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TheLorax

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From time to time I water plants with H2O2, particularly when we get heavy rains in the spring and I feel they are drowning. I believe my temperate species derive substantial benefits from H202 waterings. I recently over potted a few orchids (didn't have just the right size pot so opted to go larger than smaller which was evidently a poor choice) and was also chatting with someone who mentioned they have a tendency to overwater and got to thinking... why not water orchids that we buy that have some failing root systems when we get them and why not water over potted orchids with H2O2 every once in a while?

http://www.quickgrow.com/gardening_articles/hydrogen_peroxide_horticulture.html

2.Over Watering
Roots require Oxygen to breathe and low levels are the main cause of almost all root diseases. Both soil and hydroponic plants often fall prey to the same syndrome although it is rarely recognized as what it really is. Hydroponic crops often fail due to "root rot" and soil crops succumb to "over watering." The real cause of both these problems is a shortage of Oxygen at the root zone. In a soil system the soil consists of particles, a film of water on the particles and air spaces between the particles. When too much water is put into the soil the air spaces fill with liquid. The roots will quickly use up what Oxygen is dissolved in the water, if they haven't drunk enough of the liquid to allow air back in to the soil spaces they will stop working. In this situation roots will start dying within twenty-four hours. As the roots die the plants ability to drink water and nutrients will decrease, this will cause symptoms of nutrient deficiencies (mostly pale, slow, weak growth), and strangely they will start to wilt like they don't have enough water. It is easy to make a fatal mistake at this point and add more water.

In a Hydroponic system the cause is a more direct simple lack of oxygen in the solution, this may be from inadequate circulation and/or aeration. High reservoir temperatures also interfere with Oxygen's ability to dissolve in the water. Temperatures above 70F (20C) will eventually cause problems, 62F-65F (16C-18C) is recommended. The same symptoms will appear as with soil plants but you can also check the roots. Healthy roots should be mostly white with maybe a slight yellowish tan tinge. If they are a brownish colour with dead tips or they easily pull away there is at least the beginnings of a serious problem. An organic dirtlike rotting smell means there is already a very good chance it is too late. As roots die and rot they eat Oxygen out of the water, as Oxygen levels are even further depleted more roots die, a viscius circle may be well under way. Reduced Oxygen levels and high temperatures both encourage anaerobic bacteria and fungi. The plants may still be saved but you will have to work fast.

3. How Hydrogen Peroxide prevents root rot/overwatering.
When plants are watered with H2O2 it will break down and release Oxygen into the area around the roots. This helps stop the Oxygen from being depleted in the water filled air spaces until air can get back into them. High Oxygen levels at the roots will encourage rapid healthy root growth. In a Hydroponic system H2O2 will disperse through out the system and raise Oxygen levels as it breaks down. Strong white healthy roots with lots of fuzzy new growth will be visible. This fuzzy growth has massive surface area allowing for rapid absorption of the huge amounts of water and nutrients needed for rapid top growth. A healthy plant starts with a healthy root system.
 

Candace

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One top grower in my area does that. He also swears by watering plants prone to rot with H2O2. I've used it on a couple of phals with crown rot, but haven't made it routine.
 

TheLorax

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I don't know that I would make it routine but I do believe that I will try it on the one plant I bought that I didn't notice had crown rot. I'm going to water it with the H2O2 and then I think I'll sprinkle it with cinnamon and see what happens. To me, I think the plant is toast but it could conceivably shoot up new growth from the same roots. I already painted Dragon's Blood on the plant and it doesn't seem to have put a dent in the crown rot so nothing to lose on that plant right about now. No time like the present to experiment. Good to know you have used it on a few plants with crown rot. If you don't mind my asking, what ever happened to those few plants of yours that had crown rot that you watered with hydrogen peroxide? Did any make it or did they all bite the dust?

I think I might also use the H2O2 once a month on the plants that are overpotted based on your comments that you know someone who swears by the H2O2 for plants prone to crown rot.
 

Candace

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I really don't remember since I grew phals about 4-5 years ago. I think some of them survived by throwing off basal keikes. Remember that once you open the bottle it starts to lose its potency. I can't swear by its effectiveness, but I know it didn't hurt anything.
 

TheLorax

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I've got unopened bottles of the stuff here. I've used it outside on saplings. I use the 35% and cut it. I've already gone upstairs and watered the one with crown rot. I'm with you, I doubt it will hurt anything.
 

Roth

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Be very careful with H2O2, sometimes it can induce early senescence of the cells and leves. Basically, that's what it is expected to do, induce hypersensitivity in plant cells, so the ones on the way to be contaminated by a bacteria or a fungus will die prematurely, stopping the infection. Another pathway is direct sterilization of pathogenic agents ( it does not kill them actually, but involves a complex deactivation protocol, that can be reversed by some chemicals, and the bacterias can be revived).

Another concern is that H2O2 is stabilized usually with acetic acid. When it is too old, there are not that many H2O2 left, but acetic acid, that can enhance some bacterial growths. Use only very fresh H2O2, and never on too sick or damaged ( by massive spider mites infestation as an example) plants. Some growers report wonderful results. I am very sensitive to the shades of green, and I note that after a spray, the leaves turns a little bit yellowish, back to green after a day or two.
 

