Hydrogen Peroxide In The Garden

Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Composting & Soil Fertility

Until recently I'd not thought of Hydrogen Peroxide in any capacity other than cleaning. That was until I read an article in an organic magazine where it was mentioned in passing.

Upon doing a little bit of research it appears to have a range of benefits.

As Hydrogen Peroxide is H2O2 [with water being H2O], it's clear Hydrogen Peroxide has twice as much oxygen than water.

The first way it can help in the garden [so I am told] is to kill fungi and bacteria in the soil that causes root rot.

Due to the additional oxygen levels it's said to help the plants to take in oxygen through the roots, as well as other nutrients.

The recommended amount for such applications was to use a 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution with 1part Hydrogen Peroxide to 1 part water. This level will burn the leaves however so it was said to be very important to ensure it ONLY got onto the soil and not the foliage.

Another option is to put 1teaspoon into 1 cup of water and spritz it onto the foliage. This is said to protect the plants from ants and bugs. This is the application that was briefly alluded to in the article I read.

It is said that the application of Hydrogen Peroxide and water will produce stronger plant growth as a byproduct of the increased oxygen intake of the plant.

Lastly, a suggested option was to help in the aid of strong germination and growth of seedlings when the diluted 1:1 mix was used from time to time.

All this sounds great, but I've never used it in my garden before so I cannot confirm any of it.

I was however researching the options as I had one section of my winter veggies that weren't doing so well. So now I am experimenting.

With one bed I am going to continue to water with only adding the extra water that I'm soaking some seaweed in from a trip to the beach a little while back.

To the other bed I am going to continue watering with the diluted seaweed solution as well as giving it a water with the Hydrogen Peroxide 1:1 every so often.

It will be interesting to see how they perform.

The next thing is to ask if anyone on TGN has used Hydrogen Peroxide in their gardens, and if so, what applications was it used for, and what were the results?



  • An
    An Posts: 42 ✭✭

    I have a Medlar tree that is constantly covered in ants. I will try the H2O2 on it this spring and see if it helps.

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    @Alison Please keep us posted as the season goes on. If possible, please take pictures of the 2 beds so we can see some of what you are seeing. 🙂

  • Alison
    Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    I have put a ring of petroleum jelly around the trunk of a tree to help stop ants but I found you needed to go back every so often to make sure the surface of the jell was sticky...not sure how they/ or the weather / time made it so the ants could walk on it and not get stuck but it happened.

    I've found ants are also more inclined to be going up and down a tree that has the scale insects that cause sooty mould. It might be worth checking to see if you have any of the little scale insects that might be attracting the ants.


  • Alison
    Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    To follow up on my experiment of using Hydrogen Peroxide in the garden, I have a few photos.

    Firstly I want to start by saying that there was another clear variable with my veggies, and that is the plants I used the Hydrogen Peroxide with didn't have any exclusion netting, while the one's I didn't use Hydrogen Peroxide with in one other garden did.

    So, here are the results.

    1. I found the uncovered plants that were not inter-planted with other veggies lagged behind considerably as aphids and other insects continued to attack them, despite each garden bed receiving the same amount of preparation.
    2. Despite the added Hydrogen Peroxide, after a few weeks the uncovered plants didn't show any signs of improving, even though they also got watered with the same amount of added homemade fertiliser as the covered ones.
    3. There was a 3rd section of veggies that were not covered, did not get Hydrogen Peroxide and had good growth, though still less than the ones in the exclusion netting. These veggies however had been planted among carrots that were close to maturity. I anticipate the feathery carrot stems helped to ward off cabbage moths from laying eggs and aphids. I also pondered if the roots etc of the carrots; some were grown close to carrots and in front of snow peas, allowed their establishing root systems to intermingle with the already established root systems to draw on additional nutrients the other plants had to work to achieve on their own...somewhat symbiotic?

    So, here are the pictures: This was the previously uncovered garden bed. The cauliflowers and broccoli are still small despite the hydrogen peroxide. After an extra 5 weeks of no benefits I covered it instead and changed to simply applying home made fertiliser. The organic pellets had been added to all garden beds as I didn't have access to enough compost.

    This picture is of the broccoli inter-planted with some near mature carrots. They were never covered. I did have to brush off some white cabbage moth eggs every so often when I saw a moth fly around the garden - the moths however seemed to leave them alone a lot more than the one's in the 1st bed without the carrot stems. Beyond that they've not had anything but the home made liquid fertiliser that all have had.

    The last photo here was of the broccoli and cauliflower I planted in a bed that automatically had exclusion netting put over it. I sprinkled the same organic slow release pellets on each bed. This bed got no other additional attention.

    I found the results remarkable. These plants were all bought on the same day from the same store and came from about 4 punnets. With a whole lot of 'life' happening and our cool climate region quickly moving towards Autumn, I decided buying a few seedling punnets was the best option. I didn't expect such a diverse outcome though.

    Also, you will notice that there is an additional difference between bed 1 and bed 3. In bed 1 and 3 there weren't other veggies growing and so I decided to continue my latest planting style of interplanting carrots / root crops, with the other crops. I simply planted my brassicas and then tossed some carrot, purple top turnip and parsnips. The 3rd bed has shown phenomenal growth with the root crops also, while the 1st bed is lagging dreadfully in that arena also.

    I find it utterly fascinating that each of these two beds are covered in the exact same mulch; from the same bag no less, have had the exact same compost and organic fertiliser pellets added, same amount of watering etc and yet the outcome is dramatic.

    I have pondered that the aphids as well as the possible difference in temperature swings that the uncovered bed had; as opposed to the covered bed possibly having warmer overnight temperatures, might have made a much bigger difference than I'd ever otherwise imagine.

    Considering the cost of the Hydrogen Peroxide and the lack of benefit, I likely won't try it again. It seems the cover is the best solution for me.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences...planned or otherwise? 🥦🥕

  • soeasytocraft
    soeasytocraft Posts: 237 ✭✭✭

    Very interesting. The only thing we have used hydrogen peroxide for ia keeping our rain water containers clear of mildew.