Survival duration in plain, stagnant water?

jp07February 17, 2010

Hi--I was growing a pepino melon plant (similar to eggplants; a nightshade) aeroponically, but for some reason the plant started to die in the aeroponic chamber, so I took several cuttings and put them in plain bottles of water. I set them next to my window and they seem to be doing quite well -- I think the root primordia helped with their success quite a bit.

Anyway, my question is... how long can they survive in just plain, stagnant water (no nutrients at all)? I'm trying to hold out until it warms up and maybe I can plant them outside. Further more, will they survive a central Kansas winter? I'm trying to decide whether to pot them or plant them in my backyard. They are currently growing, despite the less-than-optimal conditions -- there are some new leaves popping up and the roots keep growing deeper.

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Hi JP,
I can't specifically answer your question, but here are a few things to consider / try;
put a small airstone in the bottom of the bottles of water to aerate the solution. Alternatively, you could just replace the water once a week.
add a small amount of soluble fertilizer to the water so the plants have something to grow with.
top the plants to promote root development and stronger stems.
If you're going to plant them in dirt anyway, go ahead and put them in some potting soil now.

The plants will appear to be growing fine, but they are in fact trying to find a food source. eventually the plants will get leggy, pale, and all around sickly as they use up their energy reserves searching for a new food source. best to not let them look too long.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 9:59AM
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I second grizzman's opinion here.

They are definitely looking for food. My pepper plant seedlings were rocking along, doing well. One day, i got down to check on them, and i find massive root growth in all directions sticking out of the rockwool cubes. It was time to move them to the hydroponic system. Once i did, root growth slowed to almost nothing, and the plant is focusing on throwing out foliage. Those roots are doing something along the lines of 'I swear there was nitrogen RIGHT THERE last week....'

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 10:41AM
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Plants may survive in just plain, stagnant water for a period of time but the question is: for how long? That's something uncertain because growing plants need enough oxygen and nutrients to grow. Unfortunately, stagnant water won't be able to supply the sufficient amount of oxygen plants need and yes, grizzman is right that the plants will -- later on -- look for some food (nutrients) to eat.....

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 3:59AM
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