The Q&A Archives: Causes for Seedlings Turning Yellow

Question: I've had mostly successes with various seeds (since I started growing from seed only 3 years ago), but again this year I am experiencing a problem for which I need some advice . . . regarding all the "rules" for gardening from seed, my trays are appropriately watered, placed for light, etc. Yet, some of the cotyledons and seedlings are looking rather yellow. Do you think it is time to harden off the sprouts? Am I not giving enough moisture? (the trays still have condensation on the inside of thelid). What could the problem be and are the yellowing sprouts salvageable? I appreciate your assistance with this matter. Thanks! Ben Gibson Memphis, TN

Answer: A couple of things come to mind about your seedlings. If they have too much water, the roots won't properly form and the leaves will yellow. Also, if they are older seedlings, with at least 4 true leaves, they should be fertilized weekly with a diluteliquid fertilizer. Potting mixes tend to have only a small amount of fertilizer in them for transplant to use. So try cutting back on watering and giving them a shot of fertilizer. I hope this helps.

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