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Need opinions/advice

Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 21:05

I have 40+ seedlings going right now. Most of them were started exactly 4 weeks ago. They are all doing fine except for one at this point. It is a Yuba Tuba and my only one of that variety. On tuesday, I went out of town until last night (Wednesday night). When I got back, it was shriveled pretty bad and leaning over about 45 degrees. I figured it might have dried out while I was gone so I gave it a shot of water. It has since perked up a bit but not like a thirsty pepper usually does. It still looks bad. None of my other peppers are looking thirsty and I still haven't watered them. Here are some photos which show several of the seedlings around it to compare it to.
 photo 20130314PepperSeedlings003_zpsdc7a8f57.jpg

 photo 20130314PepperSeedlings004_zpsf1d320e1.jpg

 photo 20130314PepperSeedlings005_zpsc17d33b9.jpg

After drying out, my next thought was damping off. But I dealt with that two years ago on a widespread basis and this is the only one with problems right now. It is still pretty weak right at the base of the stem and that also says damping off to me. I do run my fan for an hour every 4 hours but just before I left out of town, I had moved the fan to inspect the plants and forgot to put it back. I wouldn't think 1.5 days without air would have triggered the damping off...but maybe.
Anyone else have any words of wisdom or advice. I am seperating the Yuba Tuba at this point. I will keep it upstairs with my overwinter peppers and it will have to deal with window light. If it is damping off, I don't think I have to worry about my overwinter plants next to it.
Thanks,
Bruce


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need opinions/advice

Bruce, ahhh that sucks. It does look like damping off. When i had some plants with damping off, I did use cinnimon sprinkled around the base of the stem and three out of four bounced back but very slowly and the one just did not make it. If you have more seeds I would plant some more asap as a backup.

Hope others have some input if they think it maybe something else.

Mark


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RE: Need opinions/advice

I've never seen this before, but Mark's suggestion of cinnamon surely can't hurt.
How does the stem at the soil-line look, Bruce?

The other seedlings are standing nicely.

Josh


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 23:04

I just repotted the little fella. The stem at the soil line did look bad. Narrowed at the soil line. I planted it a bit deeper and it is solid now but still very wilted looking. I don't know if it will make it. I will try some cinnamon. I had forgotten about that and I used that when I had a wide spread problem with damping off two years ago. I salvaged nearly all my plants that time. I am not holding out hope but I guess time will tell now. I don't think I will replant as it is getting a little late for that and I have enough plants remaining to keep me busy. I will just have to give the Yuba Tubas another go around next year.

Right now I am growing just one or two of several varieties and after I find ones that I like, I will grow more of the following years. I still have about two dozen other varieties this year.
Thanks Josh, Thanks habajolokia.
Bruce


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 10:41

So far, my sick little Yuba Tuba is still alive and standing, but still not looking real good. I am wondering now it if was more of an issue of underwatering the plant. Two days ago, I checked my plants and decided I was going to have to water them the following day. I got around to it in the evening and when I checked them, several were in severe wilt mode. They were looking pretty bad but still standing straight and steady. I watered them all and this morning they look like nothing had happened aside from several of them losing one or both of their seed leaves. I guess I was getting a little too confident in my judging how much moisture was left in the soil. I had pushed it a bit too far this last time. But, it is a good learning experience and now I know just how far to push letting them dry out before I need to water.

Now, I hope my lone Yuba Tuba can snap out of it.
Bruce


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 16:44

Still having problems. So far, I have lost three and three more are going downhill fast with a couple more looking green behind the gills.
At first, I thought damping off but I have kind of ruled that out. If anything, I am probably under watering. Plus, I have good fan circulation for an hour at a time for an hour each time.
Plants are under three banks of 4' shop lights with T8 or T12 bulbs at 6500K about 2-3 inches above the plants. The seeds were mostly sewn on Feb 16th. The sickly seedlings just seem to be dying and I am wondering if I am maybe letting them dry too much. But they are not wilting and drooping, just shriveling up and dying or maybe I am trying to treat them like full grown plants and letting them dry too much between waterings?

