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Seedling woes - Coleus


I successfully germinated 15/15 Coleus seeds last week and promptly put them into a light box (nothing else is in there). 

They looked dry so I gave them some water a day or so ago. 

I got home from work today and one seedling's leaves have curled up a bit (which I think might be due to heat of the lamps so I've raised them) and another has collapsed with the base having become damaged / perhaps with damping off. Or just too much water?

It's quite disheartening because I went to good lengths to do everything right including sterilising everything. And I know I am a serial over-waterer so made sure I only watered when the top of the soil seemed dry. Do you think it's normal that one or two seedlings just fail like that? 




  •  Coleus can be a bit miffy if the temperature isn't quite right, and they have quite fragile seedlings. I find a spray mister best for watering small seedlings as it is less likely to damage them.

    If you are growing a mixture it is not uncommon for some colours/varieties to be less vigorous than others. These are often the best or most desirable colours, which is why you have to prick out some of the small ones as well as the healthiest looking ones.  So it could be Darwinian selection at work. Just keep them in gentle warmth, a reasonably damp atmosphere so that they don't dry up, out of bright sunlight and water carefully. There's not much that you can do (legally) about damping off as the best treatment has now been banned! If the seedlings are well spaced it makes it less likely to spread. It is great fun when they get their first true leaves, as straight away you get an inkling of what colour they are going to be. Good luck!

  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    I usually water seeds from the bottom by standing the tray in water for a few minutes before letting it drain.  Some prefer it that way.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    I dont sow mine until March. Have another go a bit later.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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