Cannabis seedlings – How to avoid stunted growth

Content updated in June 2022

In this article, you’ll find information about how to take care of your seedling, some problems that may arise, and how to take care of them.

Cannabis seedling
Cannabis seedling with round leaves (cotyledons) and small serrated leaflets.

Cannabis seedlings like relatively moist conditions. Temperatures should remain warm and lights should be placed near the seedlings and moved up as the plants grow. Cannabis seedlings don’t need extra nutrients and their needs will grow as the plant gets bigger and stronger.

seedling in solo cup
seedling in solo cup

Seedling stage (1 to 3 weeks)

After seed germination, the Cannabis plant enters the seedling stage. When the seed opens, the first pair of small round leaves that appear are called “cotyledons”. After that, the little Cannabis plant starts producing serrated leaves, not the characteristic digitated leaves, only single serrated leaflets or “fingers”.

cannabis seedling going into the vegetative stage
Cannabis seedling growing into the vegetative stage

As the plant grows, new leaves with more leaflets start to develop until the plant produces digitate leaves with serrated borders we can all identify as Cannabis fan leaves. When these leaves appear, the plant enters the vegetative stage. This process may take up to three weeks.

Cannabis digitated leaves

Environmental conditions for Cannabis Seedlings’ growth

  • Warm temperature: Seedlings are very sensitive to temperature, they thrive with temperatures around 72 – 79° F (22 – 26º C). The best temperature for seedlings is 77°F – 25°C. During the dark period when the lights are off, a temperature around 65°F – 18°C can help reduce stem elongation and reduce internode spacing
  • Relative humidity: A very dry environment may cause your seedlings to dry up easily. Keep humidity levels around 60-65%. Burnt leaf tips may be a sign of low humidity levels.
  • Low light intensity: Young plants can’t process high-intensity light yet. Dimmed Led lights or fluorescent low-wattage lights are better for this stage. Light with a high percentage of blue spectrum light is good for this stage, as it promotes vegetative growth without excessive stem elongation
  • Adequate light distance: the distance between the plant and the grow lights depends on their intensity and temperature. Start with a distance of about 8 inches (20 cm) if you are growing with low-intensity lights. Keep high-intensity led lights 3-4 feet (0.90-1.20 cm) away from the seedlings or dim if possible. When growing outdoors, just try to place your plants where the sunlight reaches them and keep an eye on them so the soil never gets to dry up.
  • Light/Photoperiod: Start with 18 hours of light and 6 hours of uninterrupted darkness.
  • Nutrition: Seedlings need none to a low dosage of nutrients or they may experience nutrient burn. If you are growing on soil, choose light mixes and avoid extra fertilization in the first week or two. After that, you can start your fertilizing plan.
  • Pot size: Once germinated, place your seed/seedling in a small pot or cup with drainage for better results. Then move your seedling to a bigger pot once it has grown a few cm or if you see the roots coming out through the drainage holes. 
  • Watering: Water your seedlings with a sprayer to avoid overwatering. Use clean water only.
  • pH levels: Keep pH levels between 5.5 and 6.5 for your seedling to absorb all the nutrients in the soil mix.
Cannabis sprout germinating in soil
Cannabis seedling in soil mix

Always keep an eye on these factors, if they are not taken care of, your plant may experience stunted growth and finally die. Let’s see the typical problems a seedling may have.

Cannabis seedlings growing slow

Why are my seedlings growing so slow?? There are many factors that may lead to stunted growth in the seedling stage, let’s take a look at some of them.

Problems with watering and pot size

Underwatering and overwatering may cause stunted growth and the signs look pretty similar. Small seedlings growing in big pots may experience overwatering problems, as roots need to breathe oxygen to develop and their root systems are yet incapable of absorbing that much water. When the initial pot is big rather than a small cup, there’s a high risk of overwatering as you try to fill the entire medium with water. In this case, the seedling looks droopy and weak, because it’s slowly drowning. If this is the case, just add less water and only around the seedling, let the plant absorb some of it before watering again. That’s why starting in a small cup, jiffies, or plugs is advised. There you can control the amount of water that the plant is taking and the roots are allowed to breathe normally and grow fast.

Cannabis seedlings growing in plugs

On the contrary, if the pot is too small for the seedling, growth would be stunted as well. The roots need space to develop and your risks of having problems with watering are high. In this case, just transplant it to a bigger pot to avoid “root bound”. Poor drainage also leads to these problems.

