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My seedlings are wilting

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:02 pm
by kylie77
We've had a lovely couple of days here so today I thought I'd put my young seedlings outside (they're a couple weeks old). They didn't get much direct sunlight, maybe about 15mins of it. There is a breeze, but nothing major today. After being outside for a couple hours they're wilting. It's not every single plant, but many of them. Especially the cucumbers and peppers. Is this because it's not warm enough for them or because of the breeze? Is it likely they'll survive, or could the couple of hours outside have killed them? The temp today is 20c (68F).

I've now brought them inside and put them under a light to give them a break. Normally I have them in the sunny window, but I don't want to do anymore damage to them.

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:49 pm
by BrianSkilton
young pepper seedlings seem very picky about the temperature, like people have said on this forum, anything below 70, will cause them to wilt or look droopy. Peppers need a temperature between 75-85 degrees, to be happy. I would just keep them out of any direct light for a day or so, then you can start putting them under you lights or in a sunny window sill again. Since they are young seedlings maybe wait a little while before putting them outside, since they are young, and were started in your house I am guessing, they need to be hardened off. Hope this helps.

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:54 pm
by applestar
Look up "harden off" We've had many discussions on this and someone recently posted an informative link. Usually, the recommendation is to start by placing the seedlings in a sheltered (from breeze) shade, then gradually -- like 1/2 hr at first, expose them to more sun and wind. For people who can't monitor them all day, the recommendation is to place them under dappled shade of dense bare branches or leafed branches or to place them in sunny location that moving shadow of a structure will shade and increase exposure.

Bottom watering and gently misting the wilted babies might help them recover. Good luck.

addendum - some people use oscillating fan in their indoor seed growing area to expose them to moving air.

Thanks for the replies

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:18 pm
by kylie77
I'm very happy to say that after a short break inside and out of the sun, almost all of them are standing straight and no longer wilted. There are still a couple that are droopy, but most are back to normal. Phew! I'll be more careful.

I have them in front of an open window at the moment, but will just leave them a little longer before moving them away. Luckily I have plenty of time to harden them off before they go outside. I'm just glad I didn't kill them all as I'd be devastated! lol