Why do my plants keep dying after repotting? :(


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OK, so I'm really getting frustrated, I've got some plants; a couple spade lillies, some hot peppers I'm trying to get a head-start on (in New England), and other sundry plants. The last 5 I've repotted have all died. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. The peppers are particularly frustrating. I had some that I repotted, and that survived. When it came time to move them to a bigger pot, they both died. So to make up for lost time, I ordered a couple online. They came in a small container, and were about 5" tall. I waited a week for them to recover from shipping, and then transplanted into pots that are about 5" in diameter and 4" deep. The little shipping pot they came in was a small cube. I'm using standard potting mix, taking the whole cube of dirt, intact, and placing it in the new pot. It sits on a small mound of potting soil, and then I fill in around it. The top of the dirt isn't too high, and the roots are completely covered. I water immediately after the transplant, and keep the plant out of direct sun for the next day. After this I put them right back where they came from. Does any part of this sound off??? Could the pots be too big? The weird thing is, a couple of the leaves on the plants die first, like they wilt...and a couple of other leaves will look healthy for a few days, but then they wilt too.

I'm baffled. The pepper thing really annoys me, because I'm literally taking the soil it was thriving in, and putting it in a newer, larger, pot, with new soil underneath, and surrounding the old cube of it, and it's instantly dying. How is that even possible???
 
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It sounds as if you are doing things correctly. There are only 4 things that will kill a transplant besides carelessness. Heat or lack of. Water or lack of. Poor or contaminated soil. And wind. Let's take the heat factor first. Is the new potting soil warm when you transplant? Do you keep the plant above 60F after transplanting? Now for the water. Is your water very cold when applied? Does it drain properly? The soil. What kind of soil is it? If MiracleGro that is probably the reason. If not is the soil cold? Has the soil ever molded or had a bad odor? Wind. Is the plant in a severe draft?
When transplanting are you damaging the roots by maybe packing down the soil to tightly or not tight enough. Just good root to soil contact is sufficient.
What do the leaves look like when they are wilted. Have they changed colors, say from normal to a dark green? To a brownish color?
 
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Thank you for the reply! There's no draft, so that can eliminate the wind....when I water it I use cold water from my tap...but I water all my plants with it. Are transplants more sensitive in this regard? It drains out the bottom of the pot, but not rapidly. The soil is about room temperature; no mold. The soil is from a local garden shop, it's not MiracleGro, but I was wondering if it could be contaminated. As far as packing, I don't really pack it down too firm, I try to avoid that actually..When the leaves die they generally turn a darker green, the weird thing is, some of the leaves look alive...I've attached a photo here.
 

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Off the wall thought here. Do you have a water softener system? Could it be the sodium, or something else with your water?

I live just outside of Flint MI, (thankfully not on their water system), so water quality is often on my mind.
 
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Thank you for the reply! There's no draft, so that can eliminate the wind....when I water it I use cold water from my tap...but I water all my plants with it. Are transplants more sensitive in this regard? It drains out the bottom of the pot, but not rapidly. The soil is about room temperature; no mold. The soil is from a local garden shop, it's not MiracleGro, but I was wondering if it could be contaminated. As far as packing, I don't really pack it down too firm, I try to avoid that actually..When the leaves die they generally turn a darker green, the weird thing is, some of the leaves look alive...I've attached a photo here.
Very strange. It looks like frostbite but the plants are inside aren't they? @Beth_B has a good point. It might be the water itself.
 
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Thank you for the reply! There's no draft, so that can eliminate the wind....when I water it I use cold water from my tap...but I water all my plants with it. Are transplants more sensitive in this regard? It drains out the bottom of the pot, but not rapidly. The soil is about room temperature; no mold. The soil is from a local garden shop, it's not MiracleGro, but I was wondering if it could be contaminated. As far as packing, I don't really pack it down too firm, I try to avoid that actually..When the leaves die they generally turn a darker green, the weird thing is, some of the leaves look alive...I've attached a photo here.
Are you sure it's dead? The picture of that plant looks a lot like other plants I've transplanted; some plants just hate being transplanted, despite me being very careful in ensuring that the root system is not disturbed, they end up looking exactly like that picture, but over time comeback, despite looking dead as a doornail. I don't know if this is the case with pepper plants, since I don't transplant them, but it's a possibility. BTW, there's a term for this, it's called transplant shock. http://www.just4growers.com/stream/propagation/understanding-and-avoiding-transplant-shock.aspx
 
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Thank you for the replies, this got me thinking actually....

1. I use the water on my other plants, and they're fine...it's Boston's water supply, as far as I know they're not doing anything too wild with the water.
2. The plants are inside; so that would rule out frost-bite.
3. Wouldn't that eliminate every option, other than the pot being too big (which doesn't seem to be the case here)
4. Which leaves the potting mix as a potential culprit. It's Espoma organic potting mix, which I had used previously with fine results. But I bought a second, larger bag, mixed the old bag in with the new, and around then is when this started. It HAS to be that, doesn't it?
 
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Thank you for the replies, this got me thinking actually....

1. I use the water on my other plants, and they're fine...it's Boston's water supply, as far as I know they're not doing anything too wild with the water.
2. The plants are inside; so that would rule out frost-bite.
3. Wouldn't that eliminate every option, other than the pot being too big (which doesn't seem to be the case here)
4. Which leaves the potting mix as a potential culprit. It's Espoma organic potting mix, which I had used previously with fine results. But I bought a second, larger bag, mixed the old bag in with the new, and around then is when this started. It HAS to be that, doesn't it?
Espoma is one of the best brand names there is in the organic field. I would think it next to impossible that it could be the cause but mixing two different batches together could, I suppose, make a difference. Were they both the exact same product? Could either bag possibly have been contaminated with mold or God forbid, a herbicide. I would get a new bag and start over just to make sure.
 

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