Can You Water Plants with Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen Peroxide in a bottle

Many people think of hydrogen peroxide as a substance that is used to treat wounds. Surprisingly, there are a number of uses for hydrogen peroxide in the garden. Many gardeners are not aware of the uses of this substance for plant care.

You can water your plant’s roots with a solution of hydrogen peroxide to remove fungus, mold, and rootworms. You can also mist plants that are affected by spider mites and aphids with a solution made of hydrogen peroxide and water. These treatments are very helpful for overall plant health.

If you are ready to learn more about the benefits that hydrogen peroxide can impart to your plants and the soil that they live in, read on to learn more!

What is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide is a colorless and sharp-smelling mix of hydrogen and oxygen that looks like water. The formula for hydrogen peroxide is H2O2. It is often used as a household disinfectant, and it can be a component in cleaning products. It is also sometimes used as a hair bleaching agent.

Hydrogen peroxide is always used diluted with water and this is the case when you are using it for plant care. Hydrogen peroxide works very well as a solution with water because it shares a number of chemical compounds with water.

How to Mix Your Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

Woman Adding Peroxide to Watering Can

You cannot use hydrogen peroxide on plants without diluting it with water. Using it straight out of the bottle will kill your plants.

To prepare a root drench or a spray solution for use on aphids and other insects on the leaves of your plants, you will need to dilute the hydrogen peroxide carefully. The usual ratio is one cup of hydrogen peroxide for 32 cups of water if you are going to be working on a large number of plants.

You can reduce this amount for smaller applications so long as you maintain the right ratio of hydrogen peroxide to water. If you are attempting to prevent molds and stubborn fungus, you can prepare the solution to be slightly stronger and mix it at a strength of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 10 parts water.

How to use Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Plants

There are two main methods of using hydrogen peroxide to treat your plants. You can drench the roots to prevent mold and fungus and pests that attack the roots, or you can prepare the mixture to be used as a spray for the foliage of your plants.

Root Drench

When using the hydrogen peroxide solution as a root drench, you will need to make sure that you have enough to really drench the roots of the affected plants. You will need to lift leaves out of the way and pour the mixture evenly all around the base of the roots for the best effect.

Never let your plants sit in hydrogen peroxide solution because the roots need to be able to drain for the hydrogen peroxide to work properly. Once you have drenched the roots, stop watering for a few days so that the solution has time to kill the fungus or mold off. When the plant looks normal again, you are safe to water it.

Foliage Treatment

If you have noticed that your plants have become victims to aphids or other kinds of insects, you might be worried about using insecticides on the leaves of your plant. This is where a hydrogen peroxide solution can be a major help.

Mix up your solution and put it into a spray bottle. Spray all of the leaves and other foliage thoroughly with the mixture. Make sure not to spray and helpful insects like bees while you are treating your plants. If you are treating houseplants, take them outside to do this treatment so that you do not breathe in too much of the hydrogen peroxide and to prevent the solution from staining or bleaching furniture and other surfaces in your home.

This is one of the best foliage treatments for plants that need to be visited by bees. Bee populations are in danger right now due to the use of pesticides in farming and gardening, so using this drench will prevent harm from befalling the bees who are visiting your garden or your yard.

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Be Used as a Fertilizer?

Hydrogen peroxide is sometimes thought of as a fertilizer but this is actually not a correct interpretation of its function in plant health. Hydrogen peroxide does help with healthy root growth because it adds an extra oxygen molecule to the soil when it is used as a root drench.

Since it also prevents the invasion of insects and mold and mildew, it can create healthier and more vibrant plants just like a fertilizer. It is not actually a substance that adds nutrients to the soil, however, and you will need to fertilize as an added treatment after you are done treating your plants with hydrogen peroxide.

If you want to be sure that you creating the right soil pH for your plants, you will need to look up the ideal soil balance for each plant you are trying to grow. This information is available online or in gardening books. You can then test the pH of your soil to make sure that you have the right balance of nutrients and chemicals in the soil.

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Help Seeds Grow?

Seeds Sprouting

This is one of the best benefits of hydrogen peroxide solutions and it is a little-known use of this substance. If you are trying to germinate seeds, you will find that soaking them in hydrogen peroxide will speed up their sprouting process. There are many things that interrupt the sprouting process and invading bacteria and molds and mildews are common culprits that prevent seeds from sprouting.

Hydrogen peroxide moistens the capsule of the seed and prevents bacteria and fungus from harming the seed. This can be a great daily treatment for seeds that you are trying to sprout quickly. You can place your seeds into a mesh bag or in a mesh cloth and soak them briefly once a day. Let them dry out partially before returning them to the paper towel or other growth medium that you are using to make them sprout.

You can also use hydrogen peroxide to sanitize seeds. If you sanitize seeds with hydrogen peroxide you will find that they are much less likely to have issues sprouting when you plant them in your garden. This can be a big help if you are trying to make sure that you do not introduce plant diseases to your garden each time you plant a new round of seeds. There is nothing worse than planting an entire garden only to find that the seeds that you recently bought have brought a plant disease into your garden with them!

Always make sure that you keep the seeds warm and in the right kind of soil for optimal results. No matter what kind of seeds you are trying to sprout, treating them with hydrogen peroxide is not enough to make them grow. You will still need to offer them the right balance of water, heat and sun to make sure that they sprout successfully.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Care for Plants is a Great Idea

You have probably learned from this article that hydrogen peroxide actually has a lot of uses for gardening that you did not know about. If you have ever struggled to make seeds grow or you have been frustrated by invading insects killing your plants, hydrogen peroxide solution can save the day!

Watering your plants with hydrogen peroxide can be the perfect way to maintain healthy plants without damaging the environment or harming bee populations.

Kate Inskeep

Kate Inskeep is a mom of three from Illinois who loves growing things. She fell in love with houseplants after a friend gifted her some succulents. Before long, her windowsills were full of plants, and she was hooked.

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