TheLorax

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I agree that fresh H2O2 should be used.

The ratio I’ve been using for 35% H2O2 would be 1:10. If goldenrose is going to try this, I think she should just pick up one bottle of 3% from K-Mart for like .59 ¢? That way she won’t have to screw around with mixing? The only reason why I buy the 35% is because of the very wet springs we have been getting around here. I plant a lot of saplings and in subsequent years there has been so much rain that the water from the last rains hadn’t drained thoroughly enough to dry out enough so that oxygen would be pulled down into the soil. We’ve literally had so much rain the past few springs that nutrient uptake has been seriously impaired causing root systems to fail. They’re basically rotting in the ground. Normally, I wait to water plants until they need it but I have little or no control over what goes on outside. The best I could do for the saplings I’ve been planting was to try to oxygenate the soil with the hydrogen peroxide to hopefully help newly establishing plants increase their ability to uptake the nutrients they need to survive. When you’re dealing with 50 saplings all out there planted the previous fall that have beyond wet feet with no end to the rain in sight, you do what you can and hope for the best and you don’t buy 100 little bottles of 3%. It’s because I was dealing with 50 saplings planted into 5 and 10 gallon holes that I went for the gallons of 35% H2O2. For what it’s worth, the saplings I bought from the nursery are surviving whilst my girlfriend’s saplings from the same nursery defoliated over the summer. The 10 saplings she bought may or may not come back in spring. She used Schultz root stimulator on her saplings while I went for hydrogen peroxide on mine. I figured no sense fertilizing them at that point in time. Some differences in siting of the saplings she bought and that I bought but no differences in the rain all of our saplings were bombarded with. I have one unopened container left of the 35%. I also have 3 smaller 3% bottles from Wally World. I’ve already used the hydrogen peroxide on the one phrag I have because it looked so horrible that if it lives it will be beyond a miracle so I don’t particularly care if the H2O2 does it in. It’s on it’s last leg anyway and the Dragons Blood didn’t do anything for it at all given it’s worse now than when I originally discovered the problem after I bought it and used the Dragons Blood on it. That plant was re-potted into fresh medium and I did apply the Dragons Blood again last week and it again looks worse. Last night I peppered it with cinnamon after watering it with H2O2. It was the best I knew to do with limited experience in growing orchids. This “direct sterilization of pathogenic agents” interests me. How would I try this out (kitchen experiment version of the process) on the one plant that is ready to go to plant heaven?
 
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goldenrose

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Thanks - so far I'm happy with the dragon's blood but you never know!
 

TheLorax

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I'd try the DB again. This plant might have been too far gone by the time I pulled away the loose medium and found that the base of it looked rather... shall we say less than healthy? This time, I don't think the DB is working. No product can work all the time and sometimes things are just too far gone for anything to work. What do you think I should do with that plant you saw with the DB and paint brush taped to the support? I'm at a loss for that one but am not quite ready to pitch it yet.
 
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goldenrose

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Be PATIENT - LEAVE IT ALONE! Good, don't pitch it! You said it was holding it's own, not getting worse, so see if it will put out a growth.
 

TheLorax

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Patience, not exactly one of my virtues.

Yes, the leaves haven't puckered and haven't done one of those accordion deals and they aren't turning brown and brittle. They're still green and looking none the worse for the wear. Amazing those leaves are holding their own and seem so well hydrated given more of the crown has gone bad.

I will leave it be... other than maybe some more cinnamon for now.
 

TyroneGenade

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The ratio I’ve been using for 35% H2O2 would be 1:10. If goldenrose is going to try this, I think she should just pick up one bottle of 3% from K-Mart for like .59 ¢?
I'm using a 3% solution to sterilize Paph and other orchid seed. So far so good, I have protocorms (not many but that is probably due more to the Knudson C + banana I sowed them on ).

Could a spray of 3% H2O2 be used to reduce fungus and rot among seedlings? I have a lot of seedlings to deflask her in the next few months and I have had terrrible fungal problems among the Phals and Catts.

Thanks
 

Candace

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I just used it to water my paph compots two days ago as I've been seeing some problems. I don't know if I'd use it often on paph seedlings, maybe someone else who's actually using it as a preventative or often will comment.
 

cnycharles

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I found a research link or maybe an ag school one a few months ago where they were talking about using a 1% down to maybe a half or slightly less percent solution as a spray for insects and some disease. I used it a few times on some mealybugs, but noticed that if I used it more than twice on a few plants, they either expired or were a bit unhappy looking for a little while. also when I used it on tiny pleurothallid types it would sort of dry them out as if you were using alcohol on them. but I think with careful usage on tougher plants it would work well, or as a stopgap treatment say like for compots with some rot. on the other hand, chipco or clearys works very well for rots on seedlings and controls longer than the peroxide
 

TyroneGenade

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...but noticed that if I used it more than twice on a few plants, they either expired or were a bit unhappy looking for a little while.
I use a 12% solution to surface sterilize flasks and equipment in the laminar flow and if I get the stuff on my skin it burns :sob: I don't think a 1% solution would be much different thought it would take longer to burn. This is why I am a bit worried about all of this H2O2 business on plants. All I know is that the last fungicide I used didn't work so I'm more partial to trying the "big guns" with the next round of deflasking.

Thanks
 

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