My seedlings don't survive, what am I doing wrong?


Michelle is having trouble with her seedlings, would you guys help her out?

I purchased a couple packets of seeds earlier this year. They were White Widow and Gold Leaf. I have only been trying to seed a couple at a time, but now have just lost my last two seedlings. My problem is out of the 10 seeds, I only have 3 plants. I have been using the rockwool to place the seeds in for sprouting. I am using grow lights and keeping them moist during the sprouting stage. I am also keeping my lights on for 18 hours. My problem is they get about 3 inches, start to try and grow sideways and then completely fall over and die. I’m trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. I am using a recommended fertilizer. The seeds are not totally immersed in water, just kept damp, so do you have any suggestions before I buy another set of seeds? I am on a bit of a fixed income and do not want to keep buying seeds if I am just going to keep losing them. I am sure it is an issue on my side, but not sure what the problem is. I have read your beginner guide and have done other research, so hoping you can help me, as I’m completely lost here.


Hi Michelle , what you have described is called damping off .It is caused by over watering 95 percent of the time ,the other can be if it’s to cold . rock wool can be tricky .a couple of things that mite help, make sure the rock wool sits on a drainable surface .and don’t squeeze it if it gets soggy .if this happens place on a couple of paper towels to wick off the excess . also don’t feed them till they get 3-4 leaf sets forming …Good luck:smile: And if you need further assistance you can recheach me in either forum just type @Hammer .and ill get a jingle :wink: . Hammer


The best thing to do before paying out for more expensive seeds I recommend getting some bag seeds and practice with them. At least that way when something bad does happen you don’t feel so bad for loosing a $10 seed. when you feel comfortable with what you are doing and how things are going then plant the bought good seeds. And I also recommend joining the forum on the site there’s tons of info and plenty of cool people willing to help out with any questions or problems.


I don’t use Rockwell but doesn’t it have to be soaked to adjust the pH before you use it?



This could be a lot of things! Our expert growers on the forum can take a look at it if you fill in the questions below.

If you do not know, or do not use something; Just say so = NA

Strain; Type, Bag seed, or NA
Soil in pots, Hydroponic, or Coco?
System type?
PH of runoff or solution in reservoir?
What is strength of nutrient mix? EC, or TDS
Indoor or Outdoor
Light system, size?
Temps; Day, Night
Humidity; Day, Night
Ventilation system; Yes, No, Size
AC, Humidifier, De-humidifier,
Co2; Yes, No


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I would listen to @hammer here.

I don’t recommend using any fertilizers until the plant has at least 3 nodes of growth, and even then you’re still pushing it. Less water, no nutes, and you should be able to grow a big girl for yourself.

Also, like @Allen13420 said, I’d recommend to find some bag seeds to practice with. Some of my bag seeds have turned out to be some amazing plants, so you never know :v:


Michelle . i respectively disagree on using bag seed as to buying seed …And this is why …10 seeds cost 80.00us approx. . add your time to the grow .and add nutes ,soil ,equipment plus electric ? 3-4 months .And when you are done if your bag seed turned morph or male Or yield was poor .due to bad genetics …(Remember ,more then likely something went wrong for you to get them seeds in your Bag to begin with ) So i ask is it really that expensive for seed after all ? good genes mean strong plants to begin with …if they fail it’s most likely do to technic … in all my years or going (25+) ive found this is true all to often …And i have bred seed for pacific purposes … ITs a pain LOLOL . So i find it easyer to let t folks at ILGM &AMS do the heavy lifting these days …Hammer


I completely disagree with @hammer on the bag seeds, but hey, that’s why we’re humans right? :v:

I’ve never had a bag seed or even a Feminised seed turn hermie on me. If it starts a female it stays female. But thats just me! Maybe I’m lucky haha

Of course ILGM seeds are the bomb diggity, but that’s why I’d say to practice with bag seeds. Nobody wants to see those seeds get wasted specially after paying for them!


Hey I can see both sides and that’s why this forum is good. Plenty of people willing to help out and give ideas and suggestions for you as a grower to take in and decide what is best for your situation. Thats why i suggested the bag seed, im on a limited buget. And this is just what i would do in my situation, if i had plenty of cash id order fem seeds for every grow lol. I think it’s great myself that so many people are deciding to grow on their own. And the best thing to do is research research and research… and listen to these guys they have never steered me wrong!


Practicing germination with bag seeds is a great idea…germination, not the whole growth.
After they sprout, or don’t, do it again with more free seeds. A couple of weeks at the most.
The starter medium can be re-used, this is only germination practice, not a 3-4 month grow (right on that account @Hammer), unless you want to continue.

Once they seem to sprout regularly, move on to store bought seeds. Grow feminized or autos.
Get past “damping off” you will be growing a weed…with a bunch of new questions and answers, but at least growing!


Yes 5.5 ph


A few things I think I learned:
Light placement is important to prevent stretching. If a seedling gets too tall is has a tendency to lean over.
I use a fan from day one: this seems to help the plant strengthen as it grows and be more hardy.
I germinate in soil just because the alternative requires handling the seedling allowing for potential stress.
The comment about over watering is probably the answer to your question.
We want to “baby” our babies and that often results in killing them with kindness.
I water a couple times a week, allowing for run-off, then keep a spray bottle and a close eye for dryness, when things look too dry I hit it with a couple sprays to hold it over till the next real watering.
I would use good seeds just so when you get one to start you can nurture it and end up with a good product.


All the people that responded are spot on… The only thing I have to say is I’ve never had crappy bud from bag seed or any other seed for that matter , I’ve also never had a male yet either and I’ve popped a lot of beens… Guess I just have good luck… But I also work with my strains for years and I believe the reason for my success is because my plants learn to thrive in the environment I provide , I never give special treatment to any plant , if they don’t make it through the grow then they don’t get cloned but the ones that do only get better every time I clone them and I believe it’s because they learn to love where they live… They are alive don’t u know :slight_smile:… On a side note , they seem to love classic rock…



Bag seed , good seed , great clones
Done it all and buds end up great each time everyone is right about :seedling: seedlings but one thing ive learned just grow it and learn from the good and bad and each grow youll improve take notes of everything use good soil find a brand of nutrient you like and master it dont make lots of changes at one time and it will be easier to figure out issues
Ill shut up now …lol
Grow on my friends


Mine like Frank Zappa !!


Mine love reggae! SOJA and Bob Marley keep them mellow :v:


Hey Michelle, from what I:ve read in your post is what I"d describe as a classic case of “the Newbie”, I myself am sttill at this critical stage but, I"ve come to accept it. I purchased approx. $150.00 worth of seeds so far since March, lost a lot and kept tryin. What I found out was that simplicity was the key for me. If your plants are toppling over its proly cause your lights are too far away, and you shouldn’t be adding ANY nutes to them for the first month at least. I dunno what Rockwool is , sounds harsh but… I use a 4 inch pot under a 24 inch double tube CFL $27.00 at Lowes, I also planted in Miracle Grow starting soil then made a mix of MG moisture control soil with organic soil and a lot of perlite. Very simply put my plant under the light at 2-3 inches and adjusted accordingly with books or whatever until there was some growth, water was PH"d , and dropped in at about 10 ML. when the soil got a little dry, I also had a plant spray water bottle to keep soil moist a couple a times a day morning and night. Once the plants started growing I adjusted the light height a little higher. I moved my plants to an outside grow after that and basically fought tooth and nail with Mother Nature since but I finally started getting some results (Look at Beginners Grow, Upstate NY, outdoor Auto grow) what a time I had but , I kept reading and listening to what these guys had to say . I cant wait till next years outdoor grow, Its gonna be Killer!! Good luck. <*)))><{


Ill have to try classic rock maybe it will work on my girls


I just talk to mine like a creepy cat lady lol.


This is a very simple starter setup for soil, I grew mine under this for one month, a small fan in the room blew enough air to make the seedlings stronger

A white card board was placed in front of the plants to reflect light, temp of the room was around 70 plus.