Update on my non-toxic mold treatment

I do believe the Oxyclean is not only cleaning the seeds, but also may be stimulating germination. My guess would be it’s softening the seam on the achene. The reason I say this is that some of the seeds with dead embryos split open as a result of the soak. I’m also getting a few germinations on seeds that looked like they were hopelessly gone.

I’m pretty excited about this! Aside from the obvious benefit of successfully killing the molds on the seeds (proven), and stimulating germination (looking good but unproven as yet) this means seeds can be stratified in the regular home refrigerator without worrying about toxic chemicals near food.

Has anyone else tried this yet?

I soaked some hard to germinate seeds for 8 hours the other day. I split the batch in half and only half received the soaking.

If time permits, today I will soak some of my batch of ((William Baffin X OP) X OP). This is a batch that has given me “zillions” of seedlings.

Great! That will be a good test for germination effects. I also soaked some Dainty Bess seeds for 24 hours a today. I know these take a long time to germinate, and they’ve been just sitting there forever. Unfortunately, I didn’t split them in half, which I should have, but they were so moldy, I just did them all. Looking forward to your results, Henry. Are the “hard to germinate seeds” newly extracted from the hips?

By the way, the (WBxOP)xOP seedlings I have from the seeds you kindly sent me are doing great! The largest has ten sets of leaves and is starting to branch from all the axils. They’ve been quite mildew resistant too. Very nice. Thank you!

Treatment seems to be successful! I just got 27 germinations of Claire Renaissance, all at once, out of a batch of 45 seeds. Seeds had been treated for 24 hours 8 days ago.

I also divided a batch of seeds with mold, treated one batch with a 24 hour H2O2 soak, and the other with a 24 hour Oxyclean soak. So far no germinations yet on the H2O2 batch, and 5 in the Oxy batch.

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m VERY excited about this discovery!!! I’m soaking all of my seeds that start to get fairly moldy now, even my more important crosses. When there is light, “thready” mold, I don’t treat and let the mold “do it’s thing” until it gets bad, but when the green or blue stuff shows up, or the heavier black molds, the seeds go into the oxy bath.

There is one dense, fluffy white mold that sometimes reappears after oxy treatment, but that mold seems to be pretty limited to one or two seeds. I just discard them. I’m trying H2O2 on those batches to see if that works on that type of mold. Occasionally a black mold reappears that gets the same treatment.

I’m anxious to hear the results of your treatments, Henry!

So far it has not helped, but I only treated both batches for 8 hours. Also, my overall germination rate has fallen to near zero the last couple of days. I have now turned on the freezer to its warmest setting (around 50 deg) as the temperature in the turned off freezer was starting to creep up into the 70 degrees region (remember there is some heat generated by the red LEDs).


Link: home.neo.rr.com/kuska/2003-2004%20seeds%20germinated.htm

Thanks, Henry. Please keep me updated. I’ve also soaked some hard-to-germinate seeds and am still waiting for those to do anything in the treated or untreated batches.

By the way, as far as dosage, the amount I’m using is 1/8 teaspoon Oxyclean to 1 Tablespoon of water, and soaking 24 hours. After cleaning, rinse for 30 seconds under running water.

I thought I would add some notes to this.

I have some interesting results that loosely correlate to the soaking of seeds in Qxyclean.

I have soaked several batches of seeds in Oxyclean to help control mold. It has had little affect on the mold other than cleaning the seeds really well and making them look nice. The mold has returned fairly quickly. The mold notes is not as interesting as my germinations.

Some results:

First soaking experiment. I used 4 teaspoons of Oxyclean per 2 cups of water. Soaked for about 15 hours give or take an hour or 2.

On r. filipes ‘Kiftsgate’, I had no germinations since I had taken them out of the fridge. I soaked them and the seeds turned a very clean ivory color. No mold returned on these for some reason. After 4 days I had 4 germinations that have continued consistently till now. About 80% of the seeds have germinated and are growing.

I soaked several other seeds from assorted sources but have had no germinations from any. All have had mold return very quickly. All of these seeds were harvested from op plants at a garden center so may not have had the proper amount of time to mature. The seeds are from 4th of July, Bee Bop and Lace Cascade all of which do not look well. Most of which have darkened centers which leads me to believe that they are dead.

Results of a second soaking experiment. I had several seeds of r. sempervirens and had no germinations. Seeds were starting to show a lot of mold. I soaked them in oxyclean for about 14 hours. Seeds cleaned up nicely. Have had 6 germinations since I soaked them.

Results of a third experiment. I soaked r. xanthina seeds,r. davurica, r. holodonta and r. rubignosa seeds for 24 hours. I have had no germinations in any of these with the exception of davurica which had a good spurt of germinations but which stopped completely for the last month. I soaked these seeds last weekend.

2 holodonta seed coats have split and look like germination his occurring

Many rubignosa seeds,davurica and xanthina seeds have split open and look like germination is occurring.

The initial conclusion I am starting to make is that oxyclean can help kick start germinations. At the very least there is a interesting correlation between oxyclean soaks and germinationsseed coats splitting open.

Thanks for your update, Steven. I have had similar results. There are some molds that will return with a vengence, even after oxy treatment. Other batches clean up perfectly and mold doesn’t return. I find 24 hour soaks seem to work better, but even with 36 hour soaks, certain molds will return. In anycase, compared to the H2O2 soaks, there are fewer molds on the oxy batches.

As far as seed germinations, I’ve also had similar results. In 3 sets of comparative batches, in all cases I’ve had a good deal more germinations in the oxy vs H2O2 or oxy vs no-soak. Many seeds split open in the oxy batches, some germinate, and some just sit there, but the oxy does appear to help the seed coat split. It seems to do so by actually softening the seed coat.

