First grow & enjoying it! (Amnesia Haze Autoflower)

Hi everyone I am a medical patient and legal first time grower in the United States. I was curious about potentially growing my own medicine after marijuana was legalized here and decided to give it a shot with minimum equipment. Why not right?

I didn’t expect to really invest much time or money into it but I’m finding the process so fascinating and exciting that I thought I’d actually like to start journaling my grow.

I realize I may or may not succeed as a novice with an imperfect setup and no experience growing, but I hope this journal can provide insight to fellow beginners and would greatly appreciate input from any of you experienced growers throughout the journey!

My medium has already changed once and might change again so read on for details.

Wed May 27th

After reading up on the different germination strategies (starting with the grow bible), I dropped 5 Amnesia Haze Auto-flower seeds from ILGM into a glass of filtered tap water. All 5 were floating. Left the glass in the dark overnight.

May 28th

All 5 seeds were still floating, slightest crack/opening on 1 of the seeds.

May 29th

2 seeds sunk and were displaying tiny root tails. The other 3 were still floating, and 2 of those seemed to show the slightesstt crack. I read that the germinating water should be “replenished” every other day and the glass was already full so I figured I’d delicately drain most of the water and then pour/transfer the 5 seeds to a fresh glass of filtered tap water.

I had a feeling the next day would be planting day so I went out and dug up some garden soil. Again, I started this grow wanting to keep budget as minimal as possible! I live in the Midwest US so the soil is very clay-dominant. It had just rained so the soil was wet but we had an even bigger storm coming that night so I figured I’d just fill 5 plastic planting cups before it was even more drenched.

May 30th

Had a crack/root tail on all 5 seeds (yay!) so I decided to get planting.

I planted them carefully root-down in garden soil about ¼- ½” down. This is the seed with the shortest root/tail that was planted.

After covering the seeds ~1/4" in the soil, I gave each plastic planting container (~the size of a solo cup) a couple sprays on top with a clean spray bottle of Walmart’s Great Value Purified Drinking Water (which lists ingredients as purified water, calcium chloride, sodium bicarbonate). It sounded like the purest water I had but more on that to follow.

This was the day I realized that my soil was veryyy clay like and even though it wasn’t as wet as I thought it’d be from rain, I was getting paranoid about how well the seeds would germinate fully into seedlings in this. Guides online were saying to avoid this type of soil.

I read that fluorescent lights would suffice for germination into seedlings stage so I placed them ~7 inches from the 1.5A 118V 60Hz recessed fluorescent lights in my basement. These were left on for about 7 hours then shut off for about 7 hours. The next day would start a more prolonged light schedule.

May 31st

With the plants under the fluorescent lights, I decided to go to Menards to get some soil because I figured I’d need higher quality soil to transplant the plants to later anyways, and the paranoia kept increasing about my seeds dying of suffocation in that wet clay soil at home…

Turns out Menards was completely sold out of all soil. So I looked at the grow bible and saw that amongst the recommended soil alternatives/additives were: Perlite, Vermiculite, & Coco Coir. I happened to find perlite, vermiculite, and Burpee Eco-Friendly Organic Seed Starting Mix (advertised as made primarily of coconut coir). Great! Decided to buy those 3 and do more research at home.

After doing more research, I found that coco coir was excellent for water retention and preventing over-watering, providing more oxygen to roots, but had ~no nutrients in it. So I thought, why not mix this with the muddy soil so there is airflow & water retention/drainage from the coco, but with earthly nutrients and pH balance from the soil? So I created a Frankenstein soil/soilless mixture as follows:

Garden Soil: 30%
Coco Coir Mix (Burpee Eco-Friendly Organic Seed Starting Mix): 33%
Perlite: 22%
Vermiculite: 15%

I got 5 new plastic planting containers (the size of a solo cup) and filled each ~3/4 full with this mixture. I decided to transplant all 5 of my recently soil-planted seeds into this new mixture with hopes of a more promising future. During careful transplant with sterilized tweezers, I realized the roots had already grown quite a bit in just a day! I re-planted all of them root-down in the new combo mixture.

