Grow Q&A: Stunted Pot Plants Not Growing

Dear Dan, I have had a couple of plants do this to me: they’re short with tiny leaves. I have one I planted December 1, and it’s only about a foot tall. Another one is about 18” tall with lots of leaves and branches. If it was the size it’s supposed to be, it would be four to five tall by now. Am I causing this or were they bad seeds? HELP! Should I give up on them also? – Unhappy Dwarf

Dear UD,
Your plants’ lack of growth could be caused by several factors; first and foremost is light. They must get enough light to perform photosynthesis and create new cells. If you’re growing outdoors, the plants need full direct sunlight for at least 14 hours. Indoors, you need to ensure the plant is getting enough lumens from your grow light and also that it’s not too far away from the plants to be effective.

Your plants could also be suffering from a lack of food. Plants need nutrients to grow and eventually use up whatever might be present in their medium. You must provide your plants with a nutrient solution that will provide the macro and micronutrients necessary for healthy growth.

The third factor is genetics. It doesn’t sound like you’re familiar with the strains you planted and so they might be bunk genes. Seeds pulled out of a baggie of buds don’t tend to perform nearly as well as well-bred F1 hybrids with hybrid vigor.

You don’t have to give up on your plants but you should definitely change their situation by adding light and nutrients. If that doesn’t help, then you’ll know it was the seeds themselves and you can move on to some better genetics in the future.

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