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How To Fix The Problem Of Long, Stretchy Stems On Marijuana Seedlings


stretchy stem marijuana cannabis

Elongated, stretchy stems are the bane of any new marijuana grower. They don’t provide the seedling, which can end up affecting the plant throughout its lifecycle. But, getting rid of the stretchy stem is really a matter of replanting the seedling so it doesn’t continue to grow disproportionately. When they’re in their seedling stage, stems will stretch out for a variety of reasons, but generally because the light is too high and they are trying to “reach” up towards it. Lowering your lights can keep you from experiencing this problem.

But, first, let’s talk about how to fix the problem if it occurs to you. The first thing you want to do is make sure the soil is dry. If it’s wet, the roots will have a tendency to cling and you don’t want them to be damaged in any way. Then, very carefully remove the marijuana seedling from its current container. Clean off the roots so that there is no more soil attached.

You may want to use a deeper container or just dump the soil out from the seedling’s current container. Leave a little bit of soil in the bottom of whatever container you decide to use so that the roots won’t try to grow through the drain holes. Place the seedling down in the container in such a way that you can bury the stem. It is ideal to bury the stem almost completely so that only the Cotyledon leaves are showing. After that, provide the marijuana plant with just a touch of water to get it going again.

At this point, your stem will be buried and it will eventually start to grow roots of its own. This is something that can apply to little seedlings and even incredibly long, emaciated stems. Again, as long as you’re extremely gentle with the plant, you should cause no harm and the plant will not be stressed.

To avoid stretchy stems make sure your marijuana seedlings get enough light an place them under a cfl bulb (3 watt per seedling). Distance between plant and cfl bulb should be around 2 inch. Distance between plant and HPS bulb should be around 40 inch for seedlings (20 inch for vegging plants) but make sure temperatures don’t exceed 77 ºF.

Want to know more about growing marijuana? Get a free guide about growing marijuana at this link here. Order some high quality marijuana seeds at this link here.



About Author

Robert Bergman is a master marijuana grower. Robert Bergman is the author of 'Marijuana Plant Care' and 'The Marijuana Grow Bible'.


  1. Hi folks,
    I’m experiencing the same problems of long stemmed seedlings thanks to my inexperienced growing knowledge but it seems like a good idea to transplant deeper, keep my fan on the lightly, and mound new soil around the base of the stem. It’s hard to be lesser than fully permissible of water when it feels like I should be doing something for the little girls. But whatever it takes. Thanks everyone.

  2. Right, by planting them deeper, you get more root, which in turn means more nutrients for the plants, which means better, stronger plants. Also try spraying the leaves, after about one month, with a weak solution of straight nitrogen. This helps the plant get more nitrogen, and the nitrogen improves the quality of the plant.

  3. Light that’s high in the red-orange-yellow (esp. red) spectrum also encourages stretching (etiolation). Consider cool white fluorescent or metal halide lighting, which is higher in blue-violet wavelengths. Blue-violet spectrum LED’s should be good, too, but I can’t speak from experience on those, as I haven’t used them. If possible, avoid HPS or warm-white fluorescents in very early growth. Just my two “sinse.”

  4. Keep a fan on them 24/7. The air blowing on them will strengthen those young stems and they won’t fall over!

  5. Thanks for the info! I’m a novice at growing and couldn’t figure out why they were just falling over… I’ve even used twist ties in the past to get them to stand up. Lol

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