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Why are my seedlings dying?

Discussion in 'Newbie Central' started by khulozz, Aug 17, 2008.


    khulozz Active Member

    I've killed three seedlings so far. Basically what happens is the plant looks good for a few days, then falls over and shrivels up.

    First of all, could the tap water Ph or ppm be so bad that it's killing the seedling? I haven't yet bought a Ph meter (I know, stupid. But I am overwhelmed deciding what kind to buy, any recommendations are welcome).

    This last time I let the seed germinate for a couple days. It had cracked a little and the stem was barely showing when I planted it, about half an inch deep in a 50/50 soil/perlite mix. The soil is some very cheap Scotts stuff that has no nutrients, so it shouldn't be nute burn. Immediately after planting I watered it and put it under 18/6 light cycle.

    At first I thought the soil was too hard but that doesn't seem to be the problem, as this time the soil is quite aerated.

    Am I using enough light for a seedling? I have two 27 watt 6500 k daylight bulbs in a y socket, screwed into a metal reflector thingy I bought from home depot. I have this situated such that just one of the bulbs is giving most of the light. the one light is pretty much horizontal and directly over the plant, about an inch and a half away.

    Maybe I'm watering wrong? Basically I poured tap water that had sat out for about 48 hours. I poured the water until it started dripping out the bottom of the container. My container is a ziplock plastic food dish with holes drilled in the bottom.

    Is it okay to pour some of the water directly on the still-underground seedling when I watered? cause that's what I did.

    Sorry lots of questions, but could somebody give me an idea of what I'm doing wrong?
    mr west likes this.
    mr west

    mr west Well-Known Member

    id get a stronger light and only water wen the first 2 inches deep of soil is dry. maybe try germinating them more b4 u plant them. its quite possible u have over waterd them an drowned them. Its a very common nubi mistake we all do a bit of over loving at first lol. Rep+ for trying tho man good luck with the rest.
    khulozz likes this.

    C.I.A New Member

    I grew mine a bit like yours, and the only reason mine died was because it was poisoned by someone. Anyone you might think, your mother?

    khulozz Active Member

    Ha, maybe my deuche of a roommate is poisoning them!

    Maybe I am overwatering, I don't know. It looked and felt dry when I watered. When watering seedlings is it still best to water the whole container until it drains out the bottom? or should I spray around the seedling to be more gentle?
    Spacemonkey the 2nd

    Spacemonkey the 2nd Active Member

    I reckon it's heat. Check the temperature in your grow area and consider moving the lights a bit further away.

    I found that my 125W envirolight caused my plants' leaves to curl if it was any closer than 6 inches.

    I water my plants once a day, until water starts to come out the bottom of each pot.
    khulozz likes this.

    FarmingToronto Well-Known Member

    I lost my first attempt at a seedling not even a month ago, however since then I've managed to get 2 lil gals to grow nicely. What I determined my mistake to be was Over Watering and Over Loving. Its very hard to just leave them alone. I'd suggest watering the soil a little bit before putting the germinated seed in, that way you don't drown the thing by water after. Then try not to water it or even mist it till its out of the ground for a couple days. I mean you can very very lightly mist the soil to keep it damp if you didn't germinate the seeds properly. I could also agree a bit with the above post but not until you post the current Temps and RH% (humidity). However if I had to wager a guess, I'll put my guess on too much water.

    Just my 2 cents !!
    khulozz likes this.

    Twistyman Well-Known Member

    80% of all seedling death is because of over water/nute.... I water once every 3-4 days.... no nute till 3-4 weeks.
    mr west likes this.

    khulozz Active Member

    Thanks guys. I'll try a bottle of distillled water next to see if my tap water just sucks or what, and water before I put in the seed. It might be too hot. It's pretty warm under the dome of the reflector I'm using. I might be in trouble if it's too hot cause my third floor apartment is always hot as hell. May have to wait til winter to grow.

    mockingbird131313 Well-Known Member

    Seedlings are very temp sensitive. Keep it under 80. For water, start with a gallon of distilled water and add a teaspoon of white vinegar. Mix it up and you will have a slightly acid water, which is better. Only water the soil every three or four days. But mist the seedlings a couple times a day with adjusted water.
    khulozz likes this.

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