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How To Prevent Your Cannabis Seedlings From Stretching

How To Prevent Your Cannabis Seedlings From Stretching | The Seed Fair

When you notice that your seeds have sprouted and your plant looks healthy and growing, it is a sign that you may have a profitable harvest. But if you notice a strange length in your plant and it looks very thin, you are not alone, this question arises among many growers. Very tall and thin stems can negatively affect the quality of the plant. So how do you prevent stems from getting too long? The following guide will help you find how to find and protect against cannabis seedlings from stretching and falling over.

Understanding the cannabis seedling stage

To prevent this lengthening, we can start by understanding the seedling period of the plant. You can also start by buying the first days the seedlings do not take up food, they feed on their own nutrients, made so that they establish themselves in the environment that I touch them. This is how the seedling stage develops:

  • The seeds germinate until they determine how well the conditions of temperature, light, humidity, and darkness are.
  • The radicle (root) expands in the ground until it looks for a water channel, thus the shell opens little by little.
  • The next thing your plant will do is show its first leaves (cotyledons), from the fan-shaped stem. And its bud, known as the hypocotyl, grows in the direction of the light.

Before the plant begins its vegetative phase, the seedling lasts between 2 and 3 weeks and can often expand up to 6 weeks. At this time it is best to keep the plants strong, bushy, and healthy with the following recommendations.

Why do seedlings stretch?

Stretching depends on many factors, whether biological or environmental. The stems are elongated or look thinner because the plant is stressed and takes out its energy reserves as a defense mechanism when it is in these conditions. Elongation occurs many times when grown indoors or when randomly crossing two varieties. Of course, it can also be lengthened since it can be a Sativa-type plant that lends itself to being tall and long. Biologically, almost nothing can be done, but if it is for the environment it is better to know its causes:

Lack of nutrients

If the stems of your plants start to fall it may be due to a lack of nutrients. The stem absorbs nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium through the roots and the leaves are responsible for absorbing oxygen and hydrogen. In its first stage, the plant tends to be fragile so it only takes a few doses of these nutrients to develop well. Many times they cannot absorb them so they go into defense mode and will result in thin and weak stems.

Poor temperature levels

Excess heat can cause this stretching of the stems, the higher its temperature, the more its stems will grow. At 80°C the plates stretch and fall. Make sure your lamps are not too close to your plants and that this weakens and thins them.

Incorrect lighting

Too much or too little light will cause your plant to stretch and can put a lot of stress on your plant. Plants can expand their stems to receive light through SARP (shadow avoidance response) which also factors such as life cycle and temperature can be caused by SARP. If the stems of your plant are weak or fall it can be due to:

  • Short-term exposure to light
  • Insufficient amount and intensity of light

There is a red light that stimulates the vegetative phase and photosynthesis of the plant but its excess can make the plants weak.

Improper spacing between plants

Your plants will grow and as they grow they can collide with other plants and these installed to fight for the light and not taking the necessary care can stretch your plants. Seedlings can sense when other plants dull their light. When this happens, the SARP and the survival mechanism of the plant are activated, causing its stretching.

Why is cannabis seedlings stretching an issue?

For example, the Mary Jane plant variety tends to be thin and tall whether it grows indoors or outdoors, but it is already its nature, so its yield may be lower and it is more expensive to care for. You can produce blue buds but perhaps your effort was going to create bigger and better buds, so you can prevent these stretching for a profitable future for your plants.

Dealing with seedlings stretching indoors vs. outdoors

When it is harvested indoors, the biggest problem is the lighting, with it accompanied, the temperature, the airflow…which lead to the stretching of the plants. These factors do not affect when grown outdoors, but the light is just as important since its stages must be at the level of the climate of your region. Short periods of light can make the seedlings grow. Also, plants may need additional lighting at night due to different seasons.

Preventing seedlings from stretching and falling over

These solutions might be helpful for you and your plants:

Implement good air circulation

Indoor plants, as they do not have natural plants, require more effort. Having control of the airflow indoors will strengthen your stems, which also encourages your plants to be thicker. If your plant’s space is limited you can opt for a fan on top of them, brushing them works too.

Improve lighting conditions

With these tips you can have your plants short and bushy:

  • Red and orange light stimulate stem stretching, while blue light targets thicker growth.
  • Use 200W halide lamps 40 inches apart or 12W CFL bulbs 2-3 inches away from the plant surface. And also it can not go above 77°F
  • So that your plant does not grow vertically, use infrared lights and cover the reflector with a black cloth
  • If your plants are outdoors make sure they receive the desired amount of sunlight and if necessary an artificial one at night. 16 hours of light is a good amount.

Space your plants out properly

Whatever your growing method or technique make sure your plants are at an adequate distance. If you have a very large soil or space, many growers use a technique called thinning, which causes weak seedlings to fade during the first week or two of the plant’s life. Being this way and applying the appropriate distance the plants will not have problems due to the light and they should not stretch.

Reduce temperature (60°F) to stop seedlings stretching and falling over

As we saw previously, maintaining a temperature that is too high can affect the plants very negatively, the idea is to keep it between 68°F and 77°F in the day at night, approximately 55°F this promotes healthy growth. For stems that have already been stretched, having the temperature around 60°F causes them to widen. Remember to keep your plants not too close to the light.

Reduce stress

Avoid stress and thus stretching by satisfying the needs of your plant, with a good temperature, nutrients, lighting, and irrigation. Your plant is always exposed to various changes by the environment so if you want to make a change, do it gradually and slowly.

How to fix stretched cannabis seedlings

If with all these tips your plant still does not improve, you may have to take more drastic measures, such as the following methods:

Re-pot cannabis seedlings that are stretching and falling over

By creating a solid and sturdy base you can help your plants to support them and make their stems grow thick and not elongated. Make sure the ground is dry first clean the roots and in your new container you can add a little soil.

  • Bury the stem in the container
  • Carefully add a little water
  • And the stems will begin to take out their roots

Use stakes

There is this “stake” method to make your stems strong:

  • A material like cloth, things like a stake, stick or straw, or even a pencil
  • For support, you can use the fabric as a kind of lattice near the weak stems
  • Keep an eye on your plant and make any adjustments you need while it grows smoothly and calmly, otherwise, it can cause a lot of stress on your plant.

Strengthen cannabis seedlings ready for veg

As we already saw when the seedlings stretch and fall, it is a sign that your plant is not well, even so with everything seen you can recover your plant, closely monitoring it and maintaining a proper environment and before you know it, your plant has flowered and is ready for its vegetative stage. Remember that the first thing for a quality harvest is your seeds, which you can see at The Seed Fair, with its multiple variations of autoflowering, feminized and more.

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