Seedlings - Knowledgebase Question

Desert Hot Springs, CA
Question by thackers
February 16, 1998
My seeds have germinated nicely, and are just starting to develop their third leaves, but the roots are growing out the bottoms of the cells and trailing around in the bottom of the tray! Should I repot them into larger pots? What about all those long roots? What should I do with them?


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Answer from NGA
February 16, 1998

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Your seedlings sound as though they've gotten off to a great start! Seedlings should be transplanted to individual pots when they've developed their second set of leaves. Since yours are a little past that stage, you'll have a bit of a challenge getting them into new pots without damaging those all-important roots. Prepare individual pots and make a hole in the center of the potting soil in each. Then carefully remove each plant from its cell. Coax out all the roots you can, but don't be dismayed if a few are broken off. Place each plant in its new home and water well. The transplants may wilt, but should recover in a day or two. Next time you start seeds, watch them carefully and transplant at the first sign of escaping roots!

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