Can anyone tell me why my seedlings (actually larger plants at this point) are wilting? Specifically, pepper and tomato plants. I hardened them off then planted yesterday. Added fertilizer and watered thoroughly. Watered again this morning - with sprinkler - and came back to find them all wilted. Now, we do have the wonderful Colorado wind (this can get to 18-20+ mph), which is drying everything out and the heat (81 degrees). I thought of putting my old potting plant containers (black plastic) over them (I cut out the bottom so they get sun, but are protected from the wind - this worked great last year), but I'm concerned they'll get too hot. Any thoughts? Should I worry or just see what happens? Oh, I watered for 30 min. this morning to soak the ground. All dry again now
It could be the wind, it could be too much water, it could be too much fertilizer too soon! I don't fertilize until my new plants get settled in & start growing...then I know they will be more likely to pick up the nurtients instead of it all washing out with watering/rain. Do you have any gallon milk jugs? You can cut them & put over the plants for wind protection. They wouldn't get as hot as black pots.
I forgot to add... If the roots were disturbed a LOT during the transplant, it could just be transplant shock too. Give them a couple of days & no water unless it is dry over an inch below the surface (stick your finger into the ground to feel) and then see how they look.This message has been edited. Last edited by: ga.karen,
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Alot of plants wilt after being transplanted. I agree with Karen. I would give it a couple of days too, and not water (unless feels dry) and do not fertilize until it shows nice signs of growth. I think it's a little too early to panic, just give it a few more days (without the black plastic pot, that's too hot in the hot sun me thinks!) Good Luck and let us know how they are progressing!
Posts: 1898 | Location: "The Garden State" ~ NJ ~~Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004
yep~ seedlings can only take weak ferilizer or even better to wait. I sometimes shade my young plants until I see new growth on them & know they are taking! You can even cut the top & bottom off a plastic liter soda bottle & protect them from the wind ~ again just until they take. Some seedlings like shade until they are larger & then move to the sunny areas (like shasta daisies) Its trial & error...You start to get the feel for all that! Good Luck ~ I always found that moving into the garden was the crucial part of the whole process. Finding the perfect location for them to grow is also worth some consideration.
Hoe did you harden them off? Did they get any sun during the hardening off process? I would think it may be too much water too. What ever it is stop worrying and just wait and see. Mine drowned last year. We had torrential rains after I planted--7+ inches of rain in a few days and it was more than they could handle. I had to replant. Hope they get better for you.
Posts: 14547 | Location: Harford county, MD, zone 6 | Registered: May 10, 2003
Plants can wilt because to too little moisture available or too much water. If the soil around a plant is waterlogged the roots cannot uptake that moisture any more then if the soil has no moisture. If the plant looses moisture through the leaves faster then the roots can supply it the plant will wilt. That can be because of the wind or the sun causing the leaves to transpire moisture faster then the roots can supply it. Nutrient dificiencies usually manifest themselves differently, not with wilting plants.
The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
Posts: 7930 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004