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Lamb's Ear Seedlings - not looking so good

Posted by mjjgm 7b - NC (My Page) on
Fri, May 21, 10 at 11:28


Newbie here, first year trying to grow various things from seed.

I have Lamb's Ear that I planted from seed about 6 weeks ago and have been growing inside. They have been laying down flat (is this normal??) for awhile now and since they are about 3 inches long and have two sets of leaves on them, I figured they are good to begin hardening off. For the last few days, I've been putting them outside for a few hours and extending the time.

The plants at this point are not looking healthy at all - they are still not standing upright, and on some plants their second set of leaves are turning yellow.

Any help for these little guys or are they goners?

Should they have been upright the whole growing time? Do my issues I mentioned sound like dampening off? Or too little or too much water? I never know how to tell if they get the right amount of water. If I had to guess, I'd say they might be overwatered.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Lamb's Ear Seedlings - not looking so good

It sounds like too much water.

How have you been watering them? and at what frequency?


Dampening off would kill them before they turn yellow...doesn't sound like dampening off to me.

Oh, and I woudl keep them inside until they look a little better...let me/us know about the water schedule you are on.

RE: Lamb's Ear Seedlings - not looking so good

I water them from the top, pouring a small amount of water on the soil. On occasion I mist the leaves. I used to water every day, lately I've switched to every other day since I was thinking maybe it was too much water. Perhaps I should back off even more?

Lately our humidity has been very high due to a lot of rain (which I bring seedlings inside when it rains) so that might be part of it too.

So, what does dampening off look like? They just die? Turn some other color? I had some cilantro seedlings that looked great for awhile and then keeled over. Turned yellow first. Same went with them - I didn't know if I was over watering or if it was dampening off.

I have many other seedlings that still "look" healthy, but they are just not growing. Example: my coleus was planted 7 weeks ago but it still is only like 1 centimeter tall with only the first set of leaves.

Other ones I'm not sure if they are healthy because they are laying down flat: my forget me nots are laying flat but with enough leaves I thought maybe I could try hardening off. My 7 wk old sweet alyssum is about 2 inches long, most with one set of leaves, some with two, but all of them are also laying flat and just look so weak that I can't think about transplanting them either.

I feel like I am mean & cruel to my little plants, making them suffer! I'm a bad plant mother. *LOL*

RE: Lamb's Ear Seedlings - not looking so good

You're not a bad plant mommy, just learning what they need, just like a real new mommy :)
Sounds like way too much watering to me. Lambs ears are drought tolerant plants and don't like lots of water, especially on the foliage. Same with alyssum, as far as I know.
Yellow leaves are a pretty good indication of over watering with most plants.
This might help you with the damping off questions: Damping-Off Diseases

Try watering less frequently (let them get almost completely dry), from the bottom, and no misting. If I'm wrong, someone will be along shortly to correct me :)

RE: Lamb's Ear Seedlings - not looking so good

I agree with the above statement.

Yeah, too much water. You should let the soil dry out 2/3 before watering again. I prefer bottom water which means you set the plants (in the containers) in a shallow pan of water and let them drink (suck it up themselves). When the top of the soil glistens they are done drinking and you can dump the rest of the water out.

Lambs ears also do not like their leaves wet, they tend to rot.

Try to remember that love is not water. It seems like we all water and fertilize our seedlings more when they look sad, but in fact the extra wate is harming them. I would get a fan on them and dry them out for a bit.

Damp off looks like you pinched the stem at the soil line and then they just fall over.....this is a pretty fast progression, 24 hours or less... no real 'heads-up'.

Just for comparison, when my seedlings were your size I watered once a week...but it also depends on temps, container size ect.

Let them dry out and they will perk back up for you!


RE: Lamb's Ear Seedlings - not looking so good

Thanks everyone!

I will switch to bottom watering and I will try to water less. I just hope I don't let them die of dehydration now! I was watering once a day cuz the soil looked dry on the top but with top watering I might've not been giving them enough in one sitting. Since humidity is up though, that's changed hence the every other day watering. But now I will just spread it out, way out! I'll try to make it once a week if I can resist. *LOL*

How long should I give them before trying to harden off? (Assuming they get healthy again.)

I guess I mixed up misting with the plants I'm rooting? I think I read that they like misting. Then again, I tried that with the coleus I was trying to root and, although it rooted, the whole thing rotted shortly thereafter. More victims! Ahh, another question for another forum section...

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