I came across this thread today. Does anyone have anything to add?

I’m curious to understand the differences in mold and Oxyclean response among individual varieties’ seeds - and wonder, perhaps, if their initial treatment didn’t also play some significant role. For instance, some of Steven’s seeds were commercial in origin, meaning they didn’t go straight into moist stratification after being shucked; they were dried thoroughly first. I’ve had the greatest trouble with the small seeds of Synstylae roses rotting easily in stratification and have wondered if they might not benefit from a good drying to toughen them up before going into a cool, damp environment. Maybe someone else can expand on that thought a bit, if they read this.

I’ve read before that treatment with sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) was found to increase germination in various plants. While a potassium-based chemical might be tempting because of theoretically lower toxicity, it may not offer that same benefit, lacking sodium, assuming the process is even remotely the same. Maybe the extra oxygen also helps to stimulate an increase in respiration and somehow triggers the seed to wake up.

I wonder if the oxygen supplied by either H2O2 or Oxyclean is “chewing up” the main germination inhibitor abscisic acid. There is a published scientific experiment that reports that activitated carbon absorbs the abscisic acid and speeds up rose seed germination.

Title: Levels of endogenous abscisic acid in rose achenes and leaching with activated charcoal to improve seed germination.

Authors: Yambe, Yoshiko; Hori, Yutaka; Takeno, Kiyotoshi.

Authors affiliation: Fac. Agric., Tohoku Univ., Sendai, Japan.

Published in: Journal of the Japanese Society for Horticultural Science (1992), 61(2), pages 383-7.

Abstract: "The involvement of abscisic acid (ABA) in inhibition of germination of rose achenes was studied and a method for removing ABA was established. Intact achenes of Rosa hybrida cv. Inspiration never germinated at 25

It is possible that the oxygen does not directly “chew up” ABA but enhances germination in a manner similar to that described below:

Title: Reactive oxygen species, ABA and nitric oxide interactions on the germination of warm-season C4-grasses.

Authors Sarath, Gautam; Hou, Guichuan; Baird, Lisa M.; Mitchell, Robert B.

Authors affiliation: Grain, Forage and Bioenergy Research Unit, USDA-ARS, 344A Keim Hall and Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, East Campus, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, USA.

Published in: Planta (2007), 226(3), pages 697-708.

Abstract: "Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) significantly stimulated germination of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) seeds with an optimal concn. of 20 mM at both 25 and 35

Apple seeds and rose seeds may behave similarly (see http://www.rosehybridizers.org/forum/message.php?topid=2937#4057) :

Title: Breaking the apple embryo dormancy by nitric oxide involves the stimulation of ethylene production.

Authors: Gniazdowska, Agnieszka; Dobrzynska, Urszula; Babanczyk, Tomasz; Bogatek, Renata.

Authors affiliation: Department of Plant Physiology, Warsaw Agricultural University, Warsaw, Pol.

Published in: Planta (2007), 225(4), pages 1051-1057.

Abstract: “Mature seeds of apple (Malus domestica Borb. cv. Antonowka) are dormant and do not germinate unless their dormancy is removed by several weeks of moist-cold treatment. The effect of short-term (3 h) nitric oxide (NO) pretreatment on breaking of apple embryonic dormancy was studied and expressed as inhibition of germination and morphol. abnormalities of young seedlings. Imbibition of embryos isolated from dormant apple seeds with sodium nitroprusside (SNP) or S-nitroso,N-acetyl penicillamine (SNAP) as NO donors resulted in enhanced germination. Moreover, NO treatment removed morphol. abnormalities of seedlings developing from dormant embryo. The NO scavenger 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-teramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3 oxide (cPTIO) removed the above effects. NO-mediated breaking of embryonic dormancy correlated well with enhanced ethylene prodn. Inhibitor of ethylene synthesis (AOA) reversed the stimulatory effect of NO donors on embryo germination. Addnl. SNP reduced embryo sensitivity to exogenously applied ABA ensuing dormancy breakage. Thus, NO acts as a regulatory factor included in the control of apple embryonic dormancy breakage by stimulation of ethylene biosynthesis.”

Link: www.rosehybridizers.org/forum/message.php?topid=2937#4057

Sometimes I can download a full paper that others cannot due to “cookies” on my computer. To test before posting I send an e-mail containing the download links to my wife’s computer. If they are still downloadable, they are available to the public. These 2 papers are available for download free.



They appear to be a good summary of present seed germination theory.

Of interest:

Page 1184 of the 2007 Plant Physiology paper:

“More recently reactive oxygen intermediates have been shown to be synthesized by seed coats of … in response to germination stimuli…and there is growing evidence that these molecules can bring about weakening of the cell wall…Reactive oxygen intermediates are attractive candidates for wall modifying agents…Large amounts of hydrogen peroxide are produced…”

It is interisting that both NO and CN- are germination promoters. On page 1186 the authors state:

“KCN breaks dormancy in a wide range of seeds, and we speculate that it does so by increasing GA biosynthesis.”

On page 1183 they state:

“…these three pieces of data suggest that NO may coordinate a reduction in ABA-imposed dormancy with the onset of GA-stimulated germination.”

They do not appear to be aware that the electron accepting chemistry of CN- and NO are very similar. They both may be acting in the same way to promote germination. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1399-3054.1994.tb00433.x

Link: www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1399-3054.1994.tb00433.x

Strange… I don’t see the post for Oct 12, reported on the main forum listing.

Can any one else see the post of Oct 12?


It was in appropriate spam.