Seedlings 19 days old have drooping leaves - leaving this gardener puzzled

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Hello group from Montreal!

I'm new to the forum and glad to be here. Though I've done a lot of gardening over the years (peppers, tomatoes and the like) - this is my second time only growing weed.

My seedlings are showing wilting/drooping leaves and I wonder what y'all think. I've read a bunch and I'm not sure it has to do with over/under/watering (though it could!); but rather cool temps in our basement.

Here's a bit of history, and images.

  • Day 0: 6 seeds (4 photos, 2 autos) put in water overnight;
  • Day 1: 6 seeds put in moist tissue;
  • Day 3: 6 seeds have rootlets and are put in indoor potting mix in styrofoam cups
  • Day 5: 6 plants pop up through surface of potting mix
  • Day 14: bottom fed with Miracle Grow - 325ppm, pH 6.5; sorry! just once! pending arrival of Jacks123;
  • Through day 16 plants look fine;
  • Day 17: one plant has drooping leaves - kept an eye on them but did nothing
  • Day 18: now three plants have drooping leaves - did nothing (other than research)
  • Day 19 (today): surface soil was dry in all cups, last watering had been on day 14 (five days ago), so decided to bottom water with well water, pH measured at 6.5; no nutes added;
    it's been a few hours now since watering, and I have not noticed improvement in turgidity
Plants are now under 8 * T8 fluorescent bulbs - 12 inches away. Temperature in our basement is 19C/66F. I have a fan set on low speed operating intermittently throughout the day, and I have added a heater to bring temperature up into 70s.

I plan to set these seedlings outdoors in 5-7 gallon grow bags, in 2 to 3 weeks time - approximately June 15th.

What do you think is going on? What should I do from here on in?

Thanks in advance!!




Seedling on far right is a 7th one I started on day 10 - it's looking just fine.

DIY Lights, 8 * T8 fluorescent bulbs, heights set at 10 inches from top of plants




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They shouldn't be fed until the cotyledons die off. I grow mine for the first month with nothing but water in soil.


If you don’t think this is an overwatering or poor drainage issue, I would take one out of the cup and check the root ball. They may just be root bound...I generally up pot from 4” cups once the leaves are reaching the edge of the cup.
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