I gently covered the germinating seeds with the mixture and lightly sprayed the top a few times. Placed back 7” under the fluorescent light to complete 18 hours under light and 6 hours of dark, and things started to get exciting.

June 1st

By the end of the next day, a lot of growth had occurred and 4 out of 5 seeds had broken the surface of the new mixture.

The stems of the seedlings were looking brown, frail and thin, and I was worried that something was going wrong, but happy to see such growth nonetheless! At least the first leaves were very green! The 5th seed I could visibly see was jussstttt about to break the surface. I thought wow! Maybe tomorrow I’ll have 5 healthy seedlings on their way!

I researched the symptoms of these thin brownish stems and ended up neck-deep in the world of hydroponics & the dangers of coco-coir. I found so many articles saying that coco coir should be thoroughly rinsed/flushed before even planting to ensure the typical high-sodium content is dissipated. And I frantically searched for more information on the Burpee Eco-Friendly Organic Seed Starting Mix that I included in the soil mixture and if they rinse it/how much sea salt is in it. All I could find were reports of successes and failures, and nothing labeled on the bag/website soooo I figured the chances of high-salt content were higher than comfortable :frowning:

Then I found out about underwatering as a potential cause, seeing as how the surface of my containers were bone dry! And I learned especially for pure coco-coir this is a big no-no! So I thought dang, I need to water these wayyy more than just a few sprays like the grow bible recommendations. So I read other articles including coco coir, which I found almost no other growers using a soil-coco coir combination like mine, so it was so difficult to gauge! But all of them said to NEVER let the surface run dry. And given the fact that I didn’t rinse/soak the coco-coir mixture, I figured I was just running these plants dry of all water from underwatering and likely high sodium content from the coco.

So I freaked out and followed several articles’ recommendations to water until I got 20% drippage from the container (rookie mistake? - seems like only a grown plant regimen?) I used the same type of water bottle, the Great Value Purified Drinking Water. I literally poured just about the entirety of the 16.9 fl oz bottle amongst the 5 plant containers. It felt really good to see the 20% drippage from the bottom, as I figured if there was a ton of salt in there, this would help balance.

I then researched that pH was also a potential cause, and I have not at all paid attention to pH up until this point. I don’t have a pH tester and still feel like maybe I can get through this successfully without going crazy buying a pH tester and all the crazy tools the experts use. But through research I came to find that the bottled water I was using (the Great Value Purified Drinking Water) has a pH of 5. Yikes! Way too acidic! I will use filtered tap water only moving forward (which according to some local data, should be ~7pH from the tap).

But despite all the articles expressing a lack of logic in combining soil and coco coir, I figured perhaps I saved the whole operation by mixing soil and coco coir since the plant can still feed off the soil’s nutrients and be slightly pH balanced from the soil and not die from lack of nutrients of the coco coir mix with its likely overwhelming salt content (if the coco coir mix was indeed unrinsed to begin with). I could only hope and see!!

June 2nd

All 5 seedlings have sprouted above the surface, and are on their way. Woo! Two of them still have seed shells attached to them, with one completely suction-cupped as a helmet.

I researched and found that it’s okay to remove this as delicately as possible as it could kill the plant if left. It was literally glueing closed those first leaves, which I figured was perilous given the abnormally long stem and their need for nutrition from photosynthesis (which those leaves are necessary for). So I did careful “surgery” after spraying the seedlings with water sprayer and then pulling the seed shell off with clean tweezers. Success!

I am noticing all of the stems are getting a little longer than what seems typical, and the leaves are slightly droopy. I am starting to think that I have overwatered them and that I may have them too far away from the light.

The surface of the soil/coco coir mix is still wet so no more watering today. And I bring the plants closer to the light, now about 3 inches away.

