Unhealthy seedling

A question from a fellow grower:

Only 1 seed germinated on the 7th day. It does not look healthy (slow growth) but I am I’m working with it. I guess I am a little disappointed since I followed the advice given on the web site. I used a starter cube to minimize “user error”.

I am a serious beginner. I’ve purchased all necessary items to start an indoor grow so set up is solid. What should I do? I just want this to work.

I am indoors and the humidity has maintained at approximately 50 % and the temp. at approximately 80 degrees. I am careful about overwatering in this phase (based upon what I have read) due to roots not getting enough oxygen. I keep a consistent air flow. I do not have a humidifier/dehumidifier or Co2. . Also, should strength of nutrient mix, EC, or TDS matter at the germination stage? I hope the pictures I have sent explain/answer some of the questions you have, if not please let me know since I am going to make this work.

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Place a clear plastic cup over her it will hold moisture at around the 70-80% rh try to relax quite often plants focus heavy on roots before showing much top growth they also don’t need circulation fan early it draws moisture off them faster than they can provide it. Which looks to be a large part of the issue aside from the rich soil the roots are attempting to start in, I typically layer my soil or transplant to different soil as plants get larger.

Mainly it’s the large fan that is pulling the moisture out of her I would use the cup as suggested and may even move her to a starter soil in a smaller pot until she’s a bit larger 3-4 trues leaf sets

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Agree with Donaldj on the fan and the cup for capturing humidity. I would keep the fan off until you either need it for smell or plants get big enough to need air circulation. I cut a two liter clear soda bottle in half and keep the seedling covered as long as possible to maximize humidity. Did you use the Fox Farms soil in the pot for the seedling? Sometimes it is a little too strong for beginning seedlings and will stunt them. I use Jiffy starter soil with nothing added. As a rule, I do not add anything to the soil until well after transplant and then the Fox Farms soil should hold it until you are out of vegetative stage. I also use a florescent tube light on it until it makes transplant stage and keep it very close to the seedling. After transplant I bring in the HPS light and keep it a safe distance away. Too much heat from light at the beginning can toast a seedling.

Do you have Robert’s free Grow book? It is easy to download and really helps at the beginning. I think most of us started there. It gives you a good baseline knowledge. Sometimes the growers that have been here a while develop a language that can be confusing if you do not have a grasp of the basics. We all started as babes in the woods and had to learn as we go. If you depend on everyone’s advise it can take a long time to get up to speed and all of us have a little different way of growing. What works for me may not be to your liking. I spent a LOT of time researching on line when I started and I think most of us did the same thing. I am by no means a professional but have a few good grows under my belt. Do some research and keep asking questions. It sounds like you have a nice set up to start with. Good luck on your grow and keep posting. Hope this makes sense for you. Jerry


as @TxGrowman said, When using FF Ocean soil you don’t need any of the nutrients yet. The soil is “warm” to seedlings already, meaning it has stuff in it that can already burn the plants at a young age. I used it and made it through.

Are you checking PH? Looks like you have a meter. And as others said, putting a humidity dome over it will help. Think more like 75% humidity for seedlings.


How is the seedling coming? Sometimes they just need time to get going. Keep us posted !

Not well. Still slow growth. I put a clear plastic container over it as advised. The temp. is 85 degrees. I can’t really test the humidity under the container (I think) but there is condensation on the side of the container. Ph is 6.0, I am not using any nutrients. I’m waiting for new Ph calibration fluid to arrive to re-calibrate the meter because I’m not sure if ii did it right the first time. I also order a humidifier. I am taking heed to all the feedback given. It is much appreciated.

If you have condensation on the side of the glass you are most likely good. The Fox Farms soil is good but it may be too “hot” for a seedling (meaning too many nutrients). My eyes may be (getting old lol) off but it looks like nitrogen burn on the leaf edges. It will take a while to recover from that. It is also in a large pot and the plant will try to establish good roots before adding too much to the top. A smaller pot might be a better choice next time until the growth gets established with 3-6 sets of leaves (nodes or families they are called).

I leave mine in Jiffy starter soil until I get 3- 6 families and then transfer to a 1 gal pot. If they look really healthy I might go straight to a 3 gallon pot but keep in mind that growth will slow down considerably until the roots get a good hold. The up side to the bigger pot is not having to transfer again.

I do not give any nutrients at all until it is well into veg and usually what is in the soil is sufficient unless you veg for over two months. Many times I give no nutes until I start flowering. When I do, I start low and go slow.

A pH of 6.0 in soil is too acidic. Might help to flush with water closer to 6.5 - 6.8 and get some of the nutrients out of the soil. Your seedling most likely got stunted with the pH and nutrients. From here it is your choice to continue growing or scrap it and start over. You will learn either way. It may recover but will take time to get established.

Robert’s grow book talks about it and covers it pretty well. Hope this helps.

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some things have known ph to cheat and calibrate Vinegar Lemon juice etc… add some holes to cups or prop them off soil so some fresh air gets in and they can start to adjust to lower humidity
Lemon juice has ph of 2

you may find a few common house hold items which you can use to rough calibrate with

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you need to lower the temp to 75 f 80 max . the soil is to hot for the seedling . meaning to nutrient rich . water on the outer edges as not to drown . don’t add any nutes for a while they don’t need it ,at all … at this stage id recommend cpf or regular fluorescents till you see 3-4 tru leaf sets .
Hammer .

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The seedling did not make it. I learned a LOT from all the informative, positive and encouraging feedback! I am starting a new grow and will use the advice you all have given will update the progress.



It happens buddy, good luck with the next one ! :thumbsup:

I’m out of “like” @Paranorman, so, :+1::heart::ok_hand::v::innocent::wink:

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@gman sorry to hear. Keep us posted on this one and she will go better!

Unfortunately this is how we learn sometimes. Take your additional knowledge and apply it again. Good luck