The Q&A Archives: Slow Growth of Herb Seedlings

Question: This year is my first year trying to grow seedlings indoors. I have a "mini greenhouse" set up in my basement and I have had no real problems other than the fact that some of the herbs seem like they are taking forever to grow. All of the seeds germinated at a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees and upon germination the temperature was dropped to about 60 to 65 degrees. I am using a seedling mix of peat, perlite and vermiculite. I only water when it starts to dry out so the soil is not getting soggy. Iam using shop lights set at about 4 or 5 inches above the flats.I don't understand why my thyme, feverfew, chamomile, basil and oregano are still only about 1/8" to 1/4" tall. It has been 5 weeks since germination. Some of them even have "true leaves" already. My tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and marigolds have done wonderfully. Why are the herbs still so teeny? Are they supposed to grow this slowly? Do I need to start over? Thanks. Julie Noble Homer, OH

Answer: You are doing everything right! Some seedlings grow more slowly than others. Be patient. One thing you might try is keeping the light slightly closer to the seedlings--1 to 2 inches.

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