The Q&A Archives: Seedlings Sprouted To Quickly

Question: I planted seeds in peat pots 4 days ago and the snapdragons have already sprouted are appear leggy even after 4 days. What is wrong? There are in a seed starting mix and kept in a dim, 75 degree room. I planted them Saturday and this morning, Tuesday, they are approx. 1/2" tall. This seems far to soon when the package says 7-14 days for germination. What's wrong?

Answer: Many times seeds started indoors will germinate faster than the time given on the packet because that time is taken from outdoor experience where conditions are cooler and/or otherwise less ideal or less controlled.

Your seedlings probably need more light. Lack of light will make them elongate. As soon as they germinate, move seedlings into the brightest light available. Most gardeners find it necessary to use supplemental lighting to produce good quality seedlings. An ordinary shop fixture with one warm color and one cool color bulb is usually sufficient for seedlings as long as the bulbs are kept very close (about an inch) from the foliage and the lights are kept on about 16 hours a day.

Enjoy your snapdragons!

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