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Accidentally broke off cannabis seed head

Seedling is growing upside down, taproot is above the soil!

Is your cannabis seedling growing upside down? Has the tap root come above the soil?

If your root is growing straight up like in the picture below, it’s not good. This is most common in seedling plugs. The tender white root tip has a good chance of drying out or being exposed to too much light. You want to strongly consider doing some “plant surgery” to turn this little seedling around to the right direction

The first thing to do is get a new Rapid Rooter. Since your seed already has a relatively long root, cut the plug open lengthwise so you can gently place the seedling inside in the right position without having to “push” down on the seed.

Now gently extract the seed from its original home with a pair of tweezers making sure to touch only the shell and not the root (the root is the most sensitive part)! Now lay the seedling in the middle of your newly split open Rapid Rooter and gently close the plug around it again.

Most seedling plugs will go back into place easily, and you’ll barely be able to tell it’s been opened

Since your seedling has already sprouted and has been in placed into the right growing position, it’ll probably pop its head out within just 12-24 hours! Sometimes you see just the leaves, but occasionally you actually see the seedling push the shell above ground.

When this happens the shell usually falls off on its own as the seedling grows!

When Should I NOT Do Surgery?

Sometimes you can see the young taproot of a cannabis seedling but the situation isn’t as dire. If the root is already pointed in the right direction, it’s probably going to be just fine! But if you’re worried, you can cover up the root until the leaves actually make it to the surface.

For example you could tear a tiny piece off the edge of this Rapid Rooter and gently lay it on top. Or if you were in soil you could sprinkle a tiny bit of soil over the seedling. The seedling will push it off as it grows upward.

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This case isn’t so bad because the root is already facing down, in the correct direction. Note: This seedling was just watered, but typically the Rapid Rooter should never look this wet. It should be moist but not shiny.

If you leave it alone, the seed will start to rise up, and open to reveal the seedling’s cotyledons (first, round leaves)

The cotyledons unfurl and then the regular cannabis leaves between to grow. Here’s another view of that same seedling from above only a few hours later. Even though it may have looked a bit weird at first, this seedling is completely normal and will grow just fine from now on!

Most of the Time Seedlings Take Care of Themselves!

When you see your seedling looks like this, where the part of the root exposed to the surface already looks green like a stem, you don’t need to do anything.

After germination, the tip goes down and stays white, and the other side that’s contained in the shell tries to work its way up, and that part of the stem turns green. Sometimes it looks like the root is going upside down because it appears that it’s not strong enough to be able to push the seed up.

As long as the tip of the root stays wet the seedling will be fine! The “root” is the same as what is going to become the stem. If it appears green it means that part of the root is already in “stem” mode and isn’t sensitive to the light.

If you just wait a little everything will have righted itself Here’s that seedling 12 hours later…

12 hours after that, the leaves have completely emerged!

If you hadn’t been watching you wouldn’t even have known anything happened!

Can I Tape a Flower Stem That Broke?

Long plant stems topped with heavy flowers can be more likely to break than sturdier species. One example is an orchid (Orchidaceae, zones 6-9) and another is a sunflower (Helianthus annuus, zones 4-9), but if your orchid or sunflower stem broke, there may be hope for saving it. All you really need is the right kind of support system and a bit of tape since this repair is a bit like setting a broken bone.

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You can tape a stem that has been damaged, though you won’t be able to save a plant if the stem has been completely torn apart.

My Sunflower Stem Broke

Like other flowers, sunflower stems transport nutrients and water to help them grow. According to Lumen, the stems are made of a variety of cells that provide support and move food and water. If these stems bend or break with fibers still attached, the flower may be able to survive, provided enough of the cells are still intact so that nutrients can flow. If it is completely torn off from the plant’s roots, a stem will not be able to grow back.

If your sunflower stem broke and you catch it early enough, luck is on your side. The top portion of the stem has a vascular system, but you need to act swiftly before it is beyond repair. To fix a broken sunflower stem, you will need something to use as a splint, like a skewer or a bamboo cane, plant tape or electrical tape and a stake.

Align the stem’s broken edges and hold the parts upright. Put the splint alongside them and wrap the tape around them. Do not bind too tightly and afterward, you can rest it against a stake for support. The repaired stem will not develop the same way that it was before the break, but it should continue to grow in a somewhat altered direction.

Broken Orchid Stems

Dengarden points out that orchids are also prone to stem breakage because of their heavy flowers and thin stems. To fix a bent or snapped orchid (that is hanging by more than a thread), push a skewer or stake into the pot, avoiding the roots or rhizome. Attach the damaged stem onto the stake with twine or a clip, keeping it close to the flower. Remember not to make the attachment too tight.

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For horizontal support, cut two pieces of bamboo to the same length. Put one on each side of the damaged stem, keeping it in the middle. Then, attach the stem to the bamboo pieces with twine. Hopefully, the orchid will survive and grow even bigger flowers.

If the orchid stem is severed, you will have to take it as a loss. Sterilize a pair of scissors with rubbing alcohol and cut off the stem as close to the damage as you can. Keep the flower if there is one; put it in a bowl of water so you can continue enjoying its beauty. Seal the wound by dabbing some cinnamon powder on it. You can also cover it with some melted wax.

Other Stem-Saving Ideas

You can try to save a broken plant stem by bracing it with something stiff. One way to do this is to use a drinking straw. First, hold the straw up to the damaged stem and use a marker to indicate the length that you will need. Cut the straw to size with a pair of scissors.

Using small scissors or a paring knife, carefully split your straw lengthwise. Fit it around the broken stem and use plant tape to close it. If you don’t have plant tape, you can try another kind. You might also try tightening the straw with twist ties or fabric as well. Continue watering your plant and keep an eye on it, as the stress of a broken stem can make it unhappy.

Royal Queen Seeds recommends using tape to fix the stem. Use about 10 centimeters of tape and wrap it around the stem, making sure it goes all the way around (you’re likely to need more tape for thicker stems). You can leave the tape on for two weeks to a month, checking on the plant regularly to ensure it is still standing upright and seems to be healing.