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Cauliflower Seedlings Bending In Half?

Posted by veggieholic 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 4, 10 at 10:30

I have tried to look up information on this problem but I haven't found anything, possibly because I can't pinpoint a good search term for this problem. I'm hoping you all can help me. I have some cauliflower seedlings about one and a half weeks old, no true leaves yet. About three days ago, three of the seedlings bent over about half way up the stem (not at the soil line like with damping off). The stem looks flattened and limp at the bending point. At the time, I noticed the soilless mix was very dry, so I removed the sick ones, gave the rest a good watering and placed them back under the lights. Then today, the same thing happened to two more of the cauliflower seedlings! This time the growing medium is moist. I did not have the fan on them yet, and it is fairly warm in the room where they are, so I suppose air circulation could've been an issue. I turned on the fan this morning. However, I have about 10 other kinds of seedlings growing in the same conditions and all appear healthy. I would like to know if anyone else has seen this happen, and what the cause might be. I'm hoping not to lose any more seedlings! Thanks for your help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cauliflower Seedlings Bending In Half?

While damp-off is most common at the soil line it can actually affect any part of the stem. Damp-off can even affect large transplants after they are in the garden.

In this case most likely the stems were infected at the soil line but the symptoms weren't apparent until the plant had grown past the soil line. A bit simplistic I know but picture the fungus attached to the stem and riding it up the stem until growing conditions were right for it to activate.

Lower the air temperature, decrease the humidity, and increase the consistent air circulation for the rest of your seedlings.

If you want an experiment to do, snip off the affected seedlings a bit below the damaged part of the stem and leave the rest of the stem to see what happens. Some have reported they have been able to salvage affected seedlings this way and new growth develops from the roots once the growing conditions are changed. See what happens with yours.


RE: Cauliflower Seedlings Bending In Half?

Also make sure your seedlings are close enough to the lights. If they're struggling to get enough light, they will 'stretch' to it and may have weak stems.


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