Seeds forum: yellow dots

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Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Feb 15, 2015 11:29 AM CST
My lantana seeds grew some yellow dots, kind of fungus-y... is this... okay?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 16, 2015 3:41 PM CST
Yellow dots on the leaves? That might be some insect. Diffuse areas of light-green that turn to areas of yellow over time might be insufficient nitrogen fertilizer, but be wary about adding more fertilizer to sickly plants! If it is insects, fertilizer won't hurt and excess fertilizer can definitiely hurt.

Can you get close-up photos of leaves? Especially close-ups of the UNDERsides of leaves, and also of the tops of plants?

If your camera has a "macro setting" or "super-macro" setting, you may be able to get really close. Other people may be able to confirm or deny yellow dots coming from insects.

Any kind of webbing indicates insects. Tiny specks or bumps are often insects,

If your plants are biggish or have a fairly dry setting (little risk of damping off), you might try giving the leaves the hardest spray you can get from a spray bottle. Spraying the undersides of leaves is more likely to knock bugs off than spraying the top sides.

If it is insects, and if someone can identify them, then you can think about spraying with different things (like insecticidal soap) or maybe taking a Q-Tip and some alcohol to bigger bugs.

P.S. If only certain plants have the dots, but the rest of them look healthy, keep it that way by removing the sickly plants from the others. That helps limit the spread of insects and some plant diseases (some of which are spread by insects).

But it might not be insects at all.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Feb 16, 2015 4:22 PM CST
Thanks, Rick, I will take your advice. In this case, the yellow dots are on the seeds--they've not sprouted yet. I'm afraid my seeds are rotting.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 16, 2015 7:55 PM CST
OUCH!

Maybe soak them in strong hydrogen peroxide for a few hours, then overnight in 0.2%. But only right before planting.

0.2% peroxide: 1 tablespoon drugstore peroxide per cup of water

strong peroxide: 2 tablespoons per cup.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Feb 17, 2015 8:12 AM CST
They've already been planted for a couple of weeks. Sorry--I don't seem to be providing enough information with my queries. I'll try spraying with peroxide, thanks so much.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 17, 2015 2:46 PM CST
No problem. Good luck!

By the way, while we're talking about seeds and their enemies, I know some people routinely put their dry seeds into the freezer for a few days, to kill insects.

If I did that, I would double-bag the seeds to keep condesation well away from the seeds themselves. And I would put a packet of silica gel inside to KEEP them dry!

You can buy silica gel at craft stores where they keep flower-drying supplies.

Most people never find a need to get as gadget-y as I tend to get!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Feb 17, 2015 4:11 PM CST

Moderator

Boy, that's an understatement. ;-) I just throw them into the freezer for a day, then remove to room air temp, open envelope and allow to air dry. Then store. Pretty easy. No gadgets necessary.

Karen
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 17, 2015 6:49 PM CST
What can I say, I'm gadget-happy.

I admit that I don't replace the desiccant packs in my tubs of seeds often enough. Sometimes they get as "damp" as 50% RH which I try to stay below.

Why? I don't know, I'm not a seed bank and I don't have anything especially valuable except for some Schochler watermelon seeds that SSE finally offered to the public.

But maybe I can get some seeds to stay viable for more than 5 years, instead of 2-3 years. Or 10 years instead of 5. Why? It's a challenge, I guess.

I enjoy the process (some call it "fiddling") at least as much as the result.


Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Feb 17, 2015 7:09 PM CST

Moderator

I think the opposite. Seems to me the desiccant would draw any moisture from the air TO THE SEEDS. :-)

Karen
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 17, 2015 7:46 PM CST
>> Seems to me the desiccant would draw any moisture from the air TO THE SEEDS. :-)

That's not my understanding of silica gel, although paper and cardboard MIGHT work that way. (Trap condensation or humidity when the air is very damp, then release it near the seeds.)

Silica gel just absorbs humidity and won't release it again until you heat it up to 250F or so. Maybe some other desiccants are more like cardboard than silica gel: humidity BUFFERS rather than humidity TRAPS.

But I seal the desiccant in with the seeds, and seal air out (that's why I mentioned that I would use double-bagging). If you don't seal air away from the desiccant, it just absorbs as much water as it can hold and then sits there, inert.

I think that very few gardeners bother with desiccants. Many of them still save vegetable seeds for a year or two or more. Some big seeds can be saved for five or more years in fairly dry climates.

I go by what some pamphlets from Kew Royal Botanical Gardens said: that viable seed life may double for every 10% decrease in relative humidity that is maintained steadily.

However, I'm not consistent about keeping the desiccant fresh, so I'm probably not getting the full benefit anyway.

post-harvest handling for seed collection:
http://www.kew.org/sites/default/files/04-Post%20harvest%20h...
"Seed life span approximately doubles for every 10% reduction in seed eRH."
("eRH" is equilibrium Relative Humidity.)
(Middle column, near the bottom of the first screenfull on my browser.)

" Once transferred to the seed bank, collections can then be dried to around 15% eRH (4-7% mc depending on seed oil content), the recommended moisture level for long-term conservation of orthodox seeds.
("mc" is moisture content , % water by weight.)




[Last edited by RickCorey - Feb 17, 2015 7:48 PM (+)]
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 21, 2015 10:36 PM CST
I think the desiccant will absorb the moisture, rather than the seeds -- and better than double bagging would be using glass jars...

But I'm not that purist either -- my seeds go into a freezer bag and get thrown into the freezer... Shrug!
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Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Feb 22, 2015 3:45 PM CST
So I was lazy--yes, I have H2O2, but I had my 1:4 alcohol:water solution (that I use to kill the aphids on my overwintering roses) already mixed up. I sprayed the seeds with that as they lay on top of the dirt. The yellow dots disappeared instantly, has yet to return, and the lantana seeds sprouted a couple days ago.

Would the yellow dots have hurt my seeds? Don't know. Were they already going to sprout anyway? Don't know. But getting rid of the yellow dots did give me peace of mind, and the alcohol did do it!

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