are my pepper seedlings diseased?

taliabob(6)March 12, 2011

I started my pepper seedlings about a week and a half ago, and the first sprouts popped up today. I had been keeping the pots moist for easy germination, and there might have been some minimal mildew growth on the peat pots. Now that the peppers have germinated, one of the pot's shoots are fuzzy and white. I am not sure if the fuzzies are just root hairs, or one of those dangerous fungal diseases that all books on growing seeds warn their readers about. What should I do?

Thanks for reading and posting!

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taliabob(6)

*it was mold growth on the pots, sorry.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 1:59PM
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ottawapepper

It's called damping off.

Google damping off and you'll find loads of info on causes, prevention and cures.

Bill

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 9:21PM
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sleekit(10b)

Yep. Bill nailed it.

Give em some light. It should kill it. That's what I do anyways.

Bob

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 2:33PM
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taliabob(6)

thank you for the help! I googled damping off, and it said that i should sprinkle some powdered cinnamon on the pots (it's a natural fungicide apperantly). I did that on one, and the shoot/root withered up, but that might be because there was so much fungus on it, that when the fungus died there was nothing left. put the powdered cinnamon around all my other pepper seedlings as a precaution. At the same time as the cinnamon treatment, I also separated that little pot from the others, directly under the light. Again, thank you Bob and Bill.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 6:03PM
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esox07

taiabob:
It looks like I am dealing with damping off fungus too. I have 3-4" seedlings now and several have fallen over. they are not dead and even have curled back up toward the light. I think the problem started a couple weeks ago. I have had to "prop" up several of my plants and then they seem to regain strengh but later keel over again. So, anyway, I am trying the cinnamon remedy also. I hope it works. Has your's produced any results? If not, I might try some boiled garlic cloves or chamomile tea. At least my Bhut Jolokias seem immune so far but I put cinnamon on them too.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 4:47PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

From my experience, a soil-mix that holds too much moisture is the primary cause/intigator of damping off.
Less damp, less damping off.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 6:02PM
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esox07

Yep, I think that over watering was a problem I had early on. I have since begun to water only when very dry. I hope they recover.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 6:24PM
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willardb3

You can also water with a mixture of 500ppm of hydrogen peroxide which can help control damping off.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 9:55AM
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taliabob(6)

@ esox07: cinnamon worked great. in the diseased pot, I got rid of the infected seedlings and sprinkled cinnamon on the rest. The third seed emerged, and now looks beautiful and completely healthy. Some other spots originally showed signs of damping off, but after the cinnamon treatment they all looked fine.

And also, I agree that I overwatered the pepper seedlings. Pepper seeds don't actually need too much water to germinate. Now I water once their pretty dry, and by soaking the bottom.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 5:03PM
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esox07

Thanks for all the advice Taiabob and everyone else. I think over watering may have been the biggest culprit. I will be letting them dry out good between waterings and hopefully the cinnamon will help too. With the fan I have lightly blowing across the peppers, they seem to be drying out pretty quick. My seedlings are now 3-5 inches tall (when standing straight up) ;)

Here is a photo of the stems. I neglected to photo them before I put cinnamon on them but you can see the bend at the base of the stem where they keeled over. I noticed some whitish crusting in the same area too on some of them. Of course the cinnamon has covered that in the photos.


The sticks you see were put in to prop them back up.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 5:58PM
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