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Avatar for Tamatesh
Mar 30, 2018 9:14 AM CST

I'm seeing some leaf curling and yellowing on a few of my seedlings. They started under a nice strong 4 bulb T5 grow light setup, and they get sufficient light all day. But over the last two weeks, I'm seeing some trouble signs. Can anyone diagnose what might be happening? My theory is calcium deficiency, or inconsistent watering (too much than too little). Also, is it a problem that I started 2 cucumber and squash seedlings per cell? Maybe they're competing for resources. Photos attached, and you'll see I've up-potted them to larger cups already. Thanks for the help!
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Mar 31, 2018 6:23 AM CST
Moderator
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5b)
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Welcome! @tamatesh

It looks like mostly the cotyledons (Seed leaves) that are yellowing. Those are the very first leaves that emerge, and it's not unusual for them to even eventually fall off.

Squash and cucumbers are also sometimes fussy about being transplanted. They may just be a bit stressed from having their root system disturbed. If you plan on keeping the in your cups until you transplant outdoors, be very careful not to disturb the roots when planting.
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Apr 3, 2018 11:54 AM CST
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
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I have a question along the same lines. The tiny seeds like petunia, nicotiana, asarina, they sprout and then that's it. They never get to the true leaf stage and some are yellowing. I went ahead and planted them and they are doing no different in the ground. For future reference what do I do differently?
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Apr 3, 2018 4:45 PM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
Tamatesh, I would have separated the seedlings into different cups when you transplanted. That way, you won't have to untangle their roots next time you plant. They don't look too bad. What fertilizer and soil mix are you using?
Kabby, how long have you been waiting for the seedlings to take off? I've never grown asarina and I've only grown petunia a few times but find it is slow to gain size. With nicotiana what I do is start them off in a small pot to germinate. They do stay small for a while but the roots are growing. Eventually, I move them to a larger pot - 8" or 6". They will start gaining size all of a sudden once their roots have some more space to grow and then put them in the ground. Petunias are probably the same.
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Apr 4, 2018 3:52 AM CST
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Yeah petunia are the same .. slow going . . Once potted up after roots are established .. then they take off
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Apr 4, 2018 9:33 AM CST
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
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Kabby said:I have a question along the same lines. The tiny seeds like petunia, nicotiana, asarina, they sprout and then that's it. They never get to the true leaf stage and some are yellowing. I went ahead and planted them and they are doing no different in the ground. For future reference what do I do differently?

Hi Kabby,

You are somehow killing them before they reach the first true leaf stage, and that is pretty early on. Obviously you must be doing something seriously wrong. But you haven't given us enough information to have a clue as to what it is.

ZM
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Apr 4, 2018 10:23 AM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
Kabby, some questions are how long has it been since they germinated, what is the weather, have you used fertilizer (needs to be very weak if at all) and how are you watering? Also, what is the light source for those not planted in the ground? A picture would be helpful. Probably should have started a separate thread though.
Avatar for Tamatesh
Apr 4, 2018 12:06 PM CST

Thanks Loretta. I started with the Black Gold seedling mix. Then once true leaves appeared I gave them a little diluted 5-5-5 liquid fertilizer. Was planning on fertilizing once a week.
Should I leave them in the cups for a while, separate them now, or just put all 4 in the ground and see what happens?
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Apr 4, 2018 12:58 PM CST
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Bookworm Cat Lover Dog Lover Butterflies
Tropicals Bulbs Lilies Birds Bee Lover Fruit Growers
I winter sowed the petunias Feb 15, no fertilizer, Jiffy mix and vermiculite. I've had no damping off with any of my cups. Morning sun, rain every week, they germinated within 2 weeks. Last freeze before tonight was Mar 23rd.
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Apr 6, 2018 12:03 AM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
Tamatesh, you might be giving them too much fertilizer. It is very easy to burn young seedlings even though you are using a week one. Leaf curl could be a sign of too much nitrogen. Does Black Gold Seedling Mix show any numbers on the bag? I can't tell you whether or not to put your plants out yet since I don't know what region you're in. The ground should be consistently warm.
Kabby, sounds like it is still cool by you. Is everything else taking off already?
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Apr 6, 2018 4:06 PM CST
Moderator
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5b)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
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I agree with Loretta about perhaps too much fertilizer. Most seed starting mixes do not contain any fertilizer; once I transplant my seedlings I only give the 1/4 strength fertilizer with every 2nd or 3rd watering. My transplant mix has very little fertilizer in it, as well.
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