Leggy or root pushing out?

Noob grower, need help with 2nd attempt at seedlings. My first grow of 3 Skywalker seeds germinated well but died to overwatering. I germinated an OG Kush, planted in 70% Coir, 30% Perlite soil, no amendments. The plants are in a 4x4 tent, 77% humidity, 77F, LED light 160 PPFD. I can increase PPFD if warranted.

The photo below is the OG Kush is in day 3. It appears that the root is pushing the plant out of the media.

Being a noob, I have zero experience and the gained knowledge from this forum and on line sources. Looking for any feedback to help me through this critical stage.

Thank you in advance for your input. And Merry Christmas!


Just cover the root up and keep a dome on the sprout. It should be fine.


Thanks, I just added some media atop the root. I opted not to apply a humidity dome tonight as I’m maintaining 77% humidity. What to you think?

I can fashion a dome if you insist but then how to I maintain moisture in the dome. Spray the inside of the Dome? Other?



Hey @Noob3 so you are basically running a Hydroponic grow. There are zero mutes in your mix unless you’ve added something.
Big question is….? What nutrient line are you going to be using?

I would recommend using a root additive at this point, I use GH RapidStart. Then I also use a Beneficial Microbe as well to keep the root rot at bay to stave off roots dampening, I use HYDROGUARD.

I would also increase PPFD to 300 for seedlings. Try not to let them dry out completely as Coco coir will need daily, later on more than daily, watering.

A trick is to gently lift your pot to check how much water you have.

Cannabis plants grown in coco coir and perlite mix need to be fed with a nutrient solution that is specifically formulated for this medium. Coco coir is an inert medium, meaning it does not provide any nutrients to your plants. Perlite is a porous material that improves the aeration and drainage of the medium, but also does not contain any nutrients.

Some of the nutrients that cannabis plants need are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). These are called macronutrients because they are required in large amounts by the plants. There are also micronutrients, such as iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), and chlorine (Cl), that are needed in smaller amounts.

One of the challenges of growing cannabis in coco coir and perlite is to maintain the optimal pH and EC (electrical conductivity) levels of the nutrient solution. The pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline the solution is, and it affects the availability of nutrients to the plants. The EC is a measure of how concentrated the solution is, and it affects the osmotic pressure and water uptake of the plants. [The ideal pH range for cannabis in coco coir and perlite is between 5.5 and 6.5, and the ideal EC range is between 0.8 and 1.2 mS/cm].

Another challenge is to prevent nutrient deficiencies or toxicities, which can occur due to various factors, such as salt buildup, nutrient lockout, overfeeding, underfeeding, or environmental stress. Some of the common signs of nutrient problems are yellowing, browning, curling, wilting, or spotting of the leaves, as well as stunted growth, reduced yield, or poor quality of the buds. To avoid these issues, it is important to flush the medium regularly with plain water or a mild nutrient solution, to monitor the pH and EC levels of the runoff, and to adjust the feeding schedule and dosage according to the plants’ needs and stages of growth.

There are many brands and products of nutrient solutions available for cannabis growers, and each one may have different instructions and recommendations. It is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when feeding your plants, but also to observe the plants’ response and make adjustments as needed. Some of the popular nutrient lines for coco coir and perlite are General Hydroponics, Advanced Nutrients, Canna, and FloraFlex]

Silica is not essential for cannabis plants, but it can provide some benefits if added to the nutrient solution. Silica can help strengthen the cell walls, improve nutrient uptake, increase resistance to environmental stress, and protect against pests and disease. However, silica can also raise the pH of the solution, so you need to monitor and adjust it accordingly. The recommended dosage of silica for cannabis plants is between 0.5 and 1 ml per liter of water. You can use silica supplements that are specially designed for cannabis, such as General Hydroponics Armor Si, Advanced Nutrients Rhino Skin, or FloraFlex Silica. You should start using silica from the vegetative stage until the end of the flowering stage, and flush the medium with plain water before harvest. Silica can help you grow healthier and more productive cannabis plants, but you should use it with caution and care.


