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Need advice... plants growing very slowly


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#1 LO619

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 03:20 PM

I have a variety of seedlings that have been growing for weeks. They have barely gotten their second sets of leaves, some going on third, but when i see other users plants they grow bigger, look healthier and grow at a much faster rate. I have had a few die on me here and there from the sun.... Just wondering what I'm doing wrong. Sorry no pics right now.

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#2 RS67Man

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 03:37 PM

You have asked a very broad question, and we would need more details. How long since they have sprouted? What type of growing medium, overall temperatures, type of light and how much, how much watering, and any fertilizers or other additives like Epsom salts that have been given? Photos would be nice, if you can post them it will be helpful.
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#3 JoeyK

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 03:51 PM

Oh didn't read it properly, is it still cold where you live?

Edited by JoeyK, 01 May 2011 - 04:24 PM.

Two shrimps is only enough to piss me off.Looks good, though!


#4 srin2

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 04:05 PM

What is the growing medium? Have giving a weak liquid feet yet?
www.thehotpepper.com/topic/20189-srin2-2011-new-chilli-pepper-plant-
www.thehotpepper.com/topic/25410-sris-201112-grow-log/

#5 PepperJam

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 04:19 PM

Have you tested your soil ph? PH is important. If too acidic or alkaline peppers will not grow to their potential.
2012 Grow Log: www.thehotpepper.com/topic/27468-pjs-2012-grow-log/

#6 Avon Barksdale

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 05:28 PM

We really need some more info, and preferably some pictures. Impossible to diagnose the problem without any info about growing conditions.
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#7 Oziam

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 05:36 PM

I had the same problem with my first Bhut Jolokia seedlings, they grew sooo slowly,
weren't really doing much at all basically still tiny seedlings after 3-4 weeks,
I raised them in peat pots with commercial seed raising mix which the pack said was all they needed.
I decided to give them a boost with a weak solution of "Thrive" high nitrogen based liquid fertilizer
and hey presto within a week they were double the size then they just went crazy from there.
Give them the right amount of nitrogen (not too much when young) and plenty of filtered sun light and they should Thrive :)
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#8 LO619

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 08:02 PM

I had the same problem with my first Bhut Jolokia seedlings, they grew sooo slowly,
weren't really doing much at all basically still tiny seedlings after 3-4 weeks,
I raised them in peat pots with commercial seed raising mix which the pack said was all they needed.
I decided to give them a boost with a weak solution of "Thrive" high nitrogen based liquid fertilizer
and hey presto within a week they were double the size then they just went crazy from there.
Give them the right amount of nitrogen (not too much when young) and plenty of filtered sun light and they should Thrive :)


I made my own small pots out of cups, water bottles and even beer cans lol.... i water them usually every other day. The potting mix is just some cheap stuff called black magic... Today I ground up a couple organic fert spikes from the 99cent store and mixed with water in hopes it has a positive affect. I am using natural light, mor or less full sun. I did have a few babies fry on me from the sun, but the others seem to be fine in the sun.

I hope i at least get one yellow bhut and one siberian in the mix of seedlings the other two i germed were orange habs and some bells

#9 Oziam

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 08:29 PM

I forgot to mention but I gave mine a drink of seaweed solution in the first week, it is suppose to help with root development, but it is NOT a plant food,
fish emulsion is a great source of nitrogen for seedlings and is pretty cheap too, just follow the directions,
give them a slightly weaker mix first time around.

