I have planted Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) seeds indoors in a seed tray.

The seeds germinated 5 days ago and had to do 2 days without grow lights since they were not installed till then.

Once operational, I placed the seed tray just below the grow light in a small space (kindly see that in the pictures attached).

It has been three days and there has been no sign of true leaf growth in any of the Carnation seedlings. Moreover, the seedling cotyledons are now beginning to curl inwards. I am unaware of what might be the cause of the growth halt and would like anyone's kind assistance.

The conditions in the space are as follows:

Air flow: none Area Temperature: around 26 °C Room temperature: 21°C to 24°C Relative Humidity: around 50% Soil type: Potting soil (peat moss) Light time: 18 hours Dark time: 6 hours Light power: 43 watt LED

I was suspecting root rot due to the high water in the soil and have hence added a solution of fish fungicide to the soil. Now I am a bit concerned that the fungicide might kill the seedlings.curled cotyledons

Small Space


  • Hi, Taimur! Can you post a photo close-up to the seedlings so that we can see them? Also, in normal daylight if it is possible, so that we can see the colour of the seedlings.
    – Alina
    Sep 9, 2017 at 14:57
  • 1
    @Alina I have uploaded the picture as requested.
    – Taimur
    Sep 9, 2017 at 15:10
  • 1: Patience. 2: That's a funny looking grow light. Sep 9, 2017 at 15:13
  • @WayfaringStranger 1. I guess you are right :( 2. Really? I bought that from Ebay.
    – Taimur
    Sep 9, 2017 at 15:23
  • 1
    @WayfaringStranger I have uploaded a picture of the growlight. They said it has blue and red LED chips of a specific wavelength.
    – Taimur
    Sep 9, 2017 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


The cotiledons are big enough for 5 days. For the true leaves you will have to wait about two weeks from now, more or less. What I would do to ensure they will grow nice:

• reduce the day length from 18 hours to about 13-14 hours like days on the Mediterranean region (supposedly their original location) in April when carnations are sown outdoors

• water only when the potting soil starts to dry, in order to minimize the risk of becoming leggy in case you forget to gradually give them more light and to avoid fungus development

vernalize them after a few months when they are developed and have strong roots; it would be great if you could provide a temperature of 5°C (41F°) for 10 weeks.

Read this paper about fast flowering perennials for more details. You can calculate the length of days around the world on this site.

  • Thank you a lot. This was exactly the answer I was looking for. This is my first time growing Carnations and your advice will surely help. I just hope my seedlings don't die of fish fungicide.
    – Taimur
    Sep 9, 2017 at 16:52

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