And that’s it. I hope tomorrow to see more stiff/less droopy leaves as it seems to have come from overwatering, and less frail stems which seems to have come from too great a separation/distance from the lights.

Thanks for reading! I would love any and all input on this! I am a first timer so please be easy on me hahah looking forward to how this all manifests. This is a very exciting new hobby and I’m excited to be a part of this new-found community! Thanks for being so supportive and helpful for all growers and students alike!


Welcome to ILGM forum. There’s a lot of experienced growers here to help out. I’m set to watch. Interesting read, not going to say you should do this and not do that. You seem to be to genuinely excited to figure out what works and doesn’t work. Just remember if you need help just ask, the only really dumb question on this forum is the one not asked. Good luck and happy growing. :+1:


Is your plan to grow these inside or outside? My 4th auto flower grow was Amnesia Haze.

Welcome to the forum, 5 for 5 is a great start! Try not to worry excessively, its a Weed let it do its thing. I am set to tag along if its ok. Maybe you can get some grow friendly tubes for your light??


Thank you. I am excited to have you watching! I definitely am interested in learning and will try to keep up with the journal including things I try and my thought processes behind them. I already have questions and will be including them in my next post tonight. Grateful to have your support!


Hi Beardless! I am planning to grow all of these outside after seedling stage. I want to try 2 in my isolated vegetable garden and 3 in plastic containers (I have two 18qt/4.5gal trash bins and one 10gal trash bin if I can’t find a smaller one, all to have holes cut in their bottoms for drainage). Did you grow your Amnesia Haze outdoors too?

Hi Chasworks! Thank you and yes it excites me to have you tag along! In regards to grow-friendly tubes, I don’t think that will be necessary since I plan to move these outside after their seedling stage. Do you think my plants will continue to stretch even 3 inches away from fluorescent lights if I don’t enhance the setup with grow-friendly tubes or if I leave them like this until they develop 3 nodes? That’s what I’ve been planning so I hope that’s okay!

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Day 3 since breaking out of soil

After taking a day off watering, the leaves look a little more stiff/level than yesterday as I hoped. Looks like I may have been right to think I over-watered the plants on their first day as sprouted seedlings. I still see a little droop on them, especially the first plant’s cotyledons, but I feel better about them :slight_smile:

You may have noticed on plant 4 (can I name them yet?) - there is a brown spot on her left leaf.

I thought it might possibly be nutrient burn or something but this was the same plant that had the suction-cupped helmet seed attached in the previous post. After removing most of the seed carefully, I think all that remains are some innards of that seed shell dried on the leaf.
Question 1: Is it dangerous or life-threatening to leave this seed membrane on there? Do you think it’s damaging the leaf?

Anyways, I felt the coco coir/soil/perlite/vermiculite mixture and it was pretty dry even first knuckle deep, and I noticed the mixture condensing away from the edges of the container slightly, so I gave them a nice healthy watering. Probably about half of Monday’s overdose haha - I softly poured about 8 fl oz room temp filtered tap water circling just outside the stem. I noticed even with this amount I was getting the desired ~20% runoff, with the exception of 1 container. I went to inspect the drainage holes in case there was a clog (during which I started to get drippage) and I noticed this little white thing poking out…

Question 2: Could that possibly be a root??
It’s only day 3 and the seedling can’t be longer than 2 inches at this point… seems unlikely but looks like a root.

More Important Question 3: If that IS a root, is it already time to transplant or should there be multiple roots showing and an established set of 3 nodes before considering transplant?

Since I did see drippage after picking up the initially non-dripping container, I was content and placed them all back on the dried tray.

This time I brought them even closer to the light, probably about 2.5 inches away now because I was still seeing stem stretching rate that slightly concerned me.

So besides my questions above, my main questions at this point are:

Question 4: Is it possible that my seedlings are stretching despite distance from the light, perhaps because the light is too weak?

