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Trouble at the Root?

A couple of months ago, I posted about an experiment in propagating basil hydroponically (ie. in water). Roots did grow as expected and after a while, I changed the water and added a bit of Baby Bio to keep them going, as I was off on holiday for a week. Finally, about a week or so ago, I got round to potting them up in to soil.

The result? Failure. Most of the plants failed to establish in the new medium and, of the two survivors, one only lasted a couple more days and the other, as of this morning, looks like it is definitely pining for the fjords.

What went wrong? I need to re-watch the instructional videos that got me started but I suspect I left it too long between roots forming and getting them into soil. My guess is that there was probably a plastic phase, where the roots could adjust to a different environment, but, by the time I made my move, they had lost the ability to adapt. Or maybe the tiny rootlets that were too small to see with the naked eye had already rotted away by the time I made the switch.

Next time, I think I need to act earlier and also leave some in water as a control.

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