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  #1  
Old 08-16-2022, 07:56 AM
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Default Hydrogen Peroxide - Toxic to Orchid Roots

Scientific evidence showing what long time orchid growers have know for a while: hydrogen peroxide is toxic to orchid roots. Please dump your H2O2 down the drain or repurpose it for something other than orchids.

More specifically, they tested soaking orchid roots for 3 minutes at 3%, 6%, and 12% concentration. They found that "H2O2 concentrations of 6% and 12% damaged root health permanently, whereas the 3% H2O2 concentration only caused minor damage to overall root health. However, algae were not killed at the 3% rate." Therefore, these treatments are damaging to orchid roots and are likely ineffective at killing microorganisms (like algae).

Characterizing the Phytotoxic Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide Root Dips on Hybrid Phalaenopsis Orchid Plants in: HortTechnology Volume 31 Issue 6 (2021)
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2022, 09:14 AM
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The problem is the weak stabilizer used in most peroxides.

For disinfecting a wound, the rapid release of energy as the H2O2 becomes H2O is great, but it's simply too much for root tissues.

If you want to use an environmentally friendly H2O2 product, look into those made specifically for plants by Biosafe Systems. The stabilizer they use allows the peroxide to decompose at a low rate, still achieving the disinfecting properties, but without the damage.
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2022, 09:22 AM
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The problem is the weak stabilizer used in most peroxides.

For disinfecting a wound, the rapid release of energy as the H2O2 becomes H2O is great, but it's simply too much for root tissues.

If you want to use an environmentally friendly H2O2 product, look into those made specifically for plants by Biosafe Systems. The stabilizer they use allows the peroxide to decompose at a low rate, still achieving the disinfecting properties, but without the damage.
Very interesting caveat! What uses does the plant peroxide have? Is it only for treating cuts to the plant and leaves? Or can it be used for roots too? Other uses?

Seems like peroxide is used as a miracle cure to treat any and all ailments from gnat and snail control, to fungus and algae eliminator. I suspect some people cuddle with the bottle at night as a body pillow. Obviously, that last sentence is tongue and cheek, but you get my point!
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Old 08-16-2022, 11:26 AM
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H2O2 is no longer recommended for routine wound care either. While it’s an effective disinfectant, it’s been shown to damage healthy tissue and slow healing. It is great for removing blood stains.
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Old 08-16-2022, 11:27 AM
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People are strangely resistant to using the correct tools for the job in regards to treating plant ailments. Part of it is if you google any plant issue, all the wiki-how and plant forms suggest these stupid home remedies.

so yeah, dump the peroxide, neem oil, soap, rubbing alcohol, etc
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Old 08-16-2022, 12:25 PM
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Rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl), soap solutions and neem oil have been shown to kill arthropods, and are less toxic to humans than commercial pesticides.
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Old 08-16-2022, 12:49 PM
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so yeah, dump the peroxide, neem oil, soap, rubbing alcohol, etc
i wasn't gonna chime in cause i've used peroxide a total of once and have no skin in that game, other than we don't use it. but, i am really curious as to the push against soap, specifically. not sure why i am getting up on my soapbox about it either (see what i did there??)

but really, have all the people who are rallying around harsher chemicals actually tried the soap regime?? i am just curious. at least on a very limited scale and for specific, "easy" pests like mites or snails, etc.??? i am NOT trying to start a wierd, new age internet war.

it's also intersting to note how frequently this has been coming up (perhaps it's due to summer in the northern hemi, dunno). i'll take my question to a new, definitive soap thread and perhaps put my own curiousity to rest on the matter.... i look forward to meeting you anti-soapers on the slippery slope of pseudo-scientific knowledge surfactance
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Old 08-16-2022, 01:10 PM
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What uses does the plant peroxide have? Is it only for treating cuts to the plant and leaves? Or can it be used for roots too? Other uses?
The product I used - sold (seemingly randomly) by Biosafe Systems as Oxidate and Zero-Tol - used peracetic acid to stabilize the hydrogen peroxide. Like Physan, it is a topical bactericide/fungicide.

It is 27% H2O2 in the bottle, but the application concentration, depending upon the application, is 0.675% (rescue dose), 0.135% (curative), or 0.0675% (preventive).

The peracetic acid stabilizer keeps the molecules stable until they come in contact on a microscopic level with a pathogen, so it stays active as long as it's still wet, rather than the all-at-once decomposition cascade of drugstore H2O2 that's stabilized with stannous chloride.
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Old 08-16-2022, 01:23 PM
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In my understanding, H2O2 reacts with and destroys all organic molecules with which it comes into contact, regardless if it is bacteria, exposed plant cells, fish gills, etc. It has never made sense to me to put it on roots one is trying to preserve when all one needs to do is provide the correct cultural conditions to fix root issues.

I think people mostly use it in order to have a greater sense of control and the tendency to anthropomorphize our plants (sanitary = better).

Last edited by Clawhammer; 08-16-2022 at 02:23 PM..
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Old 08-16-2022, 02:25 PM
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Soap for invertebrates (insect and arthropod) does have a bit of science behind it (and overall, at the low concentrations needed to be a wetting agent in plain old water not likely to do any harm) - these creatures "breathe" through pores in their bodies. So water with a bit of soap (dish soap, "insecticidal soap", etc) toes tend to clog those pores, drowning them. But of course it doesn't touch the eggs, and probably isn't all that great against some of the larvae either. So to have any significant effect, it needs to be repeated and repeated. Unlike chemical pesticides, less likely to generate resistance, since eventually all of them need to take in oxygen to survive. But it's the repetition that's important... get successive generation. Also true with chemical pesticides. One is NOT done. Each application reduces the population but does not take it to zero. Just keep whittling at the population and eventually will get it down to the less-damaging level.

Note if you use an insecticidal soap (like Safer's Soap) and get the concentrate (certainly more cost-effective, you're not buying so much water) ... It is a potassium soap. In the presence of calcium in the hard water, the calcium replaces potassium, and calcium soaps are insoluble... gunky precipitate is the result. So if you dilute the concentrate, do it with pure water (RO or DI or distilled) if your water is even a little bit "hard".
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