Here are some photos:
The flat of seedlings with the problems. The problem plants are circled in blue. The darker soil around the plants shows the ones that are circled is from an emergency watering I gave them last night. I have since fully watered all plants.
 photo 20130324PepperSeedlings3_zpsb2bc235b.jpg

Hot Hungarian Wax. Notice the dead leaves have fallen and the newer ones starting to die but some green buds still coming on.
 photo 20130324PepperSeedlings-Dying1_zps61399f49.jpg

Here is a couple more that are less afflicted but on their way. I am starting to get real concerned as several of the dying seedlings are my only ones of that variety. Especially the Hot Banana which was slated to be part of an experiment I was planning this season.
 photo 20130324PepperSeedlings-Dying2_zps1f61c44c.jpg

I also have several more that are showing beginning signs of going down this road also.

I have only used Dyna-gro 9-3-6 fertilizer at 1/2 strength once in waterings. they are potted in MG Orchid mix.
They are kept at about 70+ when the fan isn't on, but the hour the fan is on, the temps drop into the mid to upper 60s due to lower temps in the basement and loss of heat from the floro lights.

Any suggestions or advice is welcome. I am afraid of losing a large portion of my grow list this season.
Thanks,
Bruce


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RE: Need opinions/advice

Bruce,

Just out of curiosity, is that MG Orchid mix the "Corse Blend" kind or the normal kind? Reason I ask is I did not pay close attention on the last batch of Orchid mix I bought and I did not realize there where two type. The Corse blend has a lot of sap wood "and produces from the forrest".

I tried to sow seeds in this mix, they sprouted and died within days. I no longer use this mix. It is in a pink/green bag.

Just a thought.

Bill


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RE: Need opinions/advice

I don't know if I can be of any help, seeing as I learnt much of what I know from you, Bruce :)

I did notice that your seedlings look kinda small. Mine were sowed on February 3rd and 11th, and are generally bigger, more leaves etc. Could it be that your plants are starved for nutrients somehow? How does your seedlings compare to your previous years?

My seedlings have been grown in commercial seed starter mix, and later commercial "flower soil" (mostly peat, lightly fertilized) mixed with perlite and vermiculite. They don't get a lot of water. The last time I watered them, most of them had gone a week since their last watering.

For reference, here's a picture of my Poblano's getting some actual sun on the window sill. My hot waxes are pretty much the exact same size.


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 20:12

Bill: That is the regular finer MG Orchid Mix.

cjohansen: Yep, they have slowed the last couple weeks in their growth. I dont think it is nutrients as the MG has it built in and I did use some Dyna Gro 9-3-6 a couple weeks ago. I would think over fertilizing would be a cause of the problem before under fertilizing. I do have artificial lights and I see you are getting real sun there. I am unsure if that is an issue though. I am considering a repotting soon into some Fafard52 if things don't change soon.
Bruce


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RE: Need opinions/advice

Just saw your post and thought I would offer a little advice. When I first started growing peppers someone (don't remember who) suggested I use a weak solution of Chamomile tea for watering. It is supposed to take care of a myriad of probems including damping off and fungus gnats. I make a tea cup of the tea and dilute it to make about 4 cups of liquid and bottom water with this. If I am fertilizing I add it to this solution. I have been using this for many years and have not lost a seedling. The one thing it will not prevent are spider mites, which invaded my tomato plants last year. You may want to try this. (I just buy bulk chamomile tea bags from the bulk barn.)Your problem can be very frustrating. Good luck with it.


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RE: Need opinions/advice

Bruce, the real sun situation is a rare occasion. Weather around here is still mostly grey and cloudy.

From reading your post I think we have very similar setups. I've even been using the exact same pots until a little over a week ago. Some plants are still in them. The only differences I can see is:


  1. The medium

  2. The lighting. While very similar in technical specs, I think your lighting may have better spread than mine, as I'm using bulbs, not tubes. This is mostly a question about what I could get my hands on.

Other than that I also let the plants dry out, as per your earlier suggestion :) I water every 3 to 7 days, more or less.

Here's another shot for comparison, plants in the same pots as you're using, sown February 11th (left to right: Habanero, Thai, Aji Limon):

Given that so much of what we do, I would suspect something related to the medium/nutrition setup. If you're lucky, maybe northerner_on's tip will save you. Good luck!


