Plants slowly dying in an odd way, any gardeners out there who can tell me why?

I have an aerogarden with some strawberries.  They started just fine but they recently ran into some trouble.  The leaves started yellowing.  I did a little research and it seemed to match the symptoms for magnesium deficiency.  I switched nutrient mixes, thinking that might help, but it seems like it isn't getting any worse or better.  It's looked like this for about a month, not much growth, not much die off.

Picture of Plants slowly dying in an odd way, any gardeners out there who can tell me why?
sort by: active | newest | oldest
seandogue2 years ago

It appears to be a fungal/mold/etc infection. Make sure you don't encourage mold/moss/etc production in the surface layers. I'd recommend a small fan nearby to keep a "breeze" in their world, and there are topical treatments that can be used to treat the fungal/etc infection, although I can't suggest one aside *possibly* sulfur dust, which (if I remember correctly) used to be used back in the old days for treating that sort of thing. PS, what's the medium's pH? Straying too far in one or the other direction can cause symptoms like this. If you have the resource (a decent real gardening store, a local arboretum, etc) you could snip off a couple of those near dead leaves and bag them up for a field diagnosis.

Also, check to ensure you haven't over-saturated the growing medium. Fertilizer and water salts can build up, leading to a toxic growing environment. I'd recommend a periodic "purge" by rinsing (any potted plant no matter the paradigm) with distilled water to mimic the washing effect of rain storms. All "pottings" can be made healthier by periodically rinsing (water till overflow, and watering a bunch more for the next day, of course best done in a bathtub or similar, outside weather-permitting,etc ) When doing so, try to scrape/scrub any visible salt deposits from the container(s) so they will cease to contribute.

If you shot this in its normal growing position, and if your main source of light is thru-window-sunlight and/or artificial lighting, I'd scrap the use of partial sun and get the lighting far closer, or alternatively (if the first isn't possible) lift the container up to the level of the sill. Florescent "grow bulbs" can be used with a high degree of success but only if as close as possible (ie, as close as they can be brought without causing heat or UV damage...that value is surprisingly small when using fluorescents so they are best used hovering only a few inches from their plants. for a wider container, stack banks of 2-tube fixtures to form a wider area of light.

PS>(There are other lights... various metal halides or LED, but I'm not here to discuss or argue light sources as much as light. florescent are widely available and a common choice amongst the general public due to their availability and ease of use)

that's my two cents

They are not getting enough sun. Are you trying to grow these indoors? Looks like you have them stuck in a corner. They need to be in full sunlight.

Strawberries need a lot of light, if not enough the leafs can get slightly yellow misleading you to think it is magnesium missing.
also check your PH levels, with hydroponics there is always some chemicals that are not fully used by the plant.
Over time they build up and can change the PH.
If in doubt get some coco blocks - compressed coconut fibres.
It is great stuff for growing indoors with hydroponics.
You can get the strawberries out of the current soil mix, flushing the roots with water (carefully, no pressure) and then place them in the coco stuff.
4 to 6 weeks later your strawberries should get nice and dark green leafs again and start growing.
If you can do a full flush just with water once a month to wash out all unused nutrients.

finfan7 (author)  Downunder35m2 years ago

Hmm. I can't replace the substrate. It's a set of growsponges. But I will definitely try flushing the fluid.

If they are already in a neutral medium than a good flush is recommended, pluse there is less chance to damage the roots.
Are the roots growing out of the sponges and into the fertilizer mix?
If so then you might just have to reduce the fertilizer levels after the flushing, young plants need far less than those in full grow.

iceng2 years ago

Test with Geiger counter for radioactive water or other anti-plant chemicals subliming from your unconventional potting materials.

finfan7 (author)  iceng2 years ago

'Unconventional potting materials?'

iceng finfan72 years ago

Example_1, CD plastic may have a very subtle chlorinated compound vapor residue wafting (subliming) from the material or from the silkscreen stamping on it that you obviously cannot smell but your plant does not like.

Example_2, your settee if real leather has tanning mercury based chemicals that can leach out, if simulated even worse. What about the support wood material.

mcarrascoza2 years ago

is this out in the sun?.

I've been having problems with my avocado saplings getting too much sun. So I put them in complete shade and they all just had a growth spurt

finfan7 (author)  mcarrascoza2 years ago

It's an aerogarden, an automated indoor hydroponic rig.

http://www.aerogarden.com/