The Q&A Archives: Transplants Not Growing

Question: How long do you leave the lights on in a greenhouse after it gets dark because all of my seedlings are not growing and they have been transplanted for 4 weeks after they have their second set of leaves, this was the first week of Feb. I don't see any insects or water problems.

Answer: Seedlings need several things to grow well. They need adequate light, adequate temperatures, adequate root run, and adequate nutrients. In a greenhouse, it is unusual to need supplemental light. (Even when grown exclusively under lights, most seedlings do fine with only 14 to 16 hours a day.) I am not sure why your plants are not growing, but here are some common possibilities. First, if you transplanted very small seedlings into large containers, they may be busy rooting rather than growing tops. Another possibility is that the potting mix was unsuitable for some reason, or if they were rootbound before transplanting they may not have rooted into the new soil. Next, if the greenhouse is very cold, they may be waiting for warmer temperatures before they kick into high gear. Finally, it is possible that the transplanting and change in growing conditions shocked them sufficiently to stunt them. I'm sorry about your plants!

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