Damping-off – Fungi disease

Overwatering can lead to “damping off”, which is a very common disease caused by fungi. Pythium, Botrytis, and Fusarium are some of the fungi species that cause damping off, they all appear with excessive humidity and cool temperatures below 68°F – 20°C. A damping-off seedling shows spots on the base of the stem and looks weak and thin. In a matter of a day or two, the stem bends just above the topsoil, and the seedling dies. When the cannabis seedling fell over, there was nothing to do to save it.

seedling emerging grow with jane
Cannabis seedling emerging

To avoid damping off, do not overwater or fertilize your seedling for the first week and avoid excessive relative humidity. If one seedling already died from damping off, take it out as soon as you can before the fungi spread to the other plants. For sterilizing the environment, use a hydrogen peroxide 3% solution.

cannabis seedling damping off pythium
Cannabis seedling damping-off – Cause: Phytium

Problems with nutrients

Nutrient toxicity usually happens when the growing medium has a high concentration of nutrients for the seedling stage and the plants are not able to absorb them. You’ll notice burnt tips and a dark green color in the leaves if this is the case. This is common with designed soil mixes with a high % of Nitrogen or slow-release nutrients.

Nutrient deficiency may happen either because of the growing medium not having any of them or because it has too much of them, so pH levels are off and those nutrients are not available for the plant to uptake, despite being present in the mix. The most common at this stage is Nitrogen deficiency, which shows older leaves turning yellow and then brown and crispy.

Elongated cannabis seedling with brown leaf tips

Sometimes, this happens also when the plant is in a tiny pot and has already used all the nutrients in the soil. If this is the case, the best idea is to transplant it into a bigger pot containing a soil mix and apply nutrients for the vegetative stage. Remember to monitor watering schedules for better results.

Humic and fulvic acids are a good alternatives to nutrients for the first week or two. Humic and fulvic acids facilitate and enhance micro and macronutrient uptake, and their translocation within the plant. They also promote root growth, and microbial activity and act as biostimulants enhancing plant metabolism. The buffering capacity of the soil is improved and it has better water retention. Humus is a great source of humic and fulvic acids and many products derived from leonardite are also very popular Humic and fulvic acids products are recommended for every soil medium, including coco coir, soil mixes, and hydroponics systems as well. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when adding these products, because an excess of humic and fulvic acids may slow down the plant’s growth.

cannabis seedlings in solo cups
Cannabis seedlings in small cups

Problems with temperature

If temperatures are too high or too low, seedlings are bound to experience stunted growth. This shows with leaves tips turning up and curling. If this is the case, lower the environment temperature and monitor for changes. As stated before, keep the environment temperatures between 72 – 79 F (22 – 26º C). The best temperature for seedlings is 77°F – 25°C. During the dark period when the lights are off, a temperature around 65°F – 18°C can help reduce stem elongation and reduce internode spacing

cooler temperature at night for cannaibs seedlings
Cannabis seedlings with cooler temperatures during the dark period

Problems with light

Too much light or not enough light also leads to stunted growth. Increase the light intensity as the seedling grows.
Seedlings not receiving enough light grow very tall and weak stems, with few leaves. The stem just grows tall and white. If this is the case, your growing light needs to be closer to the plant. Always do the “hand test”, placing your hands on the top of your plants for 30 seconds. So, if it feels like too much heat for your hand, it’s probably too much for the plant, so move up your lamp until it feels warm but not hot. LED lights may not emit a lot of heat but they may burn the plant anyway if placed too close. Follow the manufacturer’s suggestion for keeping the correct distance. When seedlings are receiving too much light, leaves are curled and seem burnt. If this is the case, move your lights up and also do the “hand test”.

cannabis seedling elongated stem
Cannabis seedling with an elongated stem

Cannabis seed shell stuck on the seedling

A Cannabis seed just sprouted but the seed shell is stuck on the seedling. What should I do? The seed shell normally falls off when the first pair of round leaves (cotyledons) are formed. Sometimes, this shell is very hard and gets attached to the already-formed cotyledons. You can spray it with clean water to soften the shell and leave it for a few more hours. If you decide to take it off, you can try spraying it a little with water and gently take the shell off using sterilized tweezers. Be very careful not to damage the seedling!
Notice that in the following pics, the seedling finally manages to get rid of the seed shell by spraying water on it, but the soil mix seems muddy and not of good quality. Overwatering may cause stunted growth in seedlings

seed shell stuck on seedling 2
seed shell stuck on cannabis seedling germinating
seed shell stuck on Cannabis seedling 3

