The Q&A Archives: Impatiens Seedlings Curling

Question: My impatiens seedlings (grown under lights)are about 2 weeks old, one and a half inches tall with 2 pair of true leaves and I just removed the plastic dome. Some of the leaves are beginning to curl under and dry out. The jiffy cells seem moist. I don't know if it's a moisture problem caused by removing the plastic dome or a disease.

Answer: Based on your description I am not sure what the problem is, but here are some things to look for. The true leaves may have a bit of a bend to them naturally, and you may be seeing the seed leaves deteriorate. In the meantime, make sure that the ambient temperature is over 65 degrees, because these plants are sensitive to cold. When you water them, use tepid water for the same reason. Next, keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet. (I suspect the soil may be too cold and wet.) Avoid wetting the foliage when you water. Keep them in very bright light and within a few inches of the bulbs but do not allow them to touch the bulbs. Maintain good air circulation and make sure they are not overly crowded. Examine them very carefully for signs of insects such as aphids. Finally, fertilize them but only at a diluted rate now that they have two sets of true leaves. I hope this helps!

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