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 3:46

Yep, Im gonna repot them in a new soil tomorrow. I hope it works. Thanks guys for all the input.
cjohansen: those little fellas are some good looking plants.

Bruce


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RE: Need opinions/advice

My comments...

I think you have a combination of three factors working together against you:

1) Go with seed starter medium... that orchid medium you are using doesn't look very good to me for seedlings.

2) The type of lighting you are using is marginal. It'll work, but wouldn't be my choice.

3) The watering looks very inconsistent. Hard to tell with that course mix you are using. See item 1 above. Watering for the seedlings is much easier to keep consistent with seed starter medium.

This post was edited by Cuda911 on Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 5:59


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RE: Need opinions/advice

I use MG Orchid mix for seed starting and seedlings have almost the same subpar lighting and they are doing fine. I do notice that the Orchid mix this season contained more sap wood then previous times I have bought it. I picked out what I could. This could be an issue, if this keeps up I will have to switch my potting mix.

Bruce I agree I would repot at this point. Keep us updated on how they do over the next couple of weeks.

Mark


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 15:58

OK, I got them all repotted. The root systems looked pretty good. Even on the worst looking seedlings. I did notice another issue that I wasn't initially worried about. I thought this plant had just a little fungus or something on the stem, something I had seen before. But after taking a photo and enlarging it, I see it looks more like insect eggs. Interestingly, this seedling is one the best ones I have right now. If I remember right, it is a Sweet Banana.
Bruce


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RE: Need opinions/advice

It looks to me that the plant is trying to root above the soil line. That usually means your media is staying way too wet.


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 16:44

Hmmm, Interesting. Can anyone confirm that?
If anything, my plants have been starved for water however. I think it might be one of the reasons for my problems.
Bruce


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RE: Need opinions/advice

Hi Bruce, I had the same issue with one of my peppers last season check out the link to my thread on GW with pics. It was not that the moisture was too much as I am keen on when my peppers need to be watered and none of my others exhibited this behavior. When I repotted buried all the root nodules and it still continued to do the same. It was very productive and outgrew the root nodes on the stem issue. I could understand if all were doing that that it may be overwatering but just one even though the medium is dried out before watering. I think it's just whacked out genetics that corrects itself as the plant matures. Looking good on the repot.

Mark

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread on GW same symptoms

This post was edited by habjolokia on Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 20:09


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RE: Need opinions/advice

Bruce,

I just looked at some of my Cayannes and 6 or so other plants and they are doing the exact same thing but are very healthy and actually have flower buds on them now. I can post a pic if you want.

Bill


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RE: Need opinions/advice

p.s. This is happening with two types of medium. MG Seed starting mix and MG Orchid mix.


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 20:34

Hmmmmm, I wish I knew what it was. It didnt really alarm me at all as it seems I had seen it commonly in years past. But I thought ti was a crust or maybe some fungus until I took the photo and viewed it full size. Maybe it is root nodes. Never-the-less, I am still not worried about it. Just curious.

By the way, I am wondering if the coloration of my seedlings (dark leaves) has anything to do with the problems I have been experiencing. Last year when I narrowly avoided a complete loss of my seedlings, it was the soil, but this year I returned to MG Orchid mix for that reason, yet, I am getting a lot of my seedlings with the dark coloration...ones that normally are not dark. I am wondering if I didn't introduce some kind of contaminate. Maybe something I watered them with? Oh well, I may never know, I just hope they snap out of it.
Bruce


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RE: Need opinions/advice

Purple leaves can be a sign of a phosphorus deficiency, but I have no clue what the phosphorus levels are in the MG orchid mix, so I'm not saying thats what it is for sure.

Your original problem pictures made me think of overwatering, but you say that's not what is happening, so my second thought is some other damage to the roots? Did you ever check the roots and stem on those? Are you fertilizing those or just water? I'm curious and enjoy solving garden mysteries. :)


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RE: Need opinions/advice

I can't say if this is directly linked to bottom-watering, but I've never bottom-watered a single plant as a practice, and I've always discouraged others from bottom-watering.