When to transplant cannabis seedlings

When should I transplant my seedlings? If the seedlings are in cups, jiffies, or plugs, in a matter of a week they should be ready to transplant to the next container. When the seedling’s leaves reach the border of the cup and/or the roots reach the bottom and start showing through the drainage holes, it’s time to transplant. Don’t expect the seedling to keep growing if you don’t transplant it, remember each plant grows as much as the containers allow her. A cannabis seedling in a cup for too much time is going to experience stunted growth. For an autoflowering plant, lost weeks in a small container can result in smaller adult plants.

cannabis seedling jiffy
Cannabis seedling growing in jiffy ready to transplant

Be extra careful when transplanting and try not to damage or touch the fine roots. Have the next pot ready with the chosen medium and water immediately after the transplant.
The seedling should continue to grow every day if everything went right. When there’s root damage, the seedling may take a few days to repair and grow more roots before resuming growing the stem and leaves. Be patient!

plant carefully your cannabis seedling
Carefully plant your seedling

Take care of your Cannabis seedlings!

At the seedling stage, Cannabis plants are very sensitive and vulnerable, their root system is not yet developed and they need special care, little watering, and humidity. A healthy seedling has a short stem and green leaves.

Remember to take notes about this stage and monitor your environmental factors. You can do this with our free app Grow with Jane! Follow this link to download it today. Get the Grow with Jane app.

Hopefully, your seedling will rapidly grow and enter the next stage of a healthy plant. As said before, when the digitated leaves with serrated borders we can all identify as Cannabis fan leaves appear, the plant enters into the vegetative stage.

cannabis plant in veg stage grow with jane
Cannabis plant in the vegetative stage

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61 thoughts on “Cannabis seedlings – How to avoid stunted growth”

  1. Thank you so much for your response. I am growing white widow autoflowering feminized seeds. This one is growing well. The other is bubba kush. I planted them at the same time. However the kush although has a stem, the seed is still attached to the stem and I don’t see any leaves. What should I do? I don’t understand why one looks fine but the other won’t let go of the root. Can you advise me? Ty

    • Hello, Elizabeth! Not every plant grows at the same rate, that’s completely normal. The seed shell normally falls off when the two first round leaves (cotyledons) are formed. Sometimes, this shell is very hard and gets attached to the already formed cotyledons. You can gently spray it with clean water to soften the shell, leave it for a few more hours and watch for changes. Another option is to keep your seedling in a very humid environment, that helps too.
      If it doesn’t fall and you decide to take it off, you can try spraying it a little more and gently take the shell off using sterilized tweezers. Be very careful not to force it and damage the seedling!
      Thanks for contacting us! I hope those seedlings start to grow strong soon. Those are great strains to grow!

    • I’m growing outside and my cannabis seed sprouted but a slug ate the cotyledons. I caught it early enough that the stem is still there. Can my little seedling bounce back??

      • Hi! I’m sorry to hear this! Damaged seedlings may recover if they grow a pair of leaves soon enough, but it’s difficult for them.
        Next time, I’d recommend starting the germination process indoors and take your plant outside once it has grown a few leaves to avoid pests from eating your seedling.

  2. Hello I’m growing my first plant I’ve never done it before . I’m excited but there’s one issue It has its 2 cotyledon leafs & it’s true leafs one of the cotyledon leafs has a brown/tan tip how do I cure that ?

    • Hello! I hope it’s not too late for this! Tan tips in seedlings may have different causes, most of them related to growing medium, watering or light.
      If you need further help, please upload your photos to the Grow with Jane app. Then send us an in-app message and we’ll be happy to take a look!
      Here’s the link for downloading for free the Grow with Jane app for Ios and Android
      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      Happy growing!