Question 5: If my seedlings continue to stretch stems on day 4 and 5 despite being 2.5 inches from the fluorescent light, is it best to give them as much outside time in the sun as possible before moving back to fluorescent light in order to satisfy their unsatisfied light needs?

Those are more urgent questions but I realize that transplant time will come sooner than expected and I should prepare for the next moves before it’s too late. I am currently growing seedlings in the following mixture:

Garden Soil (mostly clay): 30%
Coco Coir Mix (Burpee Eco-Friendly Organic Seed Starting Mix): 33%
Perlite: 22%
Vermiculite: 15%

Question 6: When transplanting into their final homes (2 in-garden and 3 in plastic containers - all outdoors), what grow medium is recommended? Should I just create the same mixture as before in order to prevent transplant shock especially since they’re autoflowers?

Question 7: If I maintain this mixture for full vegetation and flowering stages - Given the fact that my mixture involves so much coco coir (the exact amount I am unsure of), do you think I should be prioritizing purchasing a calcium/magnesium nutritional supplement to counteract its known cause of Ca & Mg deficiencies?

Question 8: If I do switch mediums from this strange unique mixture when transplanting for vegetation/flowering stages, say perhaps to happy frog soil mix or Fox Farm Ocean Forest mix, is it best to still incorporate a small amount of the previous mixture to prevent transplant shock?

Question 9: Given the future medium you’d recommend above, are there any nutrients that stick out as must-haves? I am considering them especially if it’s do-or-die for my girls… but I may refrain if unnecessary

That’s it for today. THANK YOU for reading and for any input. So greatly appreciated!!

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I loved reading this journal. You use very descriptive language, clear train of thought, have a plan ,and you ask great questions. I was so far behind throughout my entire first grow (I still feel behind in my second grow).
I think I could learn something here so I’m gonna tag along and see what happens!
Great start!

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Sorry no - indoors. I have three jack herer auto seedlings that will go to the garden next week.
The browned leaf is a cotyledon leaf. It will die off naturally in a few days anyways as it has served its purpose

That’s so wonderful to hear! I really appreciate you saying that. Potentially helping others learn from my successes and failures was one of the main reasons I started journaling. If you notice any parallels with this to your current or past grow I’d love to hear!

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Okay great, I won’t worry about the cotyledon leaf then. Thank you for answering that question! In regards to your Jack Herer seedlings, what medium are you starting them off in and are you going to include any other ingredients from your seedling medium when you transplant to your outdoor soil garden?

This is the starter mix I use. It is a store brand from a local garden center

This is the soil mix I use soil
I is a fairly rich soil with compost added to FFOF. When I transplant I surround the transplant with the starter mix.

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Interesting! So we’re both using a soil-less starter mix with compost, perlite and vermiculite for the seedlings (only yours has peat moss whereas mine has a coco coir mix with soil added).

Your garden soil mix is definitely rich. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one who is mixing soil with coco coir! I felt a little crazy for trying that even though logically it made sense to me. Given the coco coir will continue to be an element of my mixture, do you think it’s more important to have Cal/Mag ready in case of deficiencies, or would I be better off investing in other nutrients or worm castings?

Have you tried this type of transplant before with success? It makes me feel more confident in proceeding with my plan of incorporating my starter mix with the future soil for transplant.

May I also ask if by “surround the transplant with the starter mix” - do you mean you transplant the plant with its initial starting mix attached INTO the soil mix, but then also add even more starting mix around the edges of the old starter mix that contains the developed roots? In other words, you add even more starter mix to bridge the gap between the transplanted plant rooted in the original starter mix and the new home soil mixture?

It’s really helpful to hear from someone with a similar setup, thanks for the info!


no problem glad to share.
When I hydrate the coco I add calmag to the water. Coco apparently locks up calcium so hydrating with it buffers the coco making calcium available when needed.
Cal/Mag ready in case of deficiencies - I can’t think of a grow where I haven’t used it. Its kinda, I not sure what is wrong, lets see if calmag will fix it.
“but then also add even more starting mix around the edges of the old starter mix that contains the developed roots” exactly. It provides a little buffer. A lot of fox farm users on the forum use happy frog to perform the same thing. The use 2/3 ocean forest on the bottom and HF for the top 1/3.
Coco made sense to me from a water retention standpoint. Fabric pots dry out faster than hard bodied pots so it made sense to me to slow it down a little.

This is great info, thanks! I am hesitant to flush/hydrate my coco mix with Cal/Mag the way you do since mine is already a mixture of other stuff including turkey poop…but I’m hoping it was rinsed to begin with and will most likely grab some Cal/Mag nutes if it’s a relatively universal problem solver in your growing history (just to add to my water at times) - especially given that coco “locks up”/hogs those crucial nutrients.

The way you plan to transplant is exactly how I was envisioning it so that’s great! I figure adding the extra starter mix will help prevent transplant shock and also continue to provide those same benefits of water retention/aeration.

So if I understand what you’re saying, some people use Happy Frog mix in the same way that you will use your starter mix again during transplant (to provide that easy transition from the old mix to the newly introduced soil)? So I take it in my case that some extra starter mix to top/transition into the new soil at transplant will suffice? That’s good! I’ll be happy with including coco coir (from my starter mix) at that point as well but I’d mainly want it for aeration to give roots oxygen in the garden and also for nutritional flushing/preventing nutrition buildups in my plastic containers (as there is a good chance I will give imperfect nute doses on my first try).

I guess the main question then would be: would a main soil such as Ocean Forest still be worth the money if I already have sub-par clay-dominant soil that I could combine with the starter mix at transplant? Or would I be better off allocating my budget towards more nutrients such as H&G coco a&b to complement the Ca/Mg (which I’m already feeling inclined towards buying)? Just trying to weigh my priorities so I know what to buy if I can’t get them all. Thanks!

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I can’t answer the question, Not familiar with H&G coco a&b, or using actual soil. I do know clay though. I finally gave up and converted all of our veg gardens to raised beds

Ok, no worries! I’ll have to do a little more research on that then. Thanks for all your feedback thus far!

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Day 6

Haven’t been able to upload photos for the past 3 days so posting this on mobile.

The girls are just sprouting their 2nd spaded leaves today and looking good.

Today’s Main Question: These girls are only 6 days old & already showing roots through bottom of container - Is it time to transplant these already??

I know it’s recommended to wait until 3 sets of spades leaves have developed before transplanting at which time there should be roots growing out of the bottom. However, my girls are only just starting their 2nd set of spades leaves and already 3/5 of them have ~4 little roots growing out of the bottom holes! I realize I should have filled my containers a little higher with mixture but that’s a lesson for next time. Is it already time to transplant!?

I am leaning towards buying Fox Farm Ocean Forest to include with my starter mix at transplant but if these need to be transplanted ASAP to avoid root lock I might just have to give them the same starter mix as before and use ground soil with coco coir mix as the final container/garden mixture. Is it worth a couple more days of time in containers that have already been outrooted to purchase Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil or similar soil for final home transplant - or is it super urgent to get these girls out of those outgrown containers so they don’t die/aren’t stunted (especially being autoflowers)?

I hope I can give them more time in their seedling containers to buy me time to purchase another soil/calmag supplement but I hope one of you can verify if that will be detrimental to their growth. Thank you for reading!

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Your little plants are looking great! I would suggest waiting a while longer to transplant though, to give more time for the roots to get stronger and a chance to fill more volume of the soil with more root structure.
When you do transplant, you’ll see more root mass grown to the edge of the starter pot. That mass will hold the shape of the starter pot and support the seedling after transplant.
That’s just my two cents. :money_with_wings::money_with_wings:

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