Seedlings and Hydrogen Peroxide

jandey1(TX8)October 7, 2010

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 � 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

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lost one seed, so 95% germination.

This means I may have some Mardi Gras seedlings to give away next summer, if any of you are in the Central Texas area.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 9:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm in San Antonio area. I have 6 sets of seed pods on a pink and and a few on some yellows.

I might try this technique next year when they open. Never really been a seedling fan so it will be more out of academic interest than anything else.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 9:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi kms,

Do you happen to know of any PSA chapters in San Antonio? I would think there'd be lots of hobbyists there. I haven't heard back about whether there's a chapter here in Austin.

If you've already got seed pods your plants are a lot further along than mine. I'm still waiting for most of mine to bloom for the first time. Haven't a clue as to what most of them are.

My seedlings have been doing great so far, but it might have been dumb luck or very fresh seeds. Still, all the fuss definitely hasn't hurt them!


    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've used H2O2 as a presoak for germinating some other seed varieties but don't think it's necessary for plumerias. If you have fresh seed you are almost guaranteed close to 100% germination.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just stick mine in some moist potting soil. Works pretty good. 80% germinate.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 8:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You would think with us being on the northern fringe of a subtropical environment there would be more of us here.

Although it was interesting this year to see both Lowes and Home Depot selling 3 gallon plumerias for $22 and $16 respectively.

From what I know the the closest chapters to our area are in Houston and in Corpus Christi.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 9:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Guess I'll just have to drag myself to Houston next year for the annual PSA sale. I think it's the second weekend in June.

My HD and Lowe's finally brought some plumies in around late August but they were a pretty sad bunch. Looked either unhealthy or like center-cut rejects. None of them with any indication of their color, much less a name.

As for the ongoing seedling experiment, I just checked my second seed batch that was NOT treated with H2O2 and found one rotted away, with a powdery brownish growth on it, and another with the same powder. Don't know if this is a mold that's contaminated them all, but I misted with a H2O2 solution and will hopefully not lose any more.

The mold may be due to the seeds being less than fresh (the two moldy ones came from India, I think, or maybe Thailand); they did look much darker than all the others.

Anyway, from my first batch of three weeks ago (already at 1-3" tall and all developing true leaves), one Chompoo Wang has distinctly red first true leaves coming up while the other two CW seedlings are normal green. Even at only about 1mm long they are really red. Very cool!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 2:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am following your directions with some new seeds. They soaked last night and I planted them this morning. I just want to make sure I am not messing up, I have them now on a heat mat and under a grow light. Is that too much? Thoughts asap would be much appreciated!!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 4:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wendy, you can't hurt them with the grow light and a low setting on the heat mat. You'll know within two weeks how many sprouts you have. I found with my first batches that even strong sprouts sometimes dies later for whatever reason, or looked so weak that I plucked them and threw them away.

Don't get discouraged. Even if you are left with only a dozen seedlings it'll be more than you can handle in a couple of years, lol! I think I still have nearly two dozen (from about five dozen seeds germinated) and don't know what I'll do next winter if they keep growing at this pace.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 10:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My first sprout!! Seeds planted 3/23; this photo from today, 3/29. Very excited. :o)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 12:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

PS- Should have mentioned that it is a Kanoehe Sunburst, I also poked around and have a Siam Ruby breaking through! (both from BBB) They've been on a heat mat in a seed tray with lid on overnight, and outside or in warm window, also with tray lid on, by day. Under grow light if it is gloomy out.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 12:31PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Back from the dead.
I'm back. After giving up on this site, they contacted...
Plant robbers
I woke up this morning to find one of my plants, a...
Just Purchased KALEINANI Plumeria From 1 Stop Aloha On Ebay.
Hello Gang; My 1st purchase from 1 Stop, I read good...
OT testing.. Wanting to say hello to my friends!!
Hi everyone!! I'm just testing out the new format...
Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia
I think I killed my plumeria...
I brought my two plants inside for the winter, and...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™