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Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

Posted by BlakeInCanada none (My Page) on
Sun, May 8, 11 at 0:13

I'm growing Bachelor Button from seed indoors and they've gotten to be about an inch tall. They haven't really grown for about a week, and I figured it was because I needed to start giving them light (I read they should be started in the dark). I put them on a table near a window on a sunny day, and 3 hours later, I found most of them shriveled and dead!

I thought it might be dryness. 2 survived once I watered and put in a dark place again. Once they recovered I tried again with moist soil, and I watched as they began shriveling up within 15 minutes.

These are supposed to be full sun plants! Why are they allergic to sun and how do I get them to continue growing?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

When seeds require darkness to germinate, it just UNTIL they germinate. Then immediately they need a light source. Since they were in the dark for a while and I then suddenly in bright light/sun, they got shocked. I also think if the window was glass, it could have overheated the seedlings.

The other thing that could be happening which is a separate issue is you could be overwatering. It is so easy to do with seedlings. I'm guilty of it myself and now I watch myself. Don't give up!

Z


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, May 8, 11 at 14:32

Just to take that a little further, when you are germinating seeds in dark, move them into light when the first seed germinates. The others will follow, you don't have to wait until germination of the entire tray is complete to expose to light.


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

Thanks for that info! I wish I had known that when I started growing from seed months ago for the first time. I can read 100 pages to learn but things like that are never explained.

Well the last 2 didn't recover from that 15 minute sunshine hit. I have more growing and they're uncovered, not too moist but am afraid to give them sunshine. I think I'll give them distant CFL light and gradually get them ready for sunlight. Still, I've never seen this with any of the other 6 types of plants I've grown. 2 of those were dark germinaters too.


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

Not distant CFL light - make it up close and personal. If the light doesn't burn the back of your hand or make it uncomfortably warm, it's not too close.

Mike


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

BBs are a good flower to Winter Sow, so save some seed and try that for next year. They're usually one of the first ones to sprout. Check out the Winter Sowing forum for 'how to' info.

Here is a link that might be useful: WS faq's


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

Hi BlakeinCanada

How far north in Canada are you?

My Bachelor Button package says "May be started early inside, but grow and bloom very quickly from direct seeding outside. Sow seed about 2 weeks before last frost".

I'm growing a fair amount of things indoors, but this isn't one of them. I'll be throwing mine into the soil outside soon.

That might be a solution for you also.


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

I'm in 5b. The new batch are germinating fine in the pot that I'll be moving outside, and growing pretty tall (probably because of lack of light). But I so don't want to kill them and start again.

Right now I'm putting them in a room with 2 23W clinical-white CFLs, and once I see them all pop out of the soil, I'm going to put them in a place they can get sunlight through my curtains, then a little bit of sunlight with curtains open, eventually moving the pot outside.

If they do die, I'll probably sow the next batch outside since the weather should be fine.


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

Blake,

Think about this: If/when you sow them outside, do you thinks the seeds will delay sprouting until they know the weather forecast calls for a couple of cloudy days, with a little more sun each day after that?

If it is warm enough now, I would set your seedling tray outside in the sun and bring it in of a night.

Mike


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

Yep - if they emerge in the sun then there is no adjustment /hardening off needed. The only issue might be that the soil will dry out much faster so you will need to really keep on them.


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

But I read they should have complete darkness to germinate.


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

If they are under the soil then they are in darkness. Seeds that need light to germinate are not buried, they are placed on top of the soil. Mine germinated just fine sitting on the light shelves, not directly under the light, but they weren't in a closet.


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RE: Seedlings allergic to sunlight!

After the new batch sprouted, I kept them about 4 feet from my 2x 23w CFLs for most of the day. Maybe 5 days later, I put them in a place where they get very filtered sunlight and they're doing fine so far. Gradually moving closer to the window each day. Hopefully they'll stay alive!

Thanks for the help everyone.


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