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1st time growing from seeds indoor under grow lights. I started these tomatoes seeds 7 days ago. I read about leggy plants so I had them 3-4 inches from lights. Are they suspose to look like this? I have been searching for pics of different stages of growing tomatoes but have not found any resources. Thank you in advance for your responses!

I think they must have sprouted faster then the package stated. They were in a container with a dome. I was shocked when check on them day 3 and they had sprouted as package stated 6-7 days. So I guess I have had my first experience with leggy plants! So do I trash them and start over completely?

  • The picture is normally supposed to show up, what you show doesn't look like a picture at all, can you please re-upload the picture? Apr 1, 2019 at 20:54
  • 1
    Most likely not enough light or not enough hours of light in a day
    – kevinskio
    Apr 2, 2019 at 0:15
  • @blackthumb The picture looked OK for me, an hour before you posted your comment - see the time stamps. And it still looks the same right now.
    – alephzero
    Apr 2, 2019 at 15:42
  • I won't add this as an answer because I don't know that it will make a difference, but I wonder if the fact that the light is directional makes a difference. You might consider using a diffuser or reflectors so that the seedlings don't strain towards the light Apr 2, 2019 at 18:25
  • @alephzero it was a server bug Apr 2, 2019 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


No, they are not supposed to look like that. I never grew tomatoes under lights, but those are far too long and thin. As soon as they develop any more leaves, they will collapse because the stalk can't carry the weight of the leaves.

Ideally tomato seedlings should look more like this or this.

To answer a follow-up question from the OP, yes, start again. You can't make those seedlings get back to the shape they should be!

You can re-use the potting compost. Just pull out the seedlings and plant new seeds.


The soil temperature is too high . A minor factor is light, the more the better as long as it does not significantly warm the soil ; so it is difficult to use incandescent bulbs unless you have a very cool location. A good situation is to sprout seeds in a warm location then within 24 hours get the sprouts into a cool location with bright light . I had good results with a cold ( 50 F) garage to grow sprouted seeds.

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