I have seen the seen the chemical trifluralin refferenced in this forum as a means of producing polyploids. I am new to this forum, so can anyone tell me more about this chemical. How it is used, rate of application, sources, how it compairs to colchicine, will it work with other plant groups?

Also has anyone tried mixing it with other chemicals/substances/spreaders to increase its effectiveness fore example DMSO, glycerine?

Thanks Randy in CT

I did a search of the old forum and found most of the answers I was looking for. Thanks to everyone who participated I will be able to put this information to good use. Randy M.


I won’t bore you with stuff you’ve probably already read, but I’ll add my limited experience. I don’t use DMSO; I’m a little scared of the potential dangers. And trifluralin is supposed to only work with the tissues it directly comes in contact with. But, even so, I’ve twice now gotten lateral growths (from trifluralin treated shoots) that exhibit signs of polyploidy. I don’t mean temporary deformations, which I always get from the treatments, but permanent changes - affecting growth a year or more later. So far, I haven’t confirmed a conversion from sterile plant to fertile one – which would be proof enough for me (although chromosome counts would obviously be the best proof).

Anyway, what I’ve been doing, is painting (with a TINY paintbrush) the newly developing cane tips. For paint, I’m dipping into the orange stuff that floats to the top of a Preen and water slurry. It’s mostly water, with a little visible orange stuff (like the stuff on cheese-popcorn). I’ve found that the tender tip will usually be killed. So, I’ve been painting less of the orange on. And I’ve been concentrating on getting it just on the buds developing in the leaf axils, a little farther down from the tenderest tip tissue.

Good luck, and let us know if you have any successes.

Thanks for the reply Tom since you are not useing the DMSO perhaps you would get better results if you were to use the liquid surflan or treflan that way you could experiment with different concentrations of the active ingredient.

I know what you mean about the chemicals being scary after the chemicals I have worked with in the lab I realize that like many of the thing man has discovered they are useful but you have to have a healthy repect for them,take precautions and be very careful using them.

I almost forgot does anyone know the concentration of the gel form of DMSO I can’t believe they(Chemphar)dont state it on the label. Also does anyone have any experience with using the gel? I also cant believe they sell this stuff in farm supply stores with such a soft warning but then they also sell pesticides what could be more toxic than that and how many people really read the warnings