Yellowing leaves on Petunia Seedlings

mandolls(4)February 15, 2013

I have started quite a few petunias from seed this year, and some of them are beginning to turn yellow-ish.

My first thought was a need for fertilizer, but the ones that are turning yellow are not the largest/oldest seedlings (I began several different types at different times as the seeds arrived). They are still quite small, between 4-6 tiny leaves. It seems to me that if the older larger seedlings are not showing signs of fertilizer lack, then the others shouldn't either.

I dont fertilize at all until they are developing at least the second set of leaves, and then use a very diluted fert, every time I water.

The older seedlings are Waves, the yellowing ones are not - could they have different needs? I cant think of anything else that is different, though I may have them in a different starting mix.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Classic cause is too much water. Older more mature seedlings can cope with it better than very young ones. Try cutting back on the soil moisture.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Dave - I'll do that. I have been bottom watering them, and am not very experienced with that.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had problems with the water I was using, I now only start plants with distilled water... tap water has chlorine that can build up in the potting mix.

Too much water can tie up the root's ability to assimilate nitrogen (the micro amounts of which are already in the potting mix), and you said that your older plants have no issues, yes?

I'd say first evaluate the water you are using, and if you are using tap water that you'd call "hard water" then the PH of it could be too high as well as laced with chlorine. It's a minor detail, but you can buy pH lowering drops from any local garden center, and adjust your distilled water to something around 6, and see if that doesn't clear it up. Small plants just can't use much fertilizer at this stage in their life.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have never checked the PH of my water, but have been meaning to. I have well water, not city water, so chlorine isnt a problem, but it is pretty "hard".

At this point most of the yellowed petunia leaves have reverted to a healthy green, so I suspect Dave was right on the money with his advice - But I do need to check the ph of the water. - Thanks

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Like mandolls we live on wells and have very hard water but have never had a problem with using it for plants.

All our greenhouse plants and garden plants are raised on hard water and while we do get some lime build-up in the soil that is still far healthier for the plants than the salts that accumulate from softened water. Thank heavens we don't have to worry about the chlorine issue.


PS: glad to hear the plants are doing better.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
When to start eggplant seeds
Johnny's says 8-10 weeks like the peppers. I remember...
Peter (6b SE NY)
Need Help Starting Seedlings
Hi!! My name is Sunny. :) I joined your forum just...
growing peas
I can't seem to get a successful crop of peas.............any...
Conjoined twin basil seedling
This might be pretty common and not worth making a...
arlene_82 (zone 6 OH)
Potting up brassicas
I have broccoli and cabbage sown in small peat pot...
Peter (6b SE NY)
Sponsored Products
Lemon Zest Niko Swing Arm Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
Tay Tay Bronze Three-Light Bath Fixture with Honey Glass
$418.50 | Bellacor
Dale Tiffany Henderson Flush Mount - 2726/2LTF
$249.99 | Hayneedle
Yellow Overdyed Kazak 6x8 Hand Knotted 100% Wool Oriental Geometric Rug Sh15011
1800 Get A Rug
Blue & Yellow Spring Bird Wind Chime
$12.99 | zulily
Red Lava Glass Bathroom Sink
MR Direct Sinks and Faucets
Mesa Collection Hand Knotted Super Kazak 4' X 6' Veg Dyed Sangria Wool Rug H4047
BH Sun Inc
Queen Titania by Luceplan
$1,364.95 | Lumens
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™