  3. Hello, I have been growing white widow and blue Dream for a month and a day, and i am experiencing no growth. It’s still a seedling, and doesn’t have the true set of 5 leaves yet. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong! I transplanted them into larger cups because their roots had filled the bottom of the solo cup up, but they are STILL seedlings

    • Hello! I hope it’s not too late for this! Stunted growth in seedlings may have different causes, sometimes related to lighting, growing medium or watering.
      If you need further help, please upload your photos to the Grow with Jane app. Then send us an in-app message and we’ll be happy to take a look!
      Here’s the link for downloading for free the Grow with Jane app for Ios and Android

      Happy growing!

  4. Hi, I am 10 days into an auto Northern lights, I’m concerned because there is just a single thick root still, I wanted to move it to the DWC I have but I cannot still. The color seems ok and the light used also ok, because it has not grown high in this period.

    I wanted to let it grow the roots in a glass with water, keeping the roots submerged, but I am not sure it will make good on it.
    I decided to make a non tight ball of cotton around the roots and place it in a flat pot with humidity.

    I am almost going to get a new one and try again. Should I?

    • Hi Guille, seedlings need to be placed in their growing medium as soon as the seed sprouts, even when growing hydroponics.
      If you go for DWC, make sure the water has proper aeration because the roots need water and oxygen to grow. Use air pumps and air stones for this purpose. Use only hydroponic mineral nutrients, check pH and water temperature.
      I’d recommend preparing everything beforehand so as soon as your seed sprouts you can start growing your plant properly.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. Hello! I’ve noticed some of my veg plants have different lengths on the stems, some are very short between “levels” and look busy and others look legging. They are all in the same area with same amount of light +13hrs. 2gal containers they are about 30days old since I started them as seedlings. Also a few seem lighter green and others more foresty green….
    I’m a begginer so I’m having alot of fun with seeds, I mistakenly left 4 newly seeldings thag I transplanted into pots from the ziplock bag and papertowel…super healthy +3imch stems with yellowishgreen cotydelons in the sun at 90F and a couple shriveled up. Medium was still moist can I save them???

    • Hello Liliee! Every plant grows at its own pace, according to the light, nutrients available, airflow and genetics. Some strains produce taller plants and some others rather bushy plants. Just be careful, sometimes the tallest plant, that one that has elongated before the others, turns out to be a male. Just check the nodes (where the branches meet the stems) for signs of preflowers. Here’s an article I wrote about how to determine your plant’s gender.
      Regarding those seedlings that were scorched by the sun, take them inside, spray them with clean water and leave them in a moist environment and low light intensity until they recover.
      If you are planning on starting seedlings indoors and then taking them outdoors, better do it slowly. Just a few hours a day until they get used to their new environment. Never let seedlings unattended in the sun on a very hot day or they might die of dehydration.
      I hope this helps. Thanks for reading and commenting!!
      Happy growing! =)

  6. My 2 week old seedling are stunted. I made the mistake of trying to start them in their final 5 gal fabric pot and I also made the mistake of not buffering my coco. Is it possible to try scooping them out and re-potting them at this stage, or should I just start over :-/

    • Hi Kym, growing in coco has many advantages but it takes researching and trying different methods until you find the perfect one for you. It requires reading, taking notes, measuring pH, EC, and other things.
      Growing in unbuffered coco leads to stunted growth, mainly caused by Calcium and Magnesium deficiencies. Many plants live 2-3 weeks and then start dying because Ca and Mag are not available to the plant. For now, you may take out these seedlings and try to place them in small containers while you prepare your substrate. Although, it would be a better idea to start over with new seeds if possible. Take out this seedling and prepare your coco for your next grow.
      Here are some tips:
      – Before you use coco, rinse it, buffer it and mix it with perlite to avoid Calcium and Magnesium deficiencies.
      – Buffer coco by soaking it in Ca and Mg solution.
      – Start your next seedlings in small containers, like solo cups. Fill them with coco/perlite.
      – 75% coco – 25% perlite would be a good mix to start. Try to find the perfect one for you
      – Start with low EC and increase it gradually.
      – Keep Ph levels around 6.0 – 6.4
      – Do not let coco substrate dry in the seedling stage. Water/spray your seedlings with a small amount of water, once or twice per day (leaves and soil) – Keep high Relative Humidity (60-80%).

