If you want to boost plant growth in a hydroponics system, take advantage of using hydrogen peroxide. From accelerating germination to preventing pests, here are the many benefits of using hydrogen peroxide in hydroponics.
What is hydrogen peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a chemical compound. It’s the simplest form of peroxide and belongs to a family of compounds with a single bond between two oxygen atoms. It’s made up of the same atoms as water, except for that extra oxygen molecule. That extra oxygen molecule gives H2O2 the majority of its beneficial properties.
H2O2 is known for its bleaching abilities. While it can be toxic to humans and animals in concentrated forms, it uniquely benefits plants. The most common solution is a 3% solution, but solutions can go up to 35% at some hydroponics stores. A 3% solution can easily be found at any grocery or drug store.
Can hydrogen peroxide cause harm to hydroponic plants?
Hydrogen peroxide can harm plants if they receive too much of it. However, H2O2 solutions for plants are typically diluted to lower the risk of overexposure. If the strength of the chemical compound is appropriately diluted, H2O2 is perfectly safe for use with plants.
Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide in Hydroponics
Hydrogen peroxide has versatile uses in a hydroponic garden. From plant defense to increasing oxygen molecules, here are the benefits of using H2O2 in a grow room.
H2O2 Accelerates Germination
Everyone knows that seeds do best if they are soaked in water first. But did you know that using H2O2 in your nutrient solution will help them germinate faster? Only a minute or two in a diluted solution can dramatically increase how fast your seeds will sprout into seedlings. Although H2O2 is not a fertilizer, it can help boost plant growth by encouraging healthy root growth.
H2O2 Cleans & Disinfects Hydroponic Grow Systems
Hydrogen peroxide is typically added in small quantities to a central reservoir or tank to sanitize a hydroponic system. Harmful bacteria in hydroponic gardens naturally thrive in water with low oxygen content. Due to the extra oxygen element H2O2, it increases water oxygenation, which helps kills off bacteria. If you find any fungus or mold spores in your hydroponic system, you’ll be equipped with H2O2 as a quick solution.
As a note, you should always keep your H2O2 solution in a black bottle, as light makes the chemicals break down faster.
How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide in Hydroponics
Hydrogen peroxide has been used much like a general fertilizer by either being added into water or sprayed directly onto the foliage. It’s important to note that H2O2 is not technically a true fertilizer, but it can help boost the growth of your indoor plants by encouraging healthy root growth.
H2O2 for Pest Control
H2O2’s boosted oxygen levels help protect plants from common pests. To create an H2O2 solution for pest control, add one teaspoon of a 3% solution to a cup of water in a spray bottle. This solution can be used to mist your plants directly.
H2O2 for Fungal Infection Treatment
Hydrogen peroxide can be used to pretreat seeds for fungal infection control. For plants currently experiencing a fungal infection, use one tablespoon of a 3% solution for every cup of water. The water and H2O2 mixture can be made in advance, but it must be stored in a dark, cool place as exposure to sunlight diminishes potency over time.
H2O2 for Plant Root Development
As mentioned, H2O2 has an additional oxygen property that helps stimulate root development.
Here’s how to create an H2O2 solution for plant root growth:
- Put seeds in a container to allow water to pass through
- Use one teaspoon for every cup of water
- Rinse seeds with water
- Start germination
As a note, lower-concentration H2O2 solutions will take longer for results.
H2O2 for Seed Cleaning
H2O2 is a great resource for killing off any bacteria your seeds may have picked up during transport.
Follow these steps to create an H2O2 solution for cleaning seeds:
- Pour a 3% solution into a small, watertight container
- Leave the seeds in the solution for around four hours to kill off unwanted bacteria without any negative effects
- After soaking, rinse off the seeds with clean, fresh water
- Leave the seeds to dry on a clean towel
Cleaning your seeds is crucial to preventing unwanted contaminants from infecting or killing your crops.
H2O2 for Hydroponic System Cleaning
It’s crucial to have a routine schedule for cleaning your hydroponic system. It eliminates buildup, bacteria, and prevents infestations. As a rule of thumb, a 3% H2O2 solution per gallon of water is recommended in hydroponics. This equals around two to three teaspoons of H2O2 per gallon in your hydroponic nutrient tank.
H2O2 in Large Grow Rooms, Hydroponic Facilities, & Vertical Farms
If you’re looking to cover a large grow room, purchasing a 35% H2O2 solution can be more economical.
Here are some steps to using H2O2 in large grow rooms:
- Create a solution with one part of H2O2 for every ten parts of water —equals one cup per four square feet of garden.
- Mix the solution into a large watering can or sprayer.
- Water the plant base and avoid directly spraying any foliage.
- Re-spray the solution after every rainfall or as needed.
Be careful when using this potent solution, as high levels of H2O2 can bleach or burn skin.
Boost the Benefits of Your Hydroponic Garden Today
Now that you know the versatile benefits of using hydrogen peroxide in hydroponics, the next is to get the supplies you need. Whether using H2O2 for germination or disinfecting your grow system, GrowGeneration has everything that home and commercial growers need for a successful hydroponic garden.