The Q&A Archives: Seedlings Fall Over

Question: I started Impatients, Daisies, Violas, Cosmos and tomatos from seed this year. They are all growing well, about 4 - 6" high, however, they don't stand up. They are laying on the soil like vines. The plants are exposed to southeast sun and I turn them everyday. What, if anything, can I do to make them stand up?

Answer: Unfortunately, your seedlings aren't getting enough sun. A sunny window just isn't enough, especially here in the north. You really need to grow seedlings in a greenhouse or under fluorescent lights. You might be able to get by in a south-facing window that receives strong sun all day, but a southeast window's direct sun is just too limited. I'm afraid that if your seedlings are already falling over, it may be too late to save them. You can try to keep them alive until late April or early May, then plant them outdoors and hope for the best. Sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

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