      I hope this helps for starters.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. Hello, newbie here as well.
    I’ve been trying to grow a couple purple kush plants from seeds. I soaked the seeds until they dropped to the bottom of the glass then placed them in presoaked rockwool pods in 5.5 ph water. Two of the seedlings started coming up in about 3 days but they’re taking so slow to grow. It’s been 10 days and still haven’t seen much of any growth. The temperature and humidity are good (22-26 celcius, 90-99 % humidity). The one seedling has just it’s initial leaves but one is starting to brown. I want to put these into a DWG system eventually.

    • Hello Brian! Sorry for the delayed response, how are those seedlings going? Temperatures are fine but relative humidity is a little high at 90%-99% levels, this may lead to some fungal infections and dumping off (this may kill seedlings). Try lowering RH to at least 80% until you see the first set of true leaves growing. Also, at this stage seedlings need light to grow.
      If they are not growing it may be due to poor lighting and/or excessive watering. Try giving your seedling 18 hours of low-intensity light positioned not too far away from the plant and watering with a sprayer to avoid stunted growth.
      I hope this helps! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Hello! If there are no Cannabis specific products available in your area, you can try tomato fertilizers. Just as Cannabis products, they come for the vegetative and flowering stage. They are said to work very well on Cannabis crops. Always check that your fertilizers are not harmful for human consumption, as fruit fertilizers are, for example. If growing organic, worm castings and animal guano (bat, goat, chicken) work great for Cannabis, and complementing them with molasses works even better.
      I’m writing articles about nutrients for Cannabis plants, specially crafted for beginners, so stay tuned!
      I hope your plant grows strong and beautiful! Thanks for reading and commenting!
      Happy growing!

  8. Like so many here, I am growing for the first time. I decided to try my first seed (I’m doing them one at a time in the event I screw up) in a peat pod. Germination went well and I put the seed with tap root in the pod 5 days ago. Was happy to see her break the surface a day later and then grow her first set of true leaves on day 2. Then everything kinda stopped. I wasn’t hugely concerned as I have read that in the early stages, lack of action above the soil can mean all kinds of great things (like root growth) are going on beneath. However, I’ve seen very little growth since then and, now in the later part of day 5, the edges of the leaves are turning yellow. I did a bit of research and I have learned that if you are using coco coir you should start nutrients fairly early. Do you know if this is the same with peat? I can’t seem to find anything on this. I am also concerned about PH. To prepare for the next couple of weeks, I went out and bought some nutrients and a PH tester. I tested my water and it seems to have a PH around 7. The manufacturer of the peat pod indicated the pod should have a PH of around 5.5. I did a test where I saturated an empty pod, let it soak for 10 minutes or so and tested the run off. I was shocked to find that the PH was probably about 4.5, maybe 5 if I’m lucky. I should note that I’m using the General Hydroponics drop tester so matching the colour is not as accurate as a PH pen might be. Regardless, it was orange coloured which would make it much more acidic than the optimal 6.5-7.0 range that I believe I’m looking for. The seedling has been under an LED grow light on the 18/6 cycle and the temperature has been maintained at 70F with relative humidity between 65 and 70%. I’d appreciate any thoughts you might have. Now I am going to install your app on my phone. Thanks.

    • Hi Jetblack! Thanks for commenting and sorry for the late response. Next time, please send your Grower Support questions as an in-app message in the Grow with Jane app to get answers a lot quicker than in the blog. Also, we can see your Growlog and give you better diagnostics based on your tracked actions and photos!
      Peat is naturally acidic, so it’s normal to get low pH readings. For growing Cannabis, peat can be mixed with Dolomite Lime to increase pH levels. Also, you can add perlite to help to keep air spaces in the substrate. Mixing some worm castings or guano helps plant nutrition and may help to balance pH, but do not rely on it.
      Dolomite lime may be used when preparing the growing medium and you can also re-amend the soil if it becomes too acidic again throughout the plant stages. There are commercial premixed peat-dolomite-perlite substrates, to make things easier. They work great for Cannabis but bear in mind that peat does not contain the necessary nutrients so you’ll need to add them!
      Keep testing for pH levels until you succeed!
      If you need further help with your plant, please send an in-app message and we’ll be happy to help.
      Have a nice day and happy growing!

    • Try using Roots Organics Lush soil. It’s a little expensive but it has all the nutrients in the soil you need for growing a healthy plant. So you’ll save money by not having to purchase separate nutrients. You’ll also produce a more organic pure tasting product.