Late Night, thank you for replying.

I initially purchased materials for an organic grow, 70% coir, 30% perlite for the initial seedling stage. I’ve already added Dr. Earth Bud and Bloom. Dr. Earth Vegetable fertilizer and worm casting. That mix is brewing in 7 gallon fabric pots.

Additionally, I purchased General Hydroponics Trio and CalMag. I also have GH PH up/down to regulate PH.

I use distilled water adjusted to 6.27 PH as measured on a calibrated meter which is stored with PH meter storing solution.

My seedling media runoff measures 6.77 PH. I’ve mixed a solution of distilled water GH Micro, Bloom and Flora at the recommended ratios for seedlings. I’ve included a photo of the chart below.

My intention was to start the seeds in inert media. Water with the GH seedling mixture. Transplant into the organic media and transition to feeding with GH recommended levels after 30 days or when the organic media is depleted of nutrients.

I PH balance after I add GH products. I’ve not tested EC as yet.

My main concern is to not over water. My 4x4 tent is steady at 77F and 75% humidity +/- 1 degree, +/- 1% as controlled by ACinfinity Pro 69 controller.

LED was just bumped up from 125 PPFD to 150PPFD, on a 20/4 cycle. I have an AreoWave A6 fan circulating the air 12” above the LED light.

This is my second batch of seedlings, I overwatered the first run, they died. I corrected a leggy plant and just today put 2 germinated seeds into cups of inert media that were watered and gravity drained through weep holes prior to introducing the seeds into the cups. I’m not using a humidity dome as I believe that my overwatering and humidity dome combination contributed to plant fatalities.

The humidity appears to provide enough moisture that the media is not dry to the touch. But to me it’s counterintuitive to not water seedlings. That is where I’m confused.

I’m ready to water in a 1 “ perimeter around the stem with GH diluted nutes. But I’m reluctant due to overwatering PTSD.

Could use some direction on the watering dilemma as well as your assessment of my set up. And of course, anything you may want to offer.

Thank you brother.


Hey Noob I’d continue bumping up the PPFD to a max of 300.
To grow healthy cannabis seedlings, it is crucial to provide them with the proper intensity of light. The ideal photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) for cannabis seedlings is between 100 and 300 µmol/m²/s.
Please note that the ideal PPFD levels are dependent on several factors such as the plant’s genetics, current growth phase, and climate. It is also important to monitor the PPFD levels regularly and adjust them as needed to ensure optimal growth and yield.

Also I’d dropped my light schedule to 18x6.
Plant roots grow during the night, but the rate of growth is dependent on several factors such as the plant’s genetics, current growth phase, and climate. The absence of light actually stimulates plants to grow fastest at night. Growth hormone production is encouraged by the plant’s ability to detect darkness and find light. The same process can help plants orientate their foliage to light.

During the night, plants use the glucose they’ve produced during the day to grow. Relocating allows the plant to reuse the resources it collected with photosynthesis to produce new growth. The plant will slowly create new cells, forming fresh leaves, roots, and stems over time.


Late Night,

Thank you for the invaluable guidance. I bumped the light output to 300 PPFD, adjusted the cycle to 18/6 and just purchased Hydroguard.

I’m not watering to the point of runoff for fear of overwatering thus, not able to test EC as yet. If there’s and alternative methodology then, please file free to share it with me.

Separate note. I don’t smoke but my wife does, she’s been through 5 back surgeries and finds relief with cannabis. Her pain was the primary driver for me beginning to grow.

I chose Skywalker for its higher levels of CBD and hope it will alleviate her chronic pain. If there is another genus I should look into, then please share that with me as well.

I’m eternally grateful for your input. Hope you are coping with your health issues as well as you can manage.


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Hey Noob, I have had a couple spinal surgeries. Had to stop anti-inflammatory due to stomach ulcer. I like Durban Poison and Girl Scout Cookies for a good effect without couch lock. I have ran across Jealousy that is tasty and provided a good effect. Currently I have some Runtz in the tent that I tried a couple years ago. Leafly App is a good resource for education on strains and current trends with lots or reviews.
Good luck on your crop!!


