The Q&A Archives: Seedlngs that Droop

Question: My question is regarding starting annuals indoors (salvia

Answer: I wonder if they are getting adequate light. Are they in full sun for 6-8 hours? That really should be plenty, as long as the room remains fairly warm for the rest of the day. I usually put my seedlings under grow lights, keeping the lights just an inch or two above the plants. It could be that your seedlings are suffering from "damping off"--even though you've "cooked" your soil some of the pathogens may have survived. Since the pathogen attacts right at the soil level, you might try spreading athin layer of sand over your soil surface once the seedlings have emerged. This keeps the area right at soil level drier than damp potting mix. If you are using a commercial potting soil, rather than a seed-starting mix, I would suggest you switch. Seed-starting, or "soilless" mixes tend to be much lighter and better drained. Once the seedlings are strong and healthy, you can transplant them to a heavier potting mix.

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