Grow Q&A: Help! My Pot Seedlings Are Stretching


Dear Dan, Sprouting seed has been easy for me, and transferring it to soil has been fine too. My problem is they all grow straight up 6 inches or more and then the weight of them makes them fall over. I have a plant light and run it according. What is the issue am I not planting seeds deep enough or is it something else? – Joshua B.

Dear Joshua,
My initial diagnosis is that your light is too far away from your plant tops. This is usually the reason that seedlings will stretch and then fall over. Lower your light closer to your seedlings and you should see this problem disappear.

If your seedlings are still alive, try carefully removing the plant from your container and replanting it with much of the stem buried in more soil. Wet your soil, flip your container over with your fingers protecting the stem and then gently remove the plant with the wet soil attached. Replant the sedling in a deeper container (or the same container if you can and wish) burying the stem almost up to the first leaves. Some light airflow from a fan can also help build up the stems and make them stronger and able to carry the weight of the plant above.

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(photo by Brian Jahn)


2 Comments Hide Comments
  • MakeThisLookAwesome

    That can happen with seedlings OUTSIDE. Let them fall over. Like all kids, they’ll strengthen & straighten up eventually.

    • ThePrettyB8Machine

      Doesnt mean it doesnt happen cuz youve done something wrong though, there is such thing as ideal growning conditions especially if starting seedlings


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