Q&A with Jorge
Rot at Soil Line
My young seedlings (Blue Mystic and Mystery Seeds from Nirvana) have been disappearing at the lower stalks, right where they enter the soil, collapsing, and dying. I am growing in coco with per lite and vermiculite and feeding with Neptune’s Harvest fish/seaweed (2-3-1), under 100 watts of compact fluorescent light. Temps are between 20 and 21 degrees C. I had the same problem with two bonsai trees I am growing in a peat pellet in the windowsill with no fertilizer. Any ideas? Could it be my water?
This gross image shows what damping-off looks like in later stages. Never let your cuttings get to this point!
Sounds like your plants are suffering from Damping-off, a form of pythium wilt. Once damping-off starts it is fatal. Plants must be removed from the grow room and destroyed. The symptoms you describe are classic. The stems rot at the soil line. This is normally caused by too much water and a soggy growing medium in a temperature range of 21+ degrees C. However, the disease is now present in your soil and room albeit invisible. You will have to clean the room and all growing supplies and tools with a 5 percent bleach solution before star¬ting your next crop. You can also use a very popular product named Pyth off. Learn more about Pyth-off at www.accenthydroponics.com. Throw away all used root cubes and soil before starting again.
Damping-off killed this little clone before it had a chance to strike roots.
Buy fresh new sterilized potting soil or root cubes and start over with a clean room. Keep a close eye on the moisture level in the growing medium. Keep the substrate evenly moist and do not let it get soggy. This should avoid all your problems.
This is a classic case of damping-off. The stem stayed too wet below the soil line and just above the medium you can see the evidence of the disease.