    • JetBlack,

      I had the exact same issue while using peat and perlite. I did change to vermiculite but I noticed no differences in my ph run off, still 4.5. I did raise my ph with Bonide Hydrated lime. You can purchase a 10lb bag at your local ACE hardware store for about $12.99. You mix this into you media at a rate of 40g per cubic ft of grow media.
      1 cubic feet = 1 ft2 1 ft2 = 1 cubic feet
      2 cubic feet = 1.5874 ft2 2 ft2 = 2.8284 cubic feet
      3 cubic feet = 2.0801 ft2 3 ft2 = 5.1962 cubic feet

      You should be able to raise your ph to the appropriate level by measuring your run off. Also start your nutrients about 1/2 strength right after about 1-2 weeks from sprouting. It appears you are doing everything else right on the money!
      Hope this helps.

  9. Not my first grow but my first time getting a seedling beyond round cotelydon to serrated cotelydon leaves. Sunday one of my cays pulled the seedling from its rockwool dwc home leaving an inch of root in the rockwool cube, I removed the broken root from the wool and gently placed the seedling back into the wool and dwc, and it is showing growth.

    At this point would you say the plant is safe from this trauma? It is showing new growth since the incident. At the time I wasn’t running a light as there was no chlorophyll collectors (leaves). Now I’m running it under a 60watt seedling lamp from Home Depot. Don’t want to overwhelm it with the cob led yet.

    • Hi! This sounds very specific. Sometimes seedlings are able to regrow a part of the broken roots, sometimes it doesn’t, but you’d notice in one or two days. If you have more questions about your plants, please download our app from and contact us via in app message, so you can also share pics and any info you think would be helpful. We’ll be happy to take a look and share some personalized advice!

  10. Growing 3 strains 2 are doing great the 3rd is stuck it hasnt had any new growth in weeks and the temp light and feed is spot on…. should i just pull it im about to switch to flower and i just dont think this plant is gonna make it it has to be root bound?

    • Hi Shane! When plants become rootbound they stop growing, but it also could be something else. Choosing your best plants for flowering is a good idea if you have limited space and nutrients.
      If you want some personalized advice on your plants, please download our app from and contact us via in app message, so you can also share pics and any info you think would be helpful. We’ll be happy to take a look and share some growing tips with you!

  11. What if the newly leaflet got eaten by a cockroach? Does it grow back? Or some technique to do so that it will grow back?

    • Hi Alex! Probably that leaflet won’t grow back but don’t worry, new leaves will grow soon! Try to keep bugs away from your plants and they’ll be fine.
      Have a nice day!

  12. I’m a newby at this. Growing 2 different strains, Blue Minto & Fruity OG Kush. Three of the four are doing well. However, the one plant is drooping over & looks wilted. Based on my research & what I have read it would appear that there is likely too much moisture & maybe lack of oxygen. I need to hold off giving it water & poke holes in the medium. Hoping it survives. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

  13. Hey there – after having great luck out of the gate with my seedlings, repotted and growing well in my uneducated opinion – they have stalled and I cannot determine sex. What is the best way for me to fix this problem and active their growth quickly so I can identify males and discard. Need help asap. thanks so much.

  14. As I started to read your information I though, wow, they do know their stuff, right down to the double watering. every year I remind myself on how to start seeds and your information was great, thanks a bunch.

  15. Hi, Put my soaked seeds in jiffy starters, a couple days later they emerged. They were in a indirect sunlight area. After a week now leaves same size but 3 inch white spindly stems. Should I put ouside a few hours a day to get more light? put in bigger pot and bring soil up higher on stem, closer to leaves? Use some fluorescent lights over them?
    Thanks, Jim

    • Hi Jim! Yes to all of those options. If you can give them 18 hours of light (outdoors + lamps) and give them a bigger pot with a rich soil mix, they can start growing strong. If you need personalized advice for your growing space, please download the Grow with Jane app and talk to us from there, we’ll be happy to help! Thanks for reading and commenting, happy growing!

  16. Hi, thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have a question I hope you can help me with… My cat ate the the little leaves out of seedling, I feel so sad about that. Would they grow again or I need to give up on her?

