Finally! Mold triumph!

As you know, I’ve been experimenting with many different non-toxic substances to deal with molds that overwelm the seeds while they are stratifying in wet paper towels, and I do believe I may have found a very effective, non-toxic seed cleaner that still allows for germination. There are still comparative experiments to be done on germination rate, but Oxyclean does appear to work extremely well. I have done 2 hour - 12 hour soaks with a large pinch of Oxyclean in about 1/2 oz of water (very scientific), on many types of molds on old seeds and it seems to work on all of them. I don’t have an optimum soaking time or dosage yet. After the soaking, seeds were washed for about a minute under running water, and placed in fresh paper towels wetted with straight 3% peroxide as I usually do. Most of the seeds I’ve treated in the past few weeks were way beyond hope of germination - old and very moldy, so I wasn’t sure if germination would occur after treating viable seeds, but I just got my first germination on viable, treated seeds this morning. Yes!!!

Unlike with peroxide soaks, Oxyclean appears to work on all of the molds, including the nasty blue/green molds that overwhelm and kill the seeds. Retreatment may be necessary if new contamination later occurs, of course.

An additional benefit with Oxyclean treatment, is that the achenes become somewhat transparent, allowing one to see the dead black embryos in the non-viable seeds.

Oxyclean is an oxygen bleach, much like hydrogen peroxide, and in fact is made by treating sodium carbonate with hydrogen peroxide, which yields sodium percarbonate. This gives off oxygen when mixed with water. It is totally non-toxic.

This is an early report, and I’ve only had one germination on treated seeds so far, so if you try this, please don’t do it with seeds you care about. And please report your findings here. Good luck!!

I had purchased a container of it, but decided not to test it because of the sodium ions. The potassium form does exist, but I do not know of a retail source.

Henry, the next few days will tell if the seeds do ok. I have a few more that look like they may germinate, and I just treated a bunch of semi-old and moldy seeds that have more chance of germinating than my original REALLY old and moldy batches. I’ll let you know. Next test will be on newly shucked seeds when I get some.

Ok, I just had a good germination on a batch of Golden Celebration seeds that had been soaked in the Oxyclean for 10 hours. This was in a batch that was very moldy and had been removed from their hips 7 months ago. I have not had any germinations in 4 months on this batch so I’m very hopeful! So far, a two hour soak on moldy seeds has proven to be too short.

So far, so good.