Seedlings Top heavy and falling over 'Help'!

kimmiesplummies(Zone 9, Nederland Tx)November 13, 2011

Hi Everyone

I started seedlings a month ago and most are spouting their big leaves but a couple are top heavy and drooping over...

Am i over watering? Not enough water? or what can someone help???

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If it's toppling due to inadequate anchorage. you might try securing the plant temporarily like this pre-bonsai Ficus benjamina 'Too Little' (weeping fig)

In similar fashion - immediately after a repot:

Ficus salicifolia/nerifolia (willow-leaf Ficus)

I think it's important to know too, that plants secured against movement relative to the pot establish in a fraction of the time it takes for unsecured plants to establish. The reason is, the fine roots that DO develop are easily and very often broken whenever the plant moves in relation to the pot. This inhibits both root development and anchorage.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 10:37AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Sorry - I got an email from another forum member (thanks, Laura) because it's obvious I missed the 'seedling' part.

The things that could make your seedlings 'droop' are several. One, is the lack of sufficient light. Too cool temperatures can also cause it. Excessive amounts of N or low fertility are possibilities. Lack of sufficient air in the root zone due to a heavy soil or over-watering, which affects root function and the root's ability to move water to the top of the plant, which results in turgidity loss (wilting), will also cause the 'drooping' and is a prime suspect. If the soil is at least as damp as a wrung out sponge, you're not under-watering. Of the other possibilities (temperature, low light, heavy soil/over-watering, the nutritional issues) - what can be eliminated?

Often, the best way to arrive at a cause/solution is to eliminate first what it isn't/can't be, then winnow the remaining possibilities.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 3:16PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Al- that willow leaf is beautiful. I also agree that with plumerias, if you can keep the stem stable while rooting, the success rate is greater and quicker. Bill

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 7:58PM
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kimmiesplummies(Zone 9, Nederland Tx)

Thanks Al for the info. I have them in seedling starter tray on heat mats and under growing lights. After reading your post I think the soil might be too packed in there and holding in water. I think i will put them in the 4in pots for them to have room and good draining soil. Hope this helps. Thanks again Al and Beautiful plants you have there.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 9:56AM
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