Seedling stretch

Hello, can anyone tell me why a seedling would stretch to almost 3’’ with the 1st leaves still covered by the seed cast? I understand if the light is too far away, but there were no leaves yet to gather light? its a white widow photo in coco 75*F & average rh of 70%. thanks in advance.

Just because it does not have leaves doesn’t mean it cant know where the light is. And by no leaves do you mean no real leaves or none at all.

no leaves at all, still completely covered by the seed cast.but maybe enough light leaks through the seed cast to make it stretch, only reason light is on its sharing a space in the tent with another plant that has a couple sets of leaves on it already.

You need to moisten that seed shell and gently pry it off the cotyledons. You are probably right that’s why it is stretching. Especially if the other is not.

There was a excellent well addressed thread about this very recently. I have typically put a small piece of wet paper towel over the sprout. Like no bigger than the top of the sprout. The shell usually slips right off after about an hour. I find this happens a lot on older seeds that have been stored a few seasons. Like half the sprouts or more.

The problem with my method is If the stretch is already a lot it can kink or bend it over. The moisture domes suggested by others in this thread seem the WAY better idea. I think I will do that myself moving forward.

Sorry I don’t know how to add or link a thread. But it is titled “Crack A Seed yay or nay”. This one is Very relevant to your problem.

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If that seedling is falling over from the stretch I re pot it into a slightly bigger pot and just bury the stretched stem into the soil. I have never had the stems rot from this. If you seeded into the “main pot” just hand trowel it out and make a deeper hole for the seedling. Then replant the stretched stem deeper.

I don’t like to use the side brace method w tooth picks. The stems don’t seem to thicken quickly this way. Usually the tooth pick (or chopstick) just gets really moldy at the soil line. I don’t like that by a skinny stretched young vulnerable stem. I have definitely had much better luck fixing this with an earlier than planned repot.

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Gently pry off the shell for sometimes they do not come off inside the shell there might be another coating that is holding those leaves together you will have to carefully take it off also be careful doing this so you do not damaged the new leaves when you remove that Layer from leaves I’ve had to do this a couple times but i always caught it before it stretched past an inch This will work for you

Carefull not to rip off a leaf. Seems to me every time i rip a seed leaf off it sets me back a week.

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since starting this thread the seed cast is hanging off the little rounded leaf & the 2 serrated leaf popped out, so i think ill let the rest of the cast fall on its own & i can add some soil around the stem to support it, thinking i should leave about 1.5’’ of stem exposed?

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Sounds good to me. But it is optional. Good light and will stiffen it up quick.

If it fixed itself then definitely let it be. You can mound slightly, but if it’s not leaning too much I would just let it be. I would say 1.5-2” of stem is within normal.

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From now on I am planting in jiffy pots first both to minimize transplant shock and make issues like this easier to deal with.

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they are in jiffy pots, so it was pretty easy to deal with, i mounded up a bit with more coco & set them on my 5 gal fabric pots filled with ffof, i think it will be ok, was just curious why it would stretch without any green leaves showing…so now i wait… :upside_down_face:

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Well just guessing here but without the seed opening it was not getting light to the leaves so the leaves could have been telling it to stretch until it finds some light.


yes i agree :+1: that makes sense