HELP! i’m new to this solo and i’m struggling

can anyone tell me what i’m doing wrong? this is my first time attempting this process on my own. My plan is to get these bad boys healthy so i can get them out doors in a few more weeks but they haven’t shown any progress in about 3 weeks. i’ve lost a few for some reason but i want to baby the others to health

Hi @HeidiS

Welcome to the forum :peace_symbol:

My first question is what kind of lighting are you using? What is the duration of the lights being on? How far away from the seedlings is the light?

For seedlings to really take off indoors, you need the correct light spectrum, plenty of it (at least 18 hours a day) and the lighting needs to be fairly close to the plants

So I am noticing “Mother Earth with Perlite” bag above your cups…is that the soil you used?
Lets try to get a better picture of what is going on, ok?
Solo cups, seeds that were germinated how?
What temp and humidity is the grow area?
What lights are you using, what strength and how close to the seedlings?
DO you have air circulation?
What do you feed / water them with (tap, bottled, ro, nutrient enhanced water, etc) and how often?
What is / are the strains…
Maybe we can get a handle on things when we have abetter / bigger picture of the process

and Welcome to the community!


Hi. the soil is coco+perlite. i germinate seeds with the paper towel method. 4* wedding cake, 4* OG kush, 2*deelite and some other random seeds. after germination i placed in rapid rooters in a dome using the T5 grow lite 6 inch above plants and heating pads. (no tent so i have no idea temperatures or humidity). o spray once or twice light mist per day. the stems started getting tall and bending so i placed each one in cups with holes at the bottom then only 7 surviving ing so far. i hurting over loosing these babies

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hey K. i’m using t5 grow light 2.2 and currently they are 12 inches above. i had it at 6 inch before and lighting where off about 10-8 hour. i’ll move light closer. thank you

btw. i’m using bottle water only i did mix the soil with a minute amount of 484 and 444. saw it on youtube :grinning:

Do you have holes in your cups for drainage? Not saying it is bad but I have not mist watered seedlings and had good success.

Why do stems get tall?
There are just a few reason why stems of seedlings will stretch.
Light is not close enough…If the light is not close enough, the seedlings stretch to reach it
Heat - the heat is too hot and the seedlings roots grow real fast and the seedlings stretch
substrate - coco & perlite…is the perlite the one that has nutrients, like Miracle Grow perlite?
Coco - certain brands of coco need to be WASHED (RINSED) with water as it’s affects ph radically
Wash your coco with water and rinse, 1 or 2 times before you use it.
Sprout the seedlings. Place the plugs directly inthe substrate. The substrate should not be dripping. If you ball it up and squeeze, it should retain the shape like a snowball but crumble easily. No water should come out when you squeeze. Place the rooters directly in and DO NOT MIST or OVERWATER. We usually DOME them but not always necessary. Place the light ON and leave it on a minimum of 18 hours. I do not turn off my lights on seedlings. When you see the cotyledons (not true leaves, those first 2 round leaves) and the first pair of leaves, usually time to remove the dome. We keep our lights at about 18 inches…DO not mist to wet the seedlings,especially if lights are on. water gently, just a little to really on wet the plug…When we reach about the 3rd node, that is when you PLANT IT and you can begin feeding nutrients…That takes about 3 weeks


hey Jared. yes i have holes in the bottom of the cups. i usually just spray the dirt. thanks

Hello Mike. thank you so much for you help/advice. the soil is actually mother earth. i will revisit care and update soon. so for surviving is 3 OG kush, 3 wedding cake and one deelite. THANKS

Hello all, i have revisited how i was handling my babies and i finally started seeing some results. still a slow grow but non the less. i think i was over watering and lighting was no good. i run light now 18 hrs, lowered the lights and got rid of the soaked soil and water once daily with a light spray. i still need to keep them inside for at least another 4 weeks (waiting for warmer weather). Any other advice would be highly appreciated.


in about a week, maybe 2, the solo cups will need to be replaced with containers or go outside. If you are going right outside, make sure you temper your babies…do not just stick them out in the sun…I start mine out at night and leave till around 10-11am…bring in and back out, extending daylight an hour or 2 each day (unless there is going to be a 90-100 degree day
Once they are accustomed ot being out 5 hours in the day, transplant them at NIGHT into outdoors or the larger pots…Make sure they are watered about a day or 2 before transplanting

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Kool advice. But, it’s still in the 50’s here but next week it will be in the 70’s but drop to 50’s at nights. i will transfer in 1 gallon container except for the one surviving deelite that i plan to grow in a 5 gallon pot. Can i take them in and out during the days for sunlight at 70 degree? does it matter if i use fabric or plastic containers? i will update again once i change containers. THANKS A MIL

outdoor - I do not know your climate but from the temperature description, you are either a higher elevation of north east…50 night 70 day is pristine for growing…definitely get the sun to shine on your babies.
Outdoors, I grow my photoperiods in plastic containers…my containers are large…40L, 50L…I am not moving these :smirk:. My autoflowers I grow in cloth bags but plastic is fine. My cloths are 2,3,5 and now 7 gal…I use the TAN containers becasue of my climate. I am in the SW desert and we get HOT…Death Valley type hot…dark colors absorb heat (better for colder climates), light colors reflect heat. The light color containers make the roots grow back inward and down.
Being babies, same thing…acclimate them to the sun little by little…they can and usually do fry. A solo cup will dry out quicker than a 1,2 gallon container…I do not put out my babies till over 3 weeks old…not written into any law, just my methods based on experience

i am northeast. So depending on the summer to get a good outdoor grow. it’s been over a month now since germination. i will transplant in a week or earlier to get them sun. i will def document and update in another week.

I am not a smoker and this is my first time hands on. i do however watch these things grow for the last few years in my back yard and it always fascinates me.

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My best friend lives in MA.

She has fantastic results growing outdoors during summer.

She will start her grow indoors and bring them out to be planted in the ground during the first couple weeks of May when they have 5 or so leaf sets and the spring temps allow it.

Works for her. Should work for you too :+1:

Thank K. Next week the weather will be in the 70s during the day so i’ll take them out for sun then hopefully by 2 nd week in may i could plant in the ground​:dancer:t5::+1:t4:

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Hi Heidi, I live upstate ny, & outdoor growing works great here, I will be putting plants out tonight, Tomorrow is supposed to be 80* here. there are some very experienced growers on here with a wealth of info that has helped me a great deal… Happy Growing!

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hello mike s. how do u get 80 and u are more north of me?:pensive:. will you be putting in the ground tonight? can i see a pic before you plant? i’ve gotten lots of guidance since i join the forum. thx

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As long as don’t get below freezing and don’t have any frost you be [email protected]