When we water, we actually deliver oxygen to the root-zone. And we also flush excess salts or solids from the mix. With bottom-watering, a saturated layer is inevitable - and the likelihood of salt build-up increases. Not that I'm saying this is happening or that it will always happen...just something to consider when evaluating a methodology.

One of my good friends is using "orchid mix, " Osmocote, and Foliage Pro, and she has been fertilizing at full-strength. Her seedlings look quite good.

So many variables, so hard to diagnose.


Josh


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 15:26

sunnibel: check my blog, it has pics and pretty much chronicles the issue I am having. It has pics of some of the roots on the plants that I repotted as well.
Bruce

Here is a link that might be useful: Bruce's 2013 Pepper Blog


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RE: Need opinions/advice

Hey, those pictures were worth a thousand words. When plants get too big to have damping off, they get root rot. I think some how you've been overwatering those and have root rot. For the size of those plants you should see a lot more root. I don't see any sign of the very small feeder roots. It is difficult to combat root rot because without the small roots you are in a lose-lose situation: the leaves can't get enough moisture or nutrients, but if the roots can't get drier they rot more and faster. Sometimes taking ones that are starting to have trouble and resting them with less light while they dry out more can help. That's my best idea of what is going on, without being there to poke things and heft pots myself, could still be something else. Not sure how this plays in to your leaf color issue, if it does at all.


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RE: Need opinions/advice

Hey, those pictures were worth a thousand words. When plants get too big to have damping off, they get root rot. I think some how you've been overwatering those and have root rot. For the size of those plants you should see a lot more root. I don't see any sign of the very small feeder roots. It is difficult to combat root rot because without the small roots you are in a lose-lose situation: the leaves can't get enough moisture or nutrients, but if the roots can't get drier they rot more and faster. Sometimes taking ones that are starting to have trouble and resting them with less light while they dry out more can help. That's my best idea of what is going on, without being there to poke things and heft pots myself, could still be something else. Not sure how this plays in to your leaf color issue, if it does at all.


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Bruce, for what its worth, mine looked just like yours. I did 2 things that most people probally wont suggest. I got rid of the orchid mix, repotted them in miracle grow potting soil mixxed 50/50 with pine bark to make it drain better and avoid packing. I also did some research on lights, and moved them from under the 6500k and wide spectrum bulbs to 4100k regular cool white. I just did it last weekend but they are looking better already. John


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 18:16

John, I was thinking about adding 2-3 lower spectrum bulbs to my setup. I had it that way last year but went with all 6500K after some advice. But I think a little more spread in the spectrum might be good. I have since repotted from the MG to Fafard52 witch is supposedly 60% bark but I think it is a bit less.
Bruce


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 23:40

sunnibel, Really, I am sure it wasn't overwatering. I am confident that was not the cause. And the soil was well draining soil. But I have changed the soil, will likely get them some real sunlight (indirect or filtered) over the next week and hopefully the ones I still have left will pull through.
Bruce


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That's a weird issue you have going on there Bruce. You know watering, so that's not the issue. Doesn't look like a fertilizer issue either except perhaps overfertilization, but I'm sure you have that down too. Lighting or soil?... I don't know if that could be the problem but probably good to change them like you are doing. My main concern would be disease -- if a virus, nothing you can do about that. Could be a fungus though -- have you tried spraying a few infected plants with a fungicide to see if that makes any difference?


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RE: Need opinions/advice

Ok, I know you said that first, I really was listening! :) But something is killing the roots and that is the most likely culprit. Especially that one shot of the hot wax, looks like every plant I've ever killed by having the roots too wet. I did a little search for pepper and root rot and came across this page I linked below. The top picture has that same sunken in area at the soil line as your hot wax, and the orange sweet looked like it was developing it. But I don't know how helpful this will be since those peppers were in a field and yours are inside... Cheers!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pepper root rots


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RE: Need opinions/advice

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 14:17

sunnibel, I think maybe the problem with the roots was from me trying to wash them clean of soil so I could get a good photo of them. They were bigger...maybe not a lot though. I do think they could be bigger too. Not sure if some other ailment isn't affecting the root developement too. I think I will try for some real indirect sun in the next couple days. I will also post some updated pics soon. Several more died while I was out of town on a family emergency...not from neglect however.
Bruce


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