View Full Version : Experiment With Bleaching Seeds
02-20-2007, 04:06 PM
Last night I got bored and while I was digging in my fridge for nep seeds that I put in there, I found the Devil's Claw seeds that I had put in there last year and I was bored so I took two of them and put em in a cup of bleach. I watched em for 30 minutes and the only thing I noticed was the bleach turning a little darker shade of yellow, so I started to ignore it. Fast forward a couple hours, I look in the cup and there's two white seeds inside. The bleach ate right through in a matter of hours. So now I've sown them and put em under lights to see if they'll actually grow. The only reason I think they may not grow is because they were definitely in the bleach for too long. I had only intended to have them in there until the white was STARTING to show. Really it doesn't seem like there is any damage to the seeds except there is a weird brown spot in the center of the seeds, like the white is opaque and in the center is something brown. I dunno what that is but I'm really looking forward to seeing the results. :D
Also, the reason I decided to do this experiment is because I recently got 80% germination rate with some Byblis seeds by squirting 'em a bit with diluted bleach before sowing them, and I know that Devil's Claw seeds have thick seed coats. If it doesn't work this time I may try again but I will more closely monitor the bleaching period. I almost fell asleep without checking them. x_x;
Bleach is starting to look like a really good thing to keep around the house if you grow plants by seed a lot. (As I do.)
02-20-2007, 06:03 PM
I'm keeping tabs on this one. I still have pods in the fridge, yet to be pried open!
02-21-2007, 09:23 PM
Bleach is some strong stuff, hurts my eyes if I'm in a room with it for a while. I should really wear gloves when I use it but I never do.
Also, so far I haven't seen anything poke up out of the medium. I'm kinda thinking that I may have buried the seeds a little too far, but I don't think it will change much.
Just my guess, but the seeds are probably dead. The only way they aren't is if somehow the bleach didn't penetrate. You've whitnessed that bleach is pretty harsh, nasty stuff. It's very alkaline, so you don't want to ever handle undiluted bleach.
For cuttings, you can use a 10 parts water, 1 part bleach mix for a quick dunk. For seeds, a similar 10:1 ratio works and is best used for short durations.
Bleach isn't exactly "life-friendly." So be careful when handling it, and be careful how you use it. A little bleach can go a long way.
Remember to wash thoroughly after coming in to contact with it. Even after you think it's all gone you may be surprised when you accidentally just bleached something white by touching it.
02-24-2007, 05:23 PM
Hehe... this one time I was soaking a co2 diffuser disk in pure bleach and I was sucking through a tube to get the bleach to come through the ceramic disk. Went all in my mouth. That is the NASTIEST stuff ever.
Didn't even make my teeth white :(
02-25-2007, 12:39 PM
yeeaahhh bleach is very nasty, even when diluted. i work in an animal hospital so we use tons of the stuff for cleaning, especially our isolation areas, and i've actually burned my throat on the fumes in the past. not pleasant.
erm... out of curiosity, how could the bleach help out seeds and cuttings?
02-25-2007, 03:40 PM
It gets rid of all nastys(bacteria+fungus). It is a must for tissue culture to sterlize the seed or tissue.
03-08-2007, 06:38 PM
I mostly use it to eat away at the seed coat for faster germination... and let me tell you... this experiment is a SUCCESS. It has worked for Byblis (through the byblis bleach method posted here on TF a while ago by someone else) and now it's worked for Devil's Claw! Even the seedling looks kinda evil! It has fuzz and it's all red, I'll get a picture soon!
BTW, here's the link to what *I THINK* is the original posting of the bleach method. http://terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101430&highlight=Bleach+Method
And here you can see how my parent's camera just loves to not focus on what it's supposed to.
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