Hope this helps & Good luck!
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#10 Burning Colon

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 09:19 PM

when plants stop growing it is a sign of one of the major growth mechanisms is missing. it happens to me often and as soon as it does it adjust the formula.

let's look at growth.

first you have root feeding. for root feeding any nutrient has to be broken down to its finest element, or it can't be absorbed by the roots. then, one has to realize that in order for root development to happen, you have to bottom feed, so the roots search out their food, thus creating that famous root network.

next, plants breath. they breath in oxygen and exspell carbon dioxide. this is called transpiration and occurs at night, that's why 24/7 lighting is not a good idea.

but during the daytime photosynthesis occurs, this is where the plant converts the necessary sugars to promote plant growth. it uses sunlight or made up sunlight to make this happen.

if you are experiencing delayed/stalled growth then one of the rules is missing. it could be cold roots, stalling root feeding. or the basic nutrient is not broken down so the basic nutrients can be absorbed. perhaps the necessary bacteria is missing to make this happen. could be your plants can't find enough CO2 to feed the plants.

i have been making an alfalfa tea: 1 cup dried alfalfa put into 1 litre/1quart of water(in a nylon socking). let it sit for 24-48 hours then straing. i then further dilute this nutrient, 1 cup of mixture to 4 cups of water. then water my plants. i also and 1 cup of mix to another 1 quart of water and foliar spray my plants.

root digestion is harder because you have to understand your soil mix, what's it made of, and does it have enough microbes to break elements down for absorbation. if the soil is lacking microbes then it can't break food down to be absorbed by the roots. and if you are then not foliar feeding, then no nutrients are getting into the plant to assist in photosynthesis, which is what makes plants grow.

good luck.
Mark
Naga Viper is the hottest pepper in the world....Surely, you must be kidding.....No, I'm not kidding and don't call me Shirley - Leslie Nielsen, Airplane!

#11 Avon Barksdale

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 10:27 PM

Watering every other day is probably far too much for plants that size. Unless it's really hot and windy outside and they're actually drying out in that time, but I doubt it. I have 2+ foot tall root bound plants outside in 5.5" containers that only need water every 3-4 days. Granted it's probably hotter in CA right now, but still. Before you water pick up the container and take notice of the weight...it should be very light before you water. Over watering is one of the top newbie mistakes, chile plants don't like to be water logged.

How does the Black Magic potting mix feel? Is it light and fluffy, does it drain well? Water should run out the holes in the bottom very easily. I haven't used that mix but I've seen a lot of mixed reviews for it online. I know it's made by Scott's, and I have used their Sta-Green potting mix and it was absolutely terrible. Maybe the Black Magic is better, I don't know.
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#12 LO619

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 10:30 PM

when plants stop growing it is a sign of one of the major growth mechanisms is missing. it happens to me often and as soon as it does it adjust the formula.

let's look at growth.

first you have root feeding. for root feeding any nutrient has to be broken down to its finest element, or it can't be absorbed by the roots. then, one has to realize that in order for root development to happen, you have to bottom feed, so the roots search out their food, thus creating that famous root network.

next, plants breath. they breath in oxygen and exspell carbon dioxide. this is called transpiration and occurs at night, that's why 24/7 lighting is not a good idea.

but during the daytime photosynthesis occurs, this is where the plant converts the necessary sugars to promote plant growth. it uses sunlight or made up sunlight to make this happen.

if you are experiencing delayed/stalled growth then one of the rules is missing. it could be cold roots, stalling root feeding. or the basic nutrient is not broken down so the basic nutrients can be absorbed. perhaps the necessary bacteria is missing to make this happen. could be your plants can't find enough CO2 to feed the plants.

i have been making an alfalfa tea: 1 cup dried alfalfa put into 1 litre/1quart of water(in a nylon socking). let it sit for 24-48 hours then straing. i then further dilute this nutrient, 1 cup of mixture to 4 cups of water. then water my plants. i also and 1 cup of mix to another 1 quart of water and foliar spray my plants.

root digestion is harder because you have to understand your soil mix, what's it made of, and does it have enough microbes to break elements down for absorbation. if the soil is lacking microbes then it can't break food down to be absorbed by the roots. and if you are then not foliar feeding, then no nutrients are getting into the plant to assist in photosynthesis, which is what makes plants grow.

good luck.


I'm pretty sure that plants breath Co2 and produce o2.... other than that i really cant get the best soils and mess around too much with all the fancy schmancy stuff. Money is an issue as well as time and knowledge, too.

One thing I have noticed is the plant stem looks shriveled just beneath the soil on a couple (or more) of my plants, yet they are still alive. It doesn't look healthy. All I can hope for is that they live and grow and produce. Really hoping for success.

#13 muskymojo

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 11:29 PM

One thing I have noticed is the plant stem looks shriveled just beneath the soil on a couple (or more) of my plants, yet they are still alive. It doesn't look healthy.



Sounds like damping off.
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#14 LO619

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 12:59 AM

Sounds like damping off.


I'm a tad worried about over watering. It does get pretty hot, but usually i will not water the plants until the soil looks dry. but sometimes it only takes a day and it looks dried out. I'm going to leave them alone, we are do for a hot week(95 on tues)... which will be hotter in my town. I'm thinking of moving them more to the shade and not watering for a couple days at least. I will check more before watering so i don't kill them , i have a feeling the ferts are going to help them out.

#15 LO619

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:02 AM

@ avon.... the soil doesn't seem too bad, but it's a little twiggy. it does have perlite but def not a 50/50 mix. When I transplant and throw in the water it seems to drain fine. Some of my pots do not have drain holes. Probably going to get some bigger pots for them and some more soil. i'll take pics when i can (no cam or phone atm). thanks to everyone for their advice.

#16 Chillihead_benny

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 08:14 AM

i am running into the same problem. most of all the annums i had growing in Jiffy seed starting mix have kicked the bucket.. they launched great but then just stopped growing and then leaf fall. ( not too much water, fan in the grow area under the lights as well to strengthen and also to keep air flowing, close to the lights.. closest i could get was 3 inches, so that left nutrientes.. i have given them none.. i figured they were too small.) The Jiffy mix is very loose water flows well through it, but there is not much to it. The chinense are in a mix of Jiffy sed starter and Scotts' humus and manaure about 50/50. This is keeping them alive better but is holding them back as they have not grown more than an inch in the last 3 to 4 weeks. tonight they get a boost of fish emulsion diluted. On a happy note i found Pro Mix.. finally local.. the home depot actaully had it.. never has before. I repotted any of the annums that did survive in promix and they are enjoying the new soil. just adding my 2 cents.. but i feel you probably have a nutrient problem.
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#17 Burning Colon

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 10:46 AM

I'm pretty sure that plants breath Co2 and produce o2


you're right, i was too busy typing and should have been proof reading before posting!
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#18 muskymojo

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 04:26 PM

Today I ground up a couple organic fert spikes from the 99cent store and mixed with water in hopes it has a positive affect.


I would be careful using a time released fert all at once. The problem is you really have no idea how much you are giving your plants. I appreciate the thrifty approach, and I'm the same way, but that sounds a little scary. When my seedlings "hit their first wall" I gave them water from my fish tank diluted with 1/2 regular water and they doubled in size within 3 or 4 days. It doesn't take much for the babies to perk up. Good luck!
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#19 Oziam

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 04:35 PM

.. but i feel you probably have a nutrient problem.


Yeah +1, I bet my left, well you know, on it!

I was afraid to give my new seedlings nutrients at first and they just didn't grow, I finally decided to give them a half strength solution of a liquid fert and WHAMO! they will double their size in less than a week, no probs since then, once they are established you can give them a full strength solution every second week and they will boom! :woohoo:

Edited by Oziam, 02 May 2011 - 04:39 PM.

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#20 nitwit

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 04:51 PM

you wrote the sun killed them;

you may want to increase the volume amount of

your potting media as it sounds as if they are

suffering from a lack of root area(like a beer can holds

less dirt and water than a three or five gallon size pot)

i would think you could get them to a larger container or plant them in the

ground now as we are in may and you indicate you be in so cal {kinda looks like san diego area}

the plants i have outside are really starting to flourish now and i expect yours also may in may
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