Hi, there's nothing wrong with the seeds, they all germinated in the soil. but once they germinated they died

A customer has a question and I hope we can get some opinions on it, thanks

The seeds were White Widow (I also used Heavyweight Seeds Wipeout Express)
The potting mix soil & the seed raising soil are definately Ph neutral. Indeed, I’ve used those two soils successfully for many successful grows.
I have a 300w cfl grow light & the ventilation & room temperature is fine.

But I’m not even getting to that stage this time around. Once the seeds have sprouted a tap root & I’ve placed the seed in the soil, they stop growing. Some of them just break the surface of the soil & they stop growing? It’s a complete mystery as I’ve never had this problem before.

The only thing I can think of, is the soil is too damp. Although no damper than when I’ve grown other plants successfully. I use perlite to airiate the soil in the final growing pot perhaps I should use perlite in the seed raising soil?

Anyway, if the expert growers can suggest something that would be great, cause i’m at my wits end. Thanks Craig.

They are probably dampening off which is a disease. It’s usually caused by overwatering. When they are just sprouts, they need a very small amount of water in a circle around the plant. Maybe take an eye dropped or a spray bottle and just spray them a bit, not soaking the soil.


I have seen something like that before. What had happened in the time I saw it was the person had somehow got the seeds turned upside down and what he thought was the seedling popping up was actually the tap root. So when the taproot hit the light it of course stopped growing and died. Don’t know if that’s what happened to yours but just a thought.

Yes you’re probably right I’ll try that. what methid of germination do you use?

I use the paper towel method. A lot of people here soak their seeds for 24hours in a glass of water and a drop of hydrogen peroxide 3% I think it is until they sink, then set them in a paper towel.
I just fold them over in a damp paper towel and stick them in a ziplock back opened for a couple days, and put them in my closet under some clothes.


300 watts is probably a bit much for seedlings. I use a 40 “equivalent” LED bulb, but a smaller CFL would be fine, too. They don’t need a ton of light, as they only have a few tiny leaves to use it. And as @Aolelon said, they need very little water at first. Also, if planted too shallow or too deep it can cause problems…only about a knuckle deep or so, but deep enough to right itself in case of the root pointing up. The seed knows which way is which, just like the leaves, but it needs room to turn if necessary. I soak mine in tap water in a shot glass with a drop of h2o2 until they sink, then into a peat plug in soil. This way I don’t have to worry about damaging the tap root. I keep the soil moist, similar to what the paper towel does, under a dome if the humidity in the room is too low, until I see a sprout. Then I water lightly around the outside of the sprout until they’re a little more developed. No nutrients, just straight ph-adjusted, reverse osmosis water until the cotyledons begin to yellow and fall off. And a very light breeze helps strengthen the stem, and helps keep you from overwatering by helping to sort of dry the soil.

Thanks for the advice. I was thinking about using the ziplock bag method rather than just the paper towels between two plates because I found the paper towels are almost bone dry after 3hrs!

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Be careful when you remove the sprouted seed from the paper towel so you don’t damage the tap root. If the tap root is damaged,the seedling breaks ground and stands up, it may even get the 1st set of leaves. but will not grow at all after that. It appears healthy but growth stops.

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thanks for the advice. About three years ago I tried growing for the first time & when I took the sprouted seed from the towel with tweezers, the seedling fell onto the kitchen floor!!! I was naturally horrified & thought I must have killed it. I planted it anyway & miraculously the plant grew perfectly, just bloody lucky I guess

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Same problem here too! The two seeds germinated in a germination dome under a 6500k for seedlings. Everything was fine at first. Problem was i am thinking i put them to early under HPS and way too close to the light. Had them at at 24". And i over watered them once.