Stunted / Slow Photos…New Grower

I started 2 seeds at the very end of June, they were seedlings by July 1st, so I’ll call them 3 months / 12 weeks old now.

The seeds were obtained before I knew about seed banks etc. I was told they were “Jolly Rancher” variety, and that’s it. First I assumed they were autos, but now I know they can’t be.

As soon as they had 5-6 nodes, I did some pretty intense trimming / training. One plant got hacked down to the 3rd node and I began training it into a manifold type arrangement. Photo:

The other I only FIM-ed and then later started leaning it over, originally was going to get it to circle the pot, but since it’s so small I’m just going for a level top and leaving it “leaning” as is. (Note this has since been repotted like the other plant) Photo:

They’ve always been very tiny, almost bonsai-like, but from what I understand, post trimming the plants are supposed to recover & thrive. Mine not so much. The only trimming I’ve done in about 5/6 weeks has been removal of some of the smaller lower leaves to clean up the main stem and lower branches.

I started off using a more coco-based mix and feeding with “Humboldt’s Secret” nutrients. I decided after researching and reading threads by Hellraiser, to switch to super soil.

  • Currently in 4 gallon pots with FF Happy Frog w/ added perlite and living soil concentrate in the bottom 1/3rd of pot. pH balanced water only now.

  • Formerly in 1 gallon terra-cotta pots, using nutrients, added cal-mag when I realized the filtered water was causing pale leaves.

  • Lit by off-brand lights that say they’re 1200W but consume only 120W. I used a light meter app to calculate PPFD and DLI and have the light adjusted accordingly. 18:6 schedule but am thinking of shortening it…

  • Room is currently heated to 72 at night and 76/77 during the day. Humidity 45-58% naturally this time of year. Room was previously not heated and was 67/68 at night and 72 during the day. Added heat ~3 weeks ago assuming were stunted by the cold.

  • Fan gently blowing toward the “faces” of the plants from across the room 24/7, leaves just barely move. Second fan that blows at light level 2x a day for a couple hours (auto shutoff).

  • I follow Hellraisers watering guidelines and they’re not overwatered. I only water every 4+ days until runoff just begins, then I suck the extra water out of the saucer with a turkey baster.

I’m sorry to be an impatient newbie asking “what’s wrong with my plants?”
I had to get over my own ego and realize it’s 100% me, and all the research, reading, and Googling I’ve done thus far hasn’t eliminated my blind spots. Enlighten me, please.


They look healthy tbh. Minus the bit of yellowing
The only real thing I see that could be holding you back is your lights. Everything in the grow is important, but lighting is the literal fuel for the plant… If you go with something from HLG, you won’t be disappointed.

What light is it? What is your reported DLI?

I know nothing about living soils so can’t help you there…

Always possible with unknown genetics that the seeds just suck… Sorry to say but it’s a possibility…

1 Like

Each plant has her own light. I will get my light numbers (PAR and DLI) again tonight and update you all.

((I got the light meter initially because the one plant began to show slight signs of light stress on the upper leaves, so I Googled around and learned how to calculate the light needs…I had been in the school of “these are cheap lights, and more light is better, so let’s have them on full blast…”))

1 Like

Not just about the power though. It’s also about the spectrum.

Watch this!

And this!

I will find Kelvin data on my lights if I can. I just know they’re “full spectrum LED” and it’s a white light.

I have two different lights and here is what I was able to calculate:

Light 1: Has a dimmer, and ranges between 4000-3750K at various brightness levels. Average PPFD at the top of the plant (measured in 4 places then mathematically averaged) is 500, which is pushing it for this plant as she gets a little stressed with more light than this. DLI calculated at 40.

Light 2: No dimmer. 7400K, average PPFD 630, DLI calculated around 60. This light was too intense for Plant 1 (T shaped), but the “laying down” plant seems fine with it.

As I was putting these numbers together, I did some quick research and I understand that TOO MUCH light is wasted and stressful for the plants. Based on this, I might turn Light 1 a bit brighter and change my hours schedule from 18:6 to 16:8…thoughts on that?

1 Like

Updated Pic of Plant 2:

1 Like

Hmmm it’s hard to say tbh then. Maybe the issue lies with your nutrients. Have you checked your runoff PPM/EC? Showing signs of what I believe is Nitrogen deficiency, which would definitely stunt growth.

Happy Frog has enough nutrients for roughly 4 weeks. I know you’re using a super soil or whatever at the bottom, but it’s possible this isn’t producing enough nutrients for your plant. Again I know nothing about super soils. I have just used straight Happy Frog with Jack’s 321 nutrients… Don’t even need CalMag. Calcium provided by Jacks Part B (Calcium Nitrate, provides nitrigen too) and Magnesium provided my Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) and I only use RO water.

If I were you I would test my runoff water to see what your ppm/ec is. Hopefully you have a reliable meter!

I have checked runoff PPM and it was in the 600s, but it’s been a while and I have up-potted and am using just pH water now. FF Happy Frog soil. I can check runoff PPM next time I water…it will probably be high just based on the new soil.

I edited my above post btw.

Btw if not putting nutrients in water, the water does not need to be pHed as long as it is very low ppm/ec. The soil will keep its pH.

Sorry for the long wait for a reply, I am new here and ran out of posts for the day. :slight_smile:

The plants were just repotted into the Happy Frog less than a week ago, so I trust the nutrients are fine, and maybe the deficiencies will work themselves out with a little more time.

I will stop stressing about the water pH in this case. I was doing some complicated mixing of dechlorinated tap water and RO water to get perfect pH, but I will just use the dechlorinated tap water for a while…that will be much easier. We have good (aquifer) water here anyway, 95% of folks drink it straight from the tap.

Thanks everyone! I will try my best to wait a week or so before bugging y’all again.

1 Like

Update on my slow growers. I put the best one in flower on Halloween. Here she is today. She is 4.5 months old.

1 Like

If anyone can have a look and make sure everything seems all right? I’ve noticed some of the “hairs” are going from white to rust colored. That’s nothing to be alarmed about, correct? @Dankloud