Its not the amount of water at one time that creates over-watering, its the frequency of watering. Follow a drench to drought method and all will be fine. Allow the soil to dry out in between sessions.
Just reviewed that youre using coco. Some hydro guys will be along shortly im sure to give you some added guidance along with what @LateNightGardner has recommended.


ya, coco cant be overwatered, in fact it prefers to stay wet as much as possible, watering at least once or twice daily with runoff, of course with the proper nutrition as well included. and of course the pH set between 5.8-6.2
so never fear the excessive amounts of water u put in to the plant, the only fear some have is the water bill when that comes in :rofl:

also if i may recommend a easy to learn and apply, with well above average results, they speak for themselves honestly, nutrients.

jack’s nutrients, jacks 321 schedule is a constant feeding schedule that makes it easy, especially with coco. because coco has no amendments or nutes preloaded, u could start feeding what u have with full strength nutes right now and it would take off very healthily.
i also want to add the suggestion of adding silica to the mix as well, it will make the stems and root system take off almost immediately from birth (givin that ur using coco)
these are the ones i just started, using the nutrients im recommending, in coco
about a week an a half old.

i start feeding nutes as soon as i see the first two leaves coming in, i hope i could provide some knowledge u can use towards ur grow :call_me_hand: glad to help any way i can, if i can



Thanks for the pointers. I began your recommended drench drought cycle today on the Kush that has sprouted 2 leaves. I fed it the General Hydroponics recommended dilution ratio for seedlings. The 2 remaining Skywalker plants were fed PH balanced water as 1 has not broken through, the 2nd has just sprouted.

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Thats really impressive growth for 1.5 weeks. I’m no where near the level of progression. I’ve included photos of Kush day 3, Skywalker day 2 and the un-sprouted Skywalker for your amusement. You can commiserate with me if you wish, LOL.



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Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll look into those strains today


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thats only have full bud lol
allow me to suggest a better way if i may. when i learned about this, i kicked myself for not thinking of it on my own.

get 3 solo cups
one of the cups gets a hole in the bottom as well as cut in half down two sides allowing the cup to open, i will show pictures to show what i mean.
the second cup simply gets a hole in the bottom
the 3rd cup is left alone, no modification.

the cup that is cut in half down the sides will go on top and that will be the cup filled with the medium and the seed, this allows u to do a easy transplant when the time comes, and also check the roots if the cups are not clear.
the second cup simply has a hole in the bottom, the holes allow the runoff water to leave the cup easily. makin watering them as easy and quick as possible
and both of those will sit in a 3rd solid cup to help prevent water from leaking all over the place.
i hope i explained that to be easily understandable. let me know if there is any part u dont get, and i will explain it better. i hope this advice helps u out in the future if u decide to give it a shot for urself


So to be clear on this, coco medium has to be watered every day. Soil has to go from drench to drought. Its all about allowing oxygen to get to the roots. Soil retains water much longer thus needs more time to dry. Coco drains fairly quickly. Hope this helps. I think we are just about passed the drowning phase it looks like. Now its a matter of keeping her fed and roots in good health. Healthy roots with proper pH and nutrition from here on out. You got this!




Got it. Your description was spot on. Will definitely use your process next grow. Thanks.


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Just for giggles I used a Wendy’s cup for the seedlings with drain holes at the bottom, works well. I live in rural South Carolina the nearest store is a 40 minute drive each way. Every time we go out grocery shopping I forget about the Solo cups. I have compromised short term memory and don’t even smoke, LOL.

Thanks again.

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Im just wondering how or what you add to distilled water to adjust the pH and does it need to be adjusted. Anybody. Thanks.
Becauae my RO is 8ppm and I not do anything, should I

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distilled and RO has no legitimate pH value, it adjusts itself and takes on the pH value of whatever it is added to, but also lowers the ppm value obviously due to not have any kind of minerals or additives in it of course

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