Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide for Plants
Hydrogen peroxide is recognized by the United States EPA as an effective organic treatment for agricultural crops. Hydrogen peroxide offers many benefits to all indoor and outdoor plants.
Why Hydrogen Peroxide Works
The sanitizing, insecticidal and aeration properties of hydrogen peroxide are all made possible by the chemical reaction that takes place when it breaks down.
Hydrogen peroxide is basically two oxygen atoms bonded together, with each oxygen bonded to its own hydrogen atom (H2O2). As it breaks down it releases an oxygen atom as well as H2O as a by-product. This extra oxygen atom is the beneficial part of the reaction which kills bacteria, fungus, pests, mold and more.
Pesticide & Fungicide
A small amount of hydrogen peroxide will rapidly degrade external tissues and kill fungus, gnat larvae, cutworms, and parasitic nematodes upon contact. A diluted solution can also be applied as a foliage spray to control the populations of soft-bodied pests, such as aphids and spider mites.
Soil Aeration & Root-Rot Treatment
Over watering is the most common cause of root rot. This rapid deterioration of plant roots can occur after just 24 hours of moist, oxygen-deprived soil conditions. Watering thoroughly with a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution will boost oxygen levels and expel any anaerobic conditions.
Treat Tap Water
Hydrogen peroxide will remove chlorine, chemical pesticides and any organics that may be present.
Soil Pest & Root Rot Treatment
Mix 1 tsp. (5ml) - 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup (250ml) water. Water infected plants thoroughly. The soil will bubble as the oxygen is released.
For pests, water with the mixture twice a week, allowing the top 2 inches of soil to dry between watering. Root pests should subside within a week.
For root rot, water plants very thoroughly, then allow the soil to dry. The top 2-3 inches of soil should be completely dry before returning to regular watering. If the process is done correctly, root rot can easily be treated with only one watering of peroxide.
Foliage Pesticide Spray
Mix equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and distilled water. Use a spray bottle to thoroughly soak the infected plants. Make sure to get the undersides of the leaves. Effective against a variety of mites and aphids, it is also effective for treating fungus and mold problems.
For a general water treatment and dechlorinator, mix one tablespoon (15ml) – 3% hydrogen peroxide for every gallon (3.78L) of water. The hydrogen peroxide instantly drives out chlorine, excess iron and sulfates from the water.
You'll be pleasantly surprised with the results of hydrogen peroxide on your plants. The added oxygen will perk really perk up your plants and help deter pests from gaining a foothold.
Please note: Use hydrogen peroxide only on a periodic basis since it will also kill beneficial soil organisms. When used every 2-3 weeks it is a great way to keep your plants healthier and happier.
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