Q.How Do I Get My Horse Chestnut Seedlings To Continue Growing In Pots?
Hi! ?♀️ I followed the information on your blog and was able to germinate a few horse chestnut trees in March. They grew like crazy in pots for about a month. I transplanted them to bigger pots and they hav not grown since. I tried adding some miracle grow and recently tried exposing them to grow lights overnight. Do you know of any tips or tricks to get them to continue to grow? I have attached a picture of one of the seedlings. This one has brown spots because I under-watered it once. ?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This, appears more as overwatering damage, unfortunately!
These trees will appreciate some dry soil time, as this is what causes the flow of nutrients from the soil to the roots- Moisture fluctuation. Usually, overwatering will present itself in a delayed manner, after some stress.
Second thing to understand about the way that trees feed, will be the speed. They are very slow feeders. Quickly available nutrients, as most miraclegro products are, can cause nutrient burn. This will happen within a few days of overfeeding, though.
From here, I would put a strong light, of at least 100-200 watts on them, every day. This should be around 12 to 16 hours of light. Once you have the light situation covered (They are large trees that need full sun), you can move on to watering needs.
The tree will appreciate the soil drying out, very thoroughly, down to 3 or 4 inches between every watering.
In the winter, It will appreciate a cold dormancy. You will not water at all, or a few tablespoons per months, at most during this dormancy.
Here is more information on the care of the tree:
Thank you, Bushdoctor! I really appreciate your detailed and thoughtful response. You may have saved my little tree. Thank you so much! ?