I have a seedling started. It’s fruitcake and I started it in soil. My question is it’s a little droopy and I feel like I’m doing everything right with the amount of water and the light it’s got. It’s kind of growing slow. I think it’s in the third week and it’s only barely got the 3rd set of leaves coming out. I also read something about fruitcake and that all fruitcake strains are autoflower is that true? Thanks, Steven R.

By Lee G Lyzit | Last updated: June 15, 2022

There are many factors that affect the growth of a cannabis seedling. In general, seedlings need a consistently warm temperature (70-78°F), adequate lighting (kept at a proper distance), a photoperiod of 18 hours on/6 hours off, air movement, and an appropriately sized container with a well-aerated medium. Assuming your garden temperature falls within the desired range (70-78°F) and you are giving your plants the rest they need with an 18 hours on/6 hours off photoperiod, your problem may lie in your artificial lighting, air movement, or soil mix.

One way to test if the artificial light source is the proper distance from the plants is to place your hand under the light source, just above the tops of the seedlings, then wait 30 seconds. If your hand feels hot, it is likely too hot for sensitive seedlings and the light source should be moved farther away. On the other hand, if the light source is not close enough, the seedlings could get “stretchy.” A full-spectrum light source, or “white light” is ideal for early seedling development.

Proper air movement is essential for building a seedling’s structural integrity. High humidity environments, like that created with a humidity dome, are great for the first week or so, but a periodic removal of the dome to replenish the fresh air is advised. After the seedlings start to develop their first set of true leaves, they should be acclimated to an environment with adequate air movement. This can be easily accomplished by using an oscillating fan.

Lastly, a well-aerated soil mix in an appropriately sized planting container is crucial for healthy root development. Seedling specific soil mixes are generally a good choice as they are well-aerated and contain a ratio of nutrients specific for that stage of growth. Dense, compacted, or oversaturated soils will stunt the seedling’s growth.

As for your question about Fruitcake strains being autoflower, there are multiple seed companies that sell strains under various names. Reputable seed companies will have lineage descriptions for their hybrid strains. Autoflowering varieties will contain cannabis ruderalis in its lineage. Breeders have hybridized indica and sativa varieties with ruderalis to create high THC and CBD strains that autoflower or create flowers due to the age of the plant, not necessarily from the period of darkness, like photoperiod strains. I hope this answers your questions.

Keep on Growing,
Lee G. Lyzit

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Cannabis Seedling Care Autoflowering

Written by Lee G Lyzit | Grower, Writer

Profile Picture of Lee G Lyzit

Lee G. Lyzit has been involved in the cannabis industry for nearly 20 years. His passion for natural healing motivates him to learn as much as he can about the miraculous cannabis plant. Lee’s knowledge of cannabis gardening stems from his own extensive cultivation experiences and his past work as a hydroponic shop owner and manager.

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