Is Hydrogen Peroxide Good For Plants?

Is hydrogen peroxide good for plants? This sounds like a weird product to bring into the garden, but there are plenty of other instances of gardeners using products not specific to gardening on your plants.

Think back to your childhood. Likely, when you think of hydrogen peroxide, it calls to mind images of the dark brown bottle filled with potent liquid that your mom used to help sterilize a cut.

While it is most beneficial for its uses on cuts and scrapes, hydrogen peroxide may also be useful in the garden.

But, gardeners may be giving this compound more credit than it deserves, claiming it has benefits with minimal science to support these claims.

In this article we'll address the question, is hydrogen peroxide good for plants?

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Is Hydrogen Peroxide Good For Plants?


Is hydrogen peroxide good for plants? This sounds like a weird product to bring into the garden, but there are plenty of other instances of gardeners using products not specific to gardening on your plants.

Think back to your childhood. Likely, when you think of hydrogen peroxide, it calls to mind images of the dark brown bottle filled with potent liquid that your mom used to help sterilize a cut.

While it is most beneficial for its uses on cuts and scrapes, hydrogen peroxide may also be useful in the garden.

But, gardeners may be giving this compound more credit than it deserves, claiming it has benefits with minimal science to support these claims.

In this article we'll address the question, is hydrogen peroxide good for plants?

What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide is a solution that is made up of the same atoms as water. However, it has an extra oxygen atom.

The extra oxygen is what gives hydrogen peroxide its beneficial properties. It’s available in several concentrations and it’s almost always diluted.

How Do You Mix Hydrogen Peroxide For Plants?

The most common potency you will find is 3%, but it can go up to as much as 35%. Hydrogen peroxide can usually be found at drug stores and grocery stores.

It is recognized as safe by the United States EPA and is often used as a disinfectant and in various cleaning products.

Normally mixed with water, it can often be used as a hair coloring, too. This solution can even be used to kill spider mites and to remove scum and algae from your home aquarium. Of course, it can also be used for plants.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide Actually Good For Plants?

Let's take at some of the claims people make in terms of how you can benefit by using hydrogen peroxide for plants.

Some of these are real benefits, and others may be no more than wishful thinking and old gardening myths. We'll help you distinguish between the two.

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Improve Soil Aeration?

One of the most common techniques is to use hydrogen peroxide to aerate the soil. Compacted soil is detrimental to plants because it prevents nutrients and oxygen from getting through to your plant roots.

Poorly aerated soil can lead to other problems, too, like increased risks of diseases and other toxins. Compacted soil can also lead to root rot.

Root rot is common in plants that have been overwatered and it can affect plants in all settings, including those grown directly in the ground as well as those grown in containers.

Using a heavily diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide (one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water) can help treat root rot and other fungal or bacterial diseases before they take hold in your garden. There is science supporting this.

But, can hydrogen peroxide improve soil aeration? Many growers swear by this, but there isn't much evidence behind this. Sure, when hydrogen peroxide is applied to the soil, it breaks down and releases oxygen. But, not to the degree that would really make much of a difference.

There are better products you can use for this purpose. Here are a few of the top organic soil aereators:

The high levels of oxygen in the soil will help keep the roots of your plants strong and healthy.

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfect Garden Tools, Containers, Or Media?

Many growers also claim can also use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect your gardening tools.

Whether you had a disease in the garden and are afraid of spreading it or just want to prevent this issue in the future, using a hydrogen peroxide solution may help remove fungus and other contaminants from your materials.

Some people even use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect growing media. Organic potting soil or compost is great for your plants, providing them with all the nutrients they need to be healthy.

But, these media can also harbor pathogens that can contaminate your plants and kill them before they have a chance to grow.

Hydrogen peroxide, when mixed in with potting soil for about a week before planting, can help prevent these pathogens from spreading to your plants.

Sure, you can use hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant if it's all you have on hand. But, be advised that there are better options formulated specificly for the garden.

Our selection of grow room cleaners and disinfectants are great for cleaning tools, containers, and media.

And if you're combatting a disease, we don't recommend using hydrogen peroxide. We would suggest reading our complete guide on common grow room pests & diseases, and using a specific fungicide to eradicate the illness.

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Improve Seed Germination Rates?

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Improve Seed Germination Rates?

Hydrogen peroxide can even be used on your seeds, according to some gardeners! Some people soak their seeds in water prior to planting to help them germinate faster.

However, you can put your seeds in hydrogen peroxide for about four hours instead. This will kill bacteria and get the seeds ready for planting.

Putting seeds in hydrogen peroxide for even just a minute or two can also speed up germination, so that's something else you might consider doing to improve the success of your garden. To learn more about this process, read our complete guide on starting seeds.

But, again, this is not the best product if you are seeking high germination rates. We recommend using rooting hormones, as these contain the actual compounds that will speed the process up.

Read our complete guide, where we explain why & how to use these, along with provide you with some of the top rooting hormone products.

How Much Hydrogen Peroxide For Plants Is Too Much?

Hydrogen peroxide can be useful in the garden, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

Although hydrogen peroxide is great for your plants, you should never use more than the recommended dose on your plants.

Mature plants will be less sensitive to hydrogen peroxide than young, delicate seedlings. Their leaves are tougher and coated with microbes.

There are some precautions you should take when working with hydrogen peroxide. For example, you should never heat it, as it can explode, and it should always be stored in a cool, dark place.

How Do You Mix Hydrogen Peroxide For Plants?

How Do You Mix Hydrogen Peroxide For Plants?

If you plan on using hydrogen peroxide on your plants, you’ll need to get the mixture just right.

Usually, you’ll soak your plants around their roots to help get rid of fungal spores and mold build-up. But, the specific ratio you'll mix at will vary based on how you're using it.

In general, you’ll want to combine about a cup of solution with 32 cups of water. This tends to be the best mixing ratio for most hydrogen peroxide applications, although there are a few exceptions that we’ll detail below.

Apply the mixture to your plants in the evening, so you can allow it to soak overnight.

Add the solution to your plants but try to avoid splashing it onto the leaves or flowers. When soaking your seeds, you will want to apply about an ounce to two cups of water.

If you plan on using hydrogen peroxide as a weed killer, you should use a 10% concentration. This can be mixed with a bit of water in a sprayer and applied directly to the weeds - just don't let it get on your plants!

When using hydrogen peroxide in a hydroponic reservoir to battle pathogens, use a light solution of 3, 5, or 8%.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide Good For Plants: Final Verdict

In most cases, hydrogen peroxide is good for plants if you don't have a better option specifically for gardening on hand, and you're in a rush to rectify a problem.

Rarely can it hurt them, provided that you’ve followed the recommendations regarding potency and dosage. Consider starting with a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide if you’re concerned about potential side effects.

But, be aware that you can provide a better growing experience for your plants by stocking up on supplies you need. These include rooting hormones, cleaners/disinfectants, pesticides/fungicides, garden soil amendments, and more.

We carry all of these products here at Hydrobuilder, at the best prices online. Stock up now and grow your best!

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