Copper Frequently Asked Questions
Bordeaux mixture is prepared in various strengths from copper sulphate, hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) and water. The conventional method of describing its composition is to give the weight of copper sulphate, the weight of hydrated lime and the volume of water in that order.
The percentage of copper sulphate weight to the weight of water employed determines the concentration of the Bordeaux mixture. A 1% Bordeaux mixture, which is the norm, would have the formula 1 :1:100, the first 1 representing 1 kg copper sulphate, the second representing 1 kg hydrated lime, and the 100 representing 100 litres (100 kg) water.
As copper sulphate contains 25% copper metal, the copper content of a 1% Bordeaux mixture would be 0-25% copper. The quantity of lime used can be reduced considerably. 1 kg copper sulphate requires only 0.225 kg of chemically pure hydrated lime to precipitate all the copper. Good proprietary brands of hydrated lime are now freely available but, as even these deteriorate on storage, it is safest not to exceed a ratio of 2:1, i.e. a 1:0.5:100 mixture.