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Karim, I’m sorry to hear this! If the true leaves survive, there’s a chance the seedling may survive too. Without leaves or cotyledons, the seedling can’t continue to live. Maybe you have to start again with another seed and protect the plants from unwanted feline attacks. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  17. Great site. My question is that I noticed my plant had seed sacks only after 3-4 weeks was only about 4” high, Is that possible?

    • Hi Darren, it is unlikely. A 3-4 week old plant will most likely be showing signs of early or preflowering, meaning that it’s showing either the first male flowers (which look like small balls with no “hair”) or female flowers (pair of white “hairs”), or hermaphrodite flowers. It takes a few more weeks for the plant to develop the flowers completely and start pollinating each other which then takes to seed forming. A plant cannot make seeds without going through the flowering stage. If you are seeing something like “sacs” then it can be unopened female flowers or unopened male flowers. Here’s an article with photos and tips to help beginners identify the sex of the cannabis plant and macro photography of the first signs of the flowering stage. I hope you find it useful!

    • Hi Naldo, this could happen for many reasons. Check your water source, aeration and nutrients applied first. For personalized advice about your plants, please send us an in-app message from the Grow with Jane app and our Grower Support team will be happy to help! Thanks for reading and commenting, happy growing!

  18. I have grown 2 seeds and 2 seedlings about 5 years ago and forgot what I did but it worked. Now I am following directions for paper towel germinating (it worked) and have just put them in peat pots with a grow tray with the lid on them. So far so good. My question is, how soon do you put them on the window ledge for the sun or do you wait till the first leaves start to come up. Right now, my peat pots are still in a dark warm place.

    • Hi Sharon! As soon as the seedling emerges and has two small leaves (cotyledons) you can place it near a source of light so it starts growing. Thanks for reading and commenting, happy growing!

  19. Hi there! I´m having a problem that never had before. My plants are not growing much height. leaves are extremely healthy, they are in a 0,80 x 0.80 space with LED CREE 100W. I thought that lights were too close but I think it wasn´t. Had on a different height for almost a month and they are still getting taller in an extremely slow time. they have been almost two months vegetating and their height is about 25 to 35 cm. I would be pleased if someone answers me! hope you are fine and having a good week!

    • Hi Franco, this stunted growth may be due to multiple reasons, some of them are low temperature, low nutrient availability, poor airflow, poor drainage or damp soil, to name a few. You can download the Grow with Jane app for free at to show us your plants and get personalized advice. Thanks for reading and commenting, happy growing!

  20. Hi Alicia,

    I am growing a Northern Lights Auto. It is about 4.5 weeks old. Seems to be growing “ok” but maybe 4 inches high but no nodes yet. Should I be worried?

    • Hi Mike, if the seedling had been growing only a long stem and it still has just two or four leaves it means that the light source is too high. You need to move the light panel closer to the plant. Look up the manufacturer’s instruction of your light source to know the recommended distance to the plant for the seedling stage. For LED lights it depends on the light intensity but it might be from 30 to 60 cm from the top of the plant. Another reason might be low temperatures causing stunted growth. If you need further assistance you can download the free Growing App at and contact us or join the Community where you can upload pictures and ask questions. Thanks for reading and commenting. Happy growing!

  21. I am very, very new to this. My one seedling, (a Purplematic feminized auto-flowering) is just 3 days old and I am already worried that she will not survive! She is tallish, and only has two leaves. I checked the pH of the water that ran through the soil and it was 6.1. From what I have read this is too acidic right? The pH of the water I am watering with is 7.0.

    • Hi Diane, yes it’s a little acidic but not too way off so it’s possible for the seedling to continue growing, it depends on the growing medium among other factors. Try to adjust to the suggested parameters for better results and keep an eye on color changes or stunted growth. Downloading the free Grow with Jane app you can access Grower Support and our Growing Community, where you can share photos and your Growlogs, ask questions and more! Thanks for reading and commenting, happy growing! I hope you have a wonderful grow!

    • Hi Steven, seedlings that do not receive enough light will grow very tall and weak stems with few leaves. The stem will only grow tall and white. If this is the case, the light needs to be moved closer to the plant. Follow the light manufacturer’s recommendations to maintain the correct distance. If the seedlings receive too much light, the leaves will be curled and appear burnt. If this is the case, move the lamps higher. You can cover the elongated stem with substrate up to 2 cm from the leaves to avoid the stem from breaking. Thanks for reading and commenting, happy growing!


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