Why do seedling leaves curl?


Each summer resident knows how insulting it is when, with great care, the seedlings planted, sprouted up in friendly shoots and started to grow, and then for no reason the plant leaves began to curl, turn yellow and fall off. For beginners, this phenomenon is very frustrating, but not experienced gardeners. Indeed, "for no reason, no reason" - does not happen. There are not many reasons why leaf blades in seedlings can begin to curl. In this article we will explain why this happens with our seedlings and how to deal with it.

Twisted leaves on pepper seedlings.

The main reasons that lead to twisting the leaves of seedlings are:

  • Uneven development of the leaf blade;
  • Shortage or excess in the soil of nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium;
  • Incorrect leaving;
  • Exposure to pests;
  • The effect of various diseases.

Next - we will consider in detail the reasons for the curl of leaf blades of seedlings, and talk about how to prevent the occurrence of this phenomenon and what to do if the leaves are already curled.

Uneven development of the leaf blade

More often observed in pepper seedlings, slightly less - in other crops. In the event that the central vein of the leaf blade develops significantly faster than the leaf itself, then ultimately this can lead to twisting or deformation of the leaf blade itself. This phenomenon is often temporary, you can not unnecessarily disturb the plants and just wait a while. The leaf blade should eventually develop fully and become fully developed.

Lack or excess in soil of nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium

Seedlings respond especially negatively to a deficiency of phosphorus and potassium in the soil. With a deficiency of these elements in the soil, leaf blades of seedlings can begin to deform, curl and, as a result, become sluggish, as if losing turgor from a lack of moisture.

Often there is a change in the color of leaf blades of seedlings, they can become lighter or, conversely, acquire a black and purple hue. An excessive amount of fertilizer in the soil also does not bode well, this phenomenon can also lead to twisting of leaf blades of seedlings.

Prevention and control measures

So, both a deficiency and an excess of fertilizers in the soil can negatively affect seedlings. To understand what exactly is the reason for leaf twisting in fertilizers, you need to first assess the soil moisture, then it is good to examine the leaf blades for punctures from sucking pests or spots caused by fungal infections. And if you do not find either one or the other, then with a high degree of probability the reason for this phenomenon lies in the amount of fertilizer in the soil.

Their excess amount is a rather rare occurrence. In this case, you need to transplant the plants into normal soil, free from excess fertilizer, but the lack of fertilizer in the soil can be eliminated more easily - by applying them.

Immediately, we note that seedlings, in most cases, lack potassium. Deficiency of this element also causes twisting of leaf blades. Potassium deficiency can be eliminated by adding potassium sulfate dissolved in water in an amount of 8-10 g per bucket of 50-100 g of solution for each plant or by adding wood ash, which contains about 5% potassium in its composition, as well as a number of seedlings important for normal development trace elements.

To apply wood ash, you first need to very carefully loosen the soil, then moisten it (preferably from a spray gun - for evenness), and then sprinkle with a layer of wood ash 2-3 mm thick.

Incorrect care

This is a complex, multi-component reason, it includes a lack of lighting, an excess or lack of moisture in the soil, and an incorrect temperature of cultivation. All these reasons can lead to the fact that the leaf blades of seedling plants curl, and with prolonged improper care, the seedlings can die.

Watering seedlings is an important element of care.

Prevention and control measures

As for irrigation, the soil needs to be kept in a slightly moist state, avoiding excessive drying out or excessive waterlogging of the earthen coma. It is possible to understand that the soil is waterlogged if you see that the leaves on the seedlings are curled up, and the leaves react to a lack of moisture by losing turgor and twisting the leaf plates down.

With a lack of moisture, plants should be watered as soon as possible, with excess - it is necessary to increase the temperature in the room by 4-5 ° C, stop watering for a while and loosen the soil daily, causing excess moisture to evaporate.

Lighting also plays an important role in the life of plants, so you need to try to provide seedlings with additional lighting on average for a couple of hours in the morning and evening, and in cloudy weather - during the day.

The temperature should not be too high or low, usually after sowing the seeds they try to maintain the temperature at + 24 ... + 25 ° С, after emergence (so that the seedlings do not stretch and get stronger) it can be reduced to + 16 ... 18 ° С, but a week later - again raise to + 21 ... + 22 ° C. At the same time, it is advisable to lower the temperature in the room where seedlings are grown at night by a couple of degrees.

Pest exposure

Often seedlings, even grown at home, are attacked by pests. On seedlings, aphids and spider mites are very often found. These individuals are almost universal and affect the vast majority of crops grown through seedlings, and they can be harmful even in the early stages of seedling plant development.

Since both aphids and spider mites are sucking pests, the first thing that can be seen on the leaf blades is reddish specks in places where the leaf is punctured, then the leaf loses turgor and curls. If aphids can be easily seen with the naked eye, then the spider mite is not so easy to notice, most often it lives on the underside of the leaf.

Aphids on the leaves of tomato seedlings.

When turning a leaf blade, you can see a cobweb, these are traces of the activity of this pest. When it is detected, there is no doubt that the plant is infected with a kidney tick. With severe damage to the leaf blades of seedlings, in addition to twisting the leaves, they can completely turn yellow and fall.

Prevention and control measures

Pests can not only lead to twisting of leaf blades, but also cause complete or partial death of seedlings, so they need to be fought very actively. When growing seedlings at home, it is undesirable to use "chemistry", it is better to use folk remedies.

So, tincture of onion husks can help overcome aphids and spider mites, for which it is necessary to pour a glass of onion husks with a liter of boiling water and let it brew for a day. Then the solution must be filtered and treated with plants every 3-4 days until the pests disappear.

You can additionally process the soil, for which it is necessary to prepare a pinkish, weak, potassium permanganate solution. Watering with such a solution should be carried out if treatment with onion husks did not give a result. Use the solution carefully, not more than once a week.

The impact of various diseases

Most often, this is a fungal infection, which can manifest itself with excessive moisture in the soil and air and low temperature in the room where the seedlings are grown. The infection manifests itself in different ways, but usually it is spots on the surface of the leaf, which can change color as the fungus ripens and spores form.

The vital activity of a fungal infection leads to the fact that the leaf blades curl, change color, and eventually dry up and die. A very common fungal infection of seedlings, causing twisting of leaf blades, is vertex rot.

Prevention and control measures

Let's start with prophylaxis - so that a fungal infection does not settle on your seedlings, it is necessary to periodically (once every ten days) treat the seedlings with 1% Bordeaux liquid, but if there are signs of infection, you should treat the seedlings with 2% Bordeaux liquid every five days .

In addition to Bordeaux liquid, you can use a rather effective infusion that combines garlic and onions. To prepare it, you need to crush a couple of onion heads and 4-5 cloves of garlic in a container and add five liters of water at room temperature, let it brew for a day, strain and treat the affected plants with the resulting infusion.

Often used a solution of nitrate, treating them with diseased plants. To prepare a high-quality solution, it is necessary to dissolve 150 g of saltpeter in ten liters of water, this seedling should be treated with a spray bottle to recover it once every five days.

It is advisable to combine all treatments with fresh air entering the room, that is, periodically ventilate the room where seedlings are grown by opening doors and windows.

When picking seedlings, which was affected by a fungal infection, it is necessary to add to the soil a mixture of tobacco dust, slaked lime and wood ash, 5-7 grams of each substance per kilogram of soil.

With a slight defeat of the seedlings with a fungal infection, whey can be used, which can be sprayed on the affected leaf blades.

We hope that our tips on preventing and combating leaf curl will help you grow healthy seedlings and safely relocate them to a greenhouse or garden. How do you deal with this phenomenon? Share your experience in the comments on this article.