It is so much fun to do them.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 7:30PM
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alameda/zone 8

I havent raised seeds in several years, but used to soak in warm water, a bit of ivory liquid soap. I had good germination, but I have heard really good things about the peroxide method so want to give it a try. I have alot of seeds I am just now soaking that I didnt get to start and have spent a couple of years in the fridge. So this ought to be a real challenge to see if I can get them to germinate. I want to do it just right, giving the seeds the best chance to sprout. I do appreciate the advice and welcome any other experiences. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 11:51PM
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Soaking in water until germination is a good way to do it, but I sure would forget the peroxide. It serves no purpose and can burn the seed. If you change the water every day, you will not have rot.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 9:15AM
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There have been several tests conducted by knowledgeable, reputable people, using a peroxide mixture compared to plain water for germinating daylily seeds. Using the peroxide mixture has shown to improve the germination rate. It provides an oxygen rich environment for the seed to germinate in.

It also is germicidal and will not burn the radicle when used at low concentrations.

Although I don't personally use this method to start my seeds, it is widely used. I would not hesitate to use it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:40AM
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alameda/zone 8

What about the rock method, where you put seeds on top of fish gravel rocks in small covered containers? Anyone have experience with that? What about that method compared to the peroxide one - or could the peroxide mix be used with the rock method?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:50AM
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alameda/zone 8

Just checked the seeds - I have a very large amount of them so didnt check them all, but quite a few are showing the little white part - I think it is called the radicle? - and seem to be plumping up! I have a big batch of Frosted Amethyst that I crossed I think in 2008 that looked pretty ratty....some of those had the dried up brown leaflet and are probably dead, but alot look like they are plumping up and a few have the radicle showing! The older ones I checked are still shriveled and floating on top of the solution, but its not quite been 2 days so will be interesting to see how they come along [or not]. What is the length of time you can soak seeds to see if they are viable?

I had no idea I would start seeing action so soon! What fun! I have no idea where I will plant all these....but do have 3 huge seedling beds constructed and will start filling with compost, etc. over the winter and have a greenhouse so do have a place to overwinter them.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 12:21PM
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Hydrogen Peroxide helps to keep the water free from bacteria. We have a dairy farm and have used a weak peroxide solution to sanitize our milk pipeline before milking for many years now. It is safer for the environment than Chlorate or Phospate products. If your solution is too strong it will definitely hurt your seeds. Anyone who has had a peroxide burn will know what I am talking about.The fact that some people don't notice a difference in germination rates probably has to do with the fact that their water is cleaner, their seeds are cleaner or they just do a better job of keeping everything clean. To me a weak peroxide solution just gives you one less thing to worry about when soaking your seeds.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 7:03PM
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