Seedlings dying after transfer

Gori

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This spring I've had a number of maple seedlings died after transferring to individual pots. I first have them germinate in a larger tray and then at some point move to a small individual pot. The way it looks like the leaves begin feeling dry/paperish in about a week and they may keep the shape and in most part position for a few weeks, but they are actually dry. There were some that grew fine and some that died that way. A few details:
With this specific seedling (second picture) I decided to be on safe side this year and kept the long root by placing it at the bottom of the pot and turning it a few times.
There is a plastic net at the bottom, then a small layer of small stones, and the rest is potting soil from Home Depot -- same as in the shared tray.
The soil is wet and then very moist for the first week after transfer.
They are kept indoors at this stage. After a couple of weeks in the individual pot they are transferred outside.
I keep most transferred plants in relatively dark place for a few days -- may this be the reason? The common tray has very bright LED lighting. While the roots are pretty much the same as before transfer, the plant gets light deficiency sharply.
Most of the died plants were of the same specie, but still a couple of them grow fine. The one on the second picture is a different specie, I only have 3 seeds germinated and this one was the first to transfer.

This is where the seeds germinated:
1655936102848.JPEG

This is the most recent dying plant. Also any suggestions for urgent help?
1655936123821.JPEG
 

Gori

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If that soil is all you have you can add about 30% volume of pearlite to it to help it drain and increase oxygen to the roots.
Do you mean replace the top 30% of the soil with pearlite?
 

19Mateo83

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Unfortunately no, it needs to be mixed with the soil. It would have to be a emergency repot.
 
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Same thing happened to me… to wet for sure.
 

Gori

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Same thing happened to me… to wet for sure.
So was it also dry leaves keeping their shape for some time? A couple of times I've seen scenario with withered leaves instead and assumed that was just insufficient watering (too few roots on a small seedling)
 
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Moving a plant from 24/7 indoors to 24/7 outdoors is quite a shock for it. The plant should be moved outdoors gradually or in this case just start the seeds outdoors.
Also, add some material for drainage and some perlite for mosture retention to that soil. Just some suggestions.
 

Gori

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Moving a plant from 24/7 indoors to 24/7 outdoors is quite a shock for it. The plant should be moved outdoors gradually or in this case just start the seeds outdoors.
Also, add some material for drainage and some perlite for mosture retention to that soil. Just some suggestions.
I used bonsai mixture, but when I've got this issue, I thought it was caused by smaller root system and too quick drainage. So I started using regular soil instead, but it looks like it was wrong direction.
 

Wulfskaar

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I used bonsai mixture, but when I've got this issue, I thought it was caused by smaller root system and too quick drainage. So I started using regular soil instead, but it looks like it was wrong direction.
It's difficult to dial it in just right, but once you do, your future trees won't have to go through the same process. Good luck!
 

Adam D

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As mentioned above you can definitely add more perlite to your mix. For seed starting and cuttings i like 3 parts perlite 1 part coco/peat for conifers and 2 parts perlite 2 parts coco/peat for deciduous. Ive had good results with this mix for young plants.
 

Gori

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Moving a plant from 24/7 indoors to 24/7 outdoors is quite a shock for it. The plant should be moved outdoors gradually or in this case just start the seeds outdoors.
When you say gradually, do you mean start with a few hours a day and then gradually increase? Do you have any "baseline" schedule (how this time increases over time) to get a general idea?
 

Gori

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Unfortunately no, it needs to be mixed with the soil. It would have to be a emergency repot.
Any recommendation on the watering / lighting (intense / moderate / low ) after this emergency repot?
Also any recommendation on the watering / lighting / outdoor transfer for the future potted seedlings?
 

19Mateo83

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Any recommendation on the watering / lighting (intense / moderate / low ) after this emergency repot?
Definitely keep them out of direct sun. Dappled shade is ideal. Water when the first inch or so is dry. You can put a dowel or wooden stick in the soil and use it as a dipstick to tell where the moisture level is.
 

RKMcGinnis

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I just moved 20 acer grisium out from my indoor propagation tent to the outside full shade 98 degree weather in humid Georgia and they are flourishing. I’ve never noticed a shock unless you put into direct sun. I start seeds in 100% perlite then remove most of it and organize the roots in the new soil. The acer grisium is for landscape trees not bonsai lol even though I will still attempt to train several to be bonsai from seed.
 

Gori

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Thanks everybody, this should help address the issue, at least going forward.
 

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