Germination + Seedling Stage

This is my first time growing by seed !

It has been one week since I received the Sweet Mix, which is Gelato, Zkittles and Sunset Sherbert.

I germinated my seeds and filled my tray with reverse osmosis water. Some popped overnight - after 4 days only 2 seeds did not crack.

I’ve planted my seeds into Rapid Rooter cubes and have my tray placed about 15 inches under a Vivosun 1000W LED light that is dimmed to 25% - suggested by manufacturers for germination.

I’ve had my light on a 24 hour cycle and one week after receiving my seeds, I have 20 out of 30 seeds sprouted - one of which snapped while pushing out of the plug.

Some of the first seedlings are already about 4 inches tall while others are right behind or still waiting to show signs of sprouting.

The Sunset is still developing its first set of leaves while the Zkittles is beginning to develop its second set of leaves. The Gelato is taking the most time to develop but seems to be growing the same.

Everything looks very healthy and happy ! How tall the seedlings are growing is just different than what I am used to seeing while growing cuts.

Sunset on the left, Zkittles on the right

Orange - Sunset, Purple - Zkittles, Green - Gelato

Any knowledgeable insights or advice would be greatly appreciated !

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Welcome to the forum.

Seedlings look stretched, which is a symptom of inadequate light.

You’ll want to think about your grow space in terms of how many plants you intend to grow, especially if indoors. You’re going to need a lot of space to grow out all of those seedlings. You’ll need ~40 watts of quality lighting for every square foot of mature plant canopy. Each plant is typically 4 to 5 square feet per plant at maturity assuming medium sized plants.

A Vivosun 1000W LED light might be sufficient for one mature plant. It is probably only 100 to 200 true watts of light.


I would turn the light up to 40% stop that stretch and I agree lot of plants for that light


@MidwestGuy @dirtydave

Thank you both for your reply ! I had a feeling the seedlings are stretching which is why I reached out for help.

I have experience with both indoor and outdoor, this is just my first time beginning from seed. I have taken @dirtydave advice and kicked my light up to 50%.

All of my experience indoors has been with HPS bulbs. A few people suggested me the LEDs so I decided to check them out. It does say the maximum output is 1000W and suggests 25-50% for germination and seedling stages. I thought I was playing it safe with 25%.

If the LEDs end up being no good for Veg or Bloom, I may hold on to them for future germination, cuts or mothers.

The temperature has stayed around 75-85° and I have kept the hood moist the entire time.

I plan to experiment this first round with 2 separate rooms, I was planning on running maybe 9 plants per room and selecting my best as Mothers.

The Sunset and Zkittles are suggested 8 weeks and Gelato suggests 10. I have never ran a 10 week indoor cycle so I’m planning to experiment with that as well.

Any suggestions towards my current situation or setup in my rooms would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys !

Your biggest issue, by a long, long way, is being able to adequately light the plants. You really only have sufficient lighting for flowering 1 plant so far. All of your other grow parameters look great.


That light is 100 watts it does use 301H diodes but your going to need a bunch of them for that many plants

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@MidwestGuy @dirtydave

I have two 1000W HPS hoods ready to go, I just thought I’d try the LEDs. I also have a 4ft T5 with 4 bulbs that I typically use for my cuts at this stage. I thought the LED might be better but apparently I was wrong !

Suggestions ?


LEDs are generally better, the advantage being less heat to manage and higher efficiency.

@Hellraiser can help with how many plants can be flowered with 2 1000w HPS lights. Keep in mind though that you’ll need the tent space to do so.



Much appreciated ! I am not using tents, I have rooms constructed. One of which I have had great success with my HPS setup. Thank you both for your advice !


Unfortunately Amazon light misrepresent the wattage the ts1000, sf2000 and it’s BS if it says 1000 it’s probably 100 watts

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Yeah the LEDs are rated 100w input and 1000w output, designed to save evergy and reduce heat - that’s why I decided to give them a shot. I bought 2 with plans of replacing my HPS’ as the LEDs are rated for 4 × 4 coverage.

If there is no hope for these LEDs, I can easily return or change my plans for use.

As of right now, I’m most concerned with providing my seedlings with the proper enviornment for happy growing !

Any suggestions on keeping my LED at 50% and hanging about 15 inches above the tops of my tallest seedlings - or switching back to my original 4ft T5 4 bulb setup ?

@MidwestGuy @dirtydave

The more reputable companies like HLG and others advertise there lights at there actual watt draw @dbrn32 can explain better than I can a light to replace a 1000 watt HPS is is going to cost 700 to 1000

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Thank you again, I appreciate the information !

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Turn that 1000 watt on with a metal halide bulb. If you would have done that up front you would probably had 30 out of 30 pop.

You got two Corvettes in the shed and used the Pinto.


Led light you have is probably adequate for starting seeds, but even at 50% may be little weak. See how next day or two goes, may have to turn up more.

1000 watt hps typically good to flower up to 5x5 space if you have large enough hoods.


@2GreenThumbs @dbrn32

Thank you, appreciate the help !

My seedling space where the light is hanging now is only 60" L × 38" H × 38" W

It seemed like the perfect little space to set up my germination station. For the first week I did not have a curtain containing the light as I am setting up my space on the fly.

I installed a blackout curtain to contain the light and also kicked the LED up to 50% yesterday, after just 12 hours I had noticed a difference this morning.

There is even one seedling that snapped pushing it’s way out of the plug that I had stuck back into the hole that is now beginning to stand back up.

I will keep everyone who has kicked me some advice posted on my progress, thanks guys !


Good to hear!

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@MidwestGuy @dirtydave @dbrn32

I have given it a few day with my LED being at 50% to monitor my next set of results.

As life goes, I ran into my next set of challenges !

Our outside temperatures here reached nearly 100° these past few days, with very high humidity. My Germination Station ended up reaching the 90’s and the leaves began to look a bit stressed.

With no chance of cooling down the station in an effective enough way, I made an emergency rearrangement to another room. With temperatures still in the mid 90’s outside, I’m able to keep this station comfortably around 80°.

My next challenge that I seen coming is that my seedlings that stretched to nearly 6 inches are now becoming too top heavy to support their weight. A slight lean had begun on my tallest seedlings yesterday, leading to a couple bent right over today. They are still looking good to me and reaching for the light !

The symptoms I’ve noticed are slight wilting and turning of the leaves as well as a few small yellow markings throughout.

I feel the issues may be heat stress and water spotting, I have attached pictures to show each situation.

The good news is, the seedlings that were planted later and have been under 50% the entire time are growing at a much better rate.

Also, the tallest seedlings have 8-9" roots showing in the tray underneath.

Is it time for me to transplant those that are rooted and fallen - should I provide upright support ?

Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated !

Bending seedlings.

Heat stress + Water spotting ?

Newer seedling - better growth rate.

Rooted and Booted !

When you move the plugs just set them deep so you can bury a portion of stretched stems.



I was thinking of that but wasnt sure if it would stress the seedling to bury that much of the plant.

Would you suggest doing that now before the stem becomes too firm to work with ?

Thank you for such quick responses, much appreciated !