Article on seeds producing Hydrogen Peroxide

I found a very interesting article that demostrates seeds actually producing Hydrogen Peroxide and its related components (OH-, O2-) before and during germination. I am not sure if this relates to rose seeds, but it is interesting that some seeds actully produce Hydrogen Peroxide to ward of fungus attacks.

“[Reactive oxygen intermediates] release can be detected in the seed coat already 6 to 12 h after sowing, i.e. 6 h before the onset of visible germination in the seed population”

That’s neat Shane.

In the mid-1990’s I ordered some polyantha seeds from Thompson and Morgan and imbibed some in hydrogen peroxide and some in water and followed germination. What I came across at the time was that the oxygen gas given off may increase respiration and germination. THere wasn’t a significant difference for germination in that experiment. However, perhaps using other concentrations and different roses may prove differently.

For fungal control I’ve been very happy with hydrogen peroxide and started using it because of Henry Kuska’s encouragement. If I have a tray with some damping off and I’m careful I can save other seedlings in the tray with using it. Hydrogen peroxide seems to be less toxic and stunt plants less than captan or other standard fungicides.

Thanks for the interesting tip that seeds produce some hydrogen peroxide themselves and do so perhaps to ward off fungi as a natural mechanism!



Hi David,

What concentration do you use of the Hydrogen Peroxide and how often to you use it?



Hi Shane,

To water soil with I’ve just been using the 3% out of the bottle and just once. I try to let the media be on the dry side after application too to try to hinder the watermolds that cause damping off (Phytophthora and Pythium). If I remember right off the top of my head about that germination experiment I diluted it and used 1 and the 3%.



Hi Shane:

That is very interesting! I have often thought that rose seeds when taken out of their damp paper towels after cold storage, that they had the “feel” of H2O2 - kind of slippery and sticky at the same time and with a particular smell.

Jim Sproul