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Can these seedlings be saved?

Posted by GardeningRocks Utah Z3 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 13:06

sad petunia seedlings photo P1030698.jpg

These petunia seedlings ( the top are red avalanche, the bottom are burgundy star) were started the beginning of March in Park's 60 cell bio dome. They all came up fine, but lately the bottom leaves are turning yellow and then shriveling up and this progresses to the new leaves at the top. I have lost several seedlings already. What am I doing wrong? Too much water? Too much fan time? Too little water? Too long on the heating pad? (I was trying to sprout some new seeds a couple of weeks later so I kept the bio dome on the pad longer than usual)

And more importantly, is there anything I can do to save the ones that still have some green?

Thank you

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can these seedlings be saved?

They don't look good at all. They should be bright green. It might be your soil or fertilizer (what are you using?) or maybe they've been cooked on the heating mat. Petunias like it cool.

You still have time to start over in your zone.

RE: Can these seedlings be saved?

I have had a few things, including one type of petunias, react really badly to the starting mix I tried this year. It was a really fine coir based mix. It holds water a long time, so it is easy to over water the little guys. It seems to be especially bad for slow growing seedlings that dont get transplanted out of it early. Most of my petunias did fine but there was one type Ultra Burgandy - that yellowed and stunted and mostly died.

If you try them again mix a lot of pearlite into your mix - it cant hurt.

RE: Can these seedlings be saved?

You have several things working against you and the first one is the BioDome cells, the sponges. The primary reason why many recommend replacing them with a good potting mix instead.

Then there was apparently far too long on the heat pad. They come off the heat at the first signs of germination.

Then, because those cells stay so wet you are over-watering. Thus the yellow leaves.

Plus they are difficult to transplant. You can probably save some of these by transplanting them into a good quality soil-less potting mix. Unfortunately that means you have to plant them sponge plug and all so watering will still need to be monitored carefully. Once placed in potting mix those sponge plugs seem to go from sopping wet to bone dry and back to sopping wet. There seems to be no way to keep the soil moisture consistent.


RE: Can these seedlings be saved?

I am very grateful for your timely replies and your experienced insights. I will transplant immediately. I have only fertilized once with a dilute PHC Plant Health Care for Seedlings and Houseplants from Gardeners Supply.

Luckily I have another batch of petunias and salvias that were started two weeks before these and are doing well.


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