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Reason for lobelia seedlings dying?

Posted by veryzer 5a IL (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 11, 10 at 17:46

About half of my loelia seedlings have died while still at the cotyledon stage and I'm wondering why.

I used multi-pelleted seeds with promix ultimate seedling mix and put them 24" under hid lighting for 16 hr./day with a daytime temp of ~72.

I've had a fan on them and waited for the soil to get dry before watering (as dry as my tomato seedlings which are doing very well.

I haven't noticed damping off but they're so small, I'm not sure what I'd see. The little I can see is what might be a bit of withering. I set the pellets on top of the mix and spritzed them a bit, but I don't think all pellets totally dissolved.

So....might this be happening to them because they are in good contact with the mix????

Thanks for your input.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Reason for lobelia seedlings dying?

The trouble with coated seed is you have to dissolve the coating before any moisture can get to the seed. You have to make the soil very wet to dissolve the coating and that often causes damp off with the first ones to sprout.

As for myself I stay far away from pelleted seed. If you have Damp Off treat them with a spray of it. Garlic water is good too.

RE: Reason for lobelia seedlings dying?


So in the future, can I use garlic water for wetting the mix initially as a prophylaxis or only after fungus has arrived?

And regarding watering, I felt I had been watering very little (after the initial soaking). How dry should I allow the mix to get. I've let the top go completely dry while half and inch down the mix is a slightly deeper brown that could possibly classify as damp but didn't feel very damp (a Q-tip could go to the bottom and come up with no mix clinging to it). I bottom watered the lobelia because I didn't want a spray bottle to dislodge the tiny seedlings.

Advice in addition to all the stuff I've already read that apparently hasn't helped would be appreciated.

I know there's a learning curve but

RE: Reason for lobelia seedlings dying?

This is my second year growing lobelia, and I've always kept them more than damp. I haven't let them get dry at all, not even the top layer of soil. My feeling is that their roots are rather shallow at this stage (before first set of leaves), so bottom watering may not be enough. Mine grow under lights after 4 pm, but the rest of the time, I've got them on the windowsill facing south, so lots of sun when we get it. I'm starting to see the first set of true leaves emerging, and I started these seeds I collected this past season at the beginning of March.
For watering, I usually put them under the tap and just let drops of water fall around the little guys, and they don't get flooded.

RE: Reason for lobelia seedlings dying?

I agree, my lobelia were much happier when I started keeping them more on the wet side. They were struggling when they were small and really looked terrible after their first transplant, but then I started to really saturate their soil about every other day or so, and they took off.

RE: Reason for lobelia seedlings dying?

That's what I was beginning to thik. I'm going to run an experiment keeping them consistently moist and see what happens. Thanks.

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