0
points
Pepper seedlings collapsed after thinning

Pepper, bell    NY

Could anybody tell me where I went wrong with my peppers? I had sown seeds in flats and I think I was over exuberant with them. I tried to thin them and everything was ok but when I went back to water the remaining plants they had all wilted. What did I do wrong, should I not have thinned them?


Posted by: Sophie Brooks (3 points) Sophie Brooks
Posted: March 27, 2013




Answers

2
points
If your peppers appeared healthy and turgid prior to thinning and soon after thinning they went limp I would lean towards overly aggressive thinning. I used to be a "plant plucker" thinner, but would end up losing some of the seedlings that were left behind. After identifying the plucking to be an issue I have turned to clipping with scissors to thin.

You did say you were over exuberant, how many seedlings per hole or square inch did you end up with? Also about how old were your pepper seedlings when you thinned them out? The older the seedlings are the more lateral roots that would be put out and then be damaged by plucking the peppers out to thin them.

http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibr...

I found this near the bottom of the linked page just below the summary

"Root Habits in Relation to Cultural Practice.--Much of what has been said about the preparation of soil, transplanting, and cultivation of the tomato applies also to the pepper. Where the seed is sown in hills in the field great care should be exercised in thinning, especially if the seedlings are thick, so as to disturb as little as possible the roots of the plants left. When possible, irrigation is advised after thinning to prevent wilting."

I personally would treat your seedlings nicely giving them a humid environment cover them with a cup or something to reduce transpiration stress, maybe even reduce the light they receive Give the surviving seedlings roots time to reestablish.

Please add a comment back if your plants make it out okay.


Posted by: Wurgulf (1 point) Wurgulf
Posted: March 28, 2013


David Goodman commented,
Nipping with scissors for thinning is darned good advice. It makes for much happier plants. I started doing that a couple of years ago and have never looked back.
over 9 years ago.

Sophie Brooks commented,
Thank you for your help, I didn't really plant the seeds on individual holes, I scattered them over the tray and covered with another layer of starting mix. I think every seed must have sprouted!
over 9 years ago.



1
point
Your peppers may have "wilted" due to a condition called "damping off". This is a plant disease caused by fungi either in the soil or on the tools you use (pots, etc). Here is a fact sheet that has some images for you to compare:
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/greenhs...

This probably does not have anything to do with the thinning (although if thinning caused damage to roots or other plant parts of the remaining peppers, it may have made them more vulnerable to disease). Damping off can be prevented by using sterile potting mix and pots/tools that are also sterile. If you re-used pots without cleaning and sterilizing them, this may be the source of the pathogen. It is not too late to re-start your peppers if you have more seeds.


Posted by: Kerry Mauck (58 points) Kerry Mauck
Posted: March 27, 2013


Sophie Brooks commented,
Thank you Kerry, I do think that it might have been damping-off as on closer inspection the seedlings were turning brown!
over 9 years ago.



1
point
Sounds like damping off to me too. If you did disturb the roots too much however, a good tip to prevent damaging the seedlings that you want to grow on is to use scissors to snip the stem of the others so that you do not disturb them,

Poor you. Hope you can grow some more


Posted by: Maggie Muffins (8 points) Maggie Muffins
Posted: March 27, 2013




0
points
try thinning them using scissors, it's what I use . I don't disturb the other seedlings and don't stress them


Posted by: chris hedding (1 point) chris hedding
Posted: April 4, 2013




You need to log in if you'd like to add an answer or comment.
PlantVillage PlantVillage logo