My adenium seedlings are rotting. Please help.

PradeeDecember 8, 2012

My 1 month old adenium seedlings are rotting.I have already lost two and this is my third seedling that is rotting. They looked healthy and was growing good before it started to rot all of a sudden starting from its leaves. I have 7 more seedlings in the same pot that I don't want to lose. This is the first time I'm growing adenium from seeds and I really don't know what to do about it. The weather was very sunny all these days but now it has started to rain and my balcony isn't receiving much sunlight as before. Could it be the reason? I water it normally each day. Should I reduce watering it? I'm afraid if they would dry out. Is there anything that I could do to save the remaining seedlings?

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karyn1(7a)

I definitely think you are over watering but am not sure that is the whole issue. What you show of the root actually looks healthy, but most of it is missing. Have you noticed any fungus gnats flying around or larvae in the soil? To me it appears that the roots have been eaten.

I normally wouldn't recommend doing this but I think you might be running out of options. I would remove the remaining seedlings from their current mix and wash the roots well, leaving no trace of soil. Dispose of the old potting mix and container, fill a new one with a sterile potting mix and replant your seedlings. You might consider adding a layer of fine sand over the soil once they are planted and don't water as much as you had been. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 7:04AM
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kodom087 z9a

My guess would be overwatering if they're not drying out enough outside where they're semi protected on your balcony. Not sure as the root looks healthy. Perhaps a parasite or virus? I'm new to growing adenium seedlings so really can't offer much advice as of yet. Hope your others survive.

Kirk

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 11:23AM
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ltran54(9)

I hope your remaining seedlings survive too. It is harder for seedlings to survive in colder months.

I alway start my seeds in April and hope for the best in the winter.

Marie

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Pradee

Thank you for your suggestions. I live in a very windy place and the soil tends to dry pretty quickly and that is why I water it daily.

There aren't any fungus or flies but while sowing the seeds I found a little centipede in the soil. I removed the centipede and also checked if there were any more left and then I sowed the seed. Maybe I missed a centipede! Could that be a reason? And also can you please tell me what are the chances of survival if I replant it in fresh soil?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 1:55PM
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karyn1(7a)

It wouldn't be damage from a centipede. Fungus gnat larvae are extremely small and not easily seen in the soil. Excessive watering often encourages an infestation and the roots end up looking just like the one pictured. The end of the root is gone as well as any small root hairs. What zone are you in? Unless it's maybe 10 a or b I can't imagine a need for daily watering, even with a well draining potting mix and wind. If you aren't in a very warm climate your seedlings should probably be inside, at least at night. I still think it looks like something is eating the root as it appears healthy. If there was rot the root would likely be soft and discolored.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 9:40AM
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karyn1(7a)

Maybe someone on the Pests & Diseases Forum has an answer. You could try posting this there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pests & Diseases forum

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:17PM
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karyn1(7a)

duplicate post

This post was edited by karyn1 on Sun, Dec 9, 12 at 12:20

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Pradee

Thank you Karyn1, by what you say I think I definitely have some kind of infestation going on. I'm going to replant the remaining seedling because I don't want to risk losing it. But I'm worried if they will flourish if I replant.

The end of the root was still intact but its outer covering was gone. Maybe something ate it up. Thank you for your suggestion, I'm also going to post this is in the pests and diseases forum. And as for the zone, I live somewhere in between 10a and 10b. I'm from south India and its really warm here.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:05AM
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kodom087 z9a

Perhaps stick the dirt in a microwave for a bit to sterilize it or use a weak solution of a systemic pesticide in the dirt before replanting. Though not sure if a weak pesticide would hurt the seedlings with them being so young or not. Maybe someone will comment if this is a good or bad idea. Either way, hope you can save some of your seedlings.

Kirk

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:35AM
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karyn1(7a)

Definitely a tropical climate. I'm jealous! As for microwaving or baking soil, it can be done, but the smell is horrendous and you kill off any beneficial microrganisms along with the bad. I wouldn't saturate the soil with an insecticide either. I think it's easier to just replace it with new soil and preferably a new container as well. Let us know if anyone on the Pests & Diseases forum is able to confirm an infestation or diagnose what is going on.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 12:49PM
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WonderWeasel

I second karyn1's advice on washing the roots, disposing the container/growing medium, and starting with fresh potting mix and pot. Also, make sure you are using a well-draining mix that doesn't have a lot of coarse (sharp) matter in it, such as volcanic rock, as the roots can be easily damaged.

Although adeniums, at least in my case, are very finicky when it comes to any semi-drastic changes in their lighting (often defoliating and then regrowing new leaves when they adjust to the change), but they are actually quite durable plants. You should be fine. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:13AM
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