Seedling leaves are puckering

Can you help to diagnose the problem I just noticed this morning on two seedlings I am growing? The new leaf growth is deformed and puckering. These seedlings were started in mid-November and have been growing under fluorescent lights in a basement room. I have been keeping the lights on 24 hours/day since I haven’t gotten around to buying an automatic timer. The temp is about 65 degrees and it is not either overly damp or dry. Leaf growth has not been a problem before, except for one time several weeks ago when I let the plants get too dry and had some new growth wilt.

I don’t see any evidence of white powder that I expect to see with mildew, and I noticed no spidery webs that I believe shows up with spider mites, although perhaps I haven’t looked closely enough. I generally spray leaves with plain water in a spray bottle a few times a week, and a stronger spray with the kitchen faucet sprayer once a week, after which I let them set in the warmer kitchen for a few hours. However, this is the first time I’ve seen this leaf problem on these plants.

These open-pollinated seedlings are nothing special, except my first exercise in growing roses from seeds. I’d like to learn from this experience. See link below for photos–sorry for the quality, but it was kitchen counter photography on the fly early this morning. Thanks for your advice and reading this long message.


The first sign of spider mites is clusters of tiny round pale spots in the leaves. The webbing usually comes later. There appears to be pale spots in your photograph, but they are elongated rather than round. Try looking at the bottoms of the leaves with a magnifying glass to see if you can see mites or something else.

I looked at the leaves with a magnifying glass this evening and cannot see any tiny insects, eggs, or anything else that could be causing the leaf distortion. Perhaps I damaged the new foliage when I sprayed it with water on Sunday? Or could there be a nutrient deficiency of some kind, since I have the lights on 24/7 and it is growing faster than nutrients can be taken in?

I keep my lights on all the time as