Seedling's not growing much lately

Hey all, I could use some help. After germination I moved my seedlings into solo cups. I’ve had them in there now for about 10 days (here’s a pic). I’ve seen others be more advanced in their plant growth so I’m worried i’m not doing something right!

I have them under my 450w LED’s and am following the LED lights height/brightness schedule so they are about 36" away and I’m running the LED’s full 24hrs. Temps are around 73. I have them in Mother Earth coco air soil and have been watering about 3x a day with a spray bottled to where the the hole half inch is damp.

Am I not being patient enough or what am I doing wrong?!

Overwatering. Watering too often. Best to allow it to dry mostly before watering again. Feel the weight of the cup, let it get pretty light before watering, never water moist soil. Water less often but give enough to see a little drainage ( the cups have holes on the bottom yes?), I would suspect a few days between waterings for a sprout that size in that size container.

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Ok, thanks! was starting to worry that I was over watering after reading some other comments.

suggest lowering lights to 18" to 24"

Don’t forget a lot of energy goes into root growth at this stage also.

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Hey Hellraiser, I’ve let them dry out for a good day and a half so far, was going to water them tonight. When you said initially to give them enough water to see a little drainage, I haven’t been doing it this way, rather I’m just using a squirt bottle w filtered water and was spraying enough to where I would get about a half inch moist…I’d never see run off with this method. So should I be soaking them more a bit more then to see the drainage? Then I’ll make sure they are dry next time I do so. (Oh and yes I have holes in the bottom of my solo cups)

Yes, the soil needs a good soaking then allowed to dry. That’s the way I do it and never have any issues. Flood and drought cycles is the way for fast growth. Don’t want it to get bone dry either as the root will start to die if kept too dry for too long.

The problem with spraying a little many times a day is that you’re only getting the top layer of the soil wet and the bottom of the cup may never get enough water, roots are not going to move into dry soil. Watering til some comes out the bottom tells you that you’ve added enough water to moisten all the soil in the container, which is what you want to happen with a plant in a proper sized pot for them.

Now if you have a little plant in a big container, then that’s another issue as flooding a 5 gal pot with a small sprout may take a week or 2 or 3 to dry out fully and that’s too long to keep the roots wet. Which is why I like to transplant multiple times instead of going to huge final pot with small plant. I like to go from solo cup to 2 or 3 gallon then to final pot of 5 to 7 gallons. Doing that and following the flood/drought watering method I have no issues and fast growth.

If I water that sprout fully, I would expect that it does not need to be watered again for 4-5 days (in my environment anyway (75F, 20-30 RH, 125 watt CFL a foot away), as it it grows, it will need water more often, from 4-5 to 3days, then 1-2 days, which would tell me it’s ready for transplant in a bigger container, then it starts again, in bigger pot I expect to water every 4-5 days, then less as it grows, when back down to 1-2 days, time to transplant again.

Thanks for the comments first off! Wow 4-5 days? Ha, now you got me paranoid again as a newbie. I will ditch the spray bottle and pour the water in better to get everything wet and leave them alone for 3-4 days but check.

Here’s my setup fyi:

  • I have them in my grow tent running 450w LED’s (Vipar Spectra) (on 24hrs) at 30" above. I was following the LED guide and had it up higher for the Seedling stage but someone here said to lower them more. My B/W/R is at 60, 60, 30

  • Environment is usually around 75F, and I have a small oscillating fan on all the time

Your sprout is getting plenty of light so that’s good, a sure sign of light too high (or completely insufficient) is when that stem gets really long and wants to fall over, yours is staying nice and short so just need to get that watering down so it can grow fast like a weed.

Overwatering happens when a plant is watered too often, like spraying it multiple times a days (or keeping it perpetually moist under a dome). That’s a good way to kill a sprout (called damping off) With a good potting soil and holes in the container, one cannot overwater by watering too much at one time as the excess water drains out, just get rid of the drained water so it’s not sitting in it soaking more water up.