Seedlings and Hydrogen Peroxide
or, "Be careful what you wish for!"
I haven't run across any posts about hydrogen peroxide, or "Spanish water", use in germinating seeds so I thought I'd post about my initial experience with it.
During the last week of September I received a large number of seeds and, being a little, um, obsessed, I researched and found this info from Jack Morgan (who seems to have very good science behind his advice) about the benefits of hydrogen peroxide:
"Water or foliar spray early morning. 18 Ã¯Â¿Â½ 24 oz. Of 30% H2O2 - 20 gals water.
Germinating Seeds 1-5oz. 3% H2o2 into 1 pint distilled water soak seed 8 hrs.
Insecticide -16 oz. 3% H2o2 to one gal. water w/ surfactant i.e. Coco Wet. Use fine mist spray.
Watering Plants 6 -16 oz. 3% H2o2 per gal. water. Water container thoroughly.
Note: All foliar spraying add non ionic surfactant i.e. Coco Wet. "
(The link below gives you the entire text on the rot-preventing properties of H2O2.)
Anyway, the germinating bit caught my eye so I tried the paper towel method (with the seeds soaked overnight between two wet sheets) and instead of just soaking with water I used the recommended dilution of H2O2 and, of course, a drop of Superthrive, to wet the paper towels.
I filled a few large clear plastic containers (from pre-washed salad mixes or 2lb. strawberries) with the standard seed-starting bagged mix, soaked the soil thoroughly, then poked the plumeria seeds with the wings sticking up above the soil. Then I watered with the remaining H2O2/Superthrive mix and put all into a very sunny window. I misted a couple times a day as the window is very warm and, if the container came with a lid, closed the lid and let condensation build up.
Well, I'll be darned if I don't now have lots of little green heads popping up! From what I can tell it looks like maybe 100% germination rate (I can see the fattened heads beneath all the papery wings) of 20 seeds from 6 different varieties. (Yikes--gotta go find pots now!)
I don't know if this was due entirely to high-quality seeds (mostly from Brad's Buds and Blooms) or if the extra ingredients are why they seem to be doing well (fingers crossed), but for those thinking of trying out seeds this method certainly hasn't hurt in the initial germination. I'm hoping, too, that an occasional misting/watering with "Spanish water" will keep down any seedling rot (damping off?) that has plagued me before in new seedlings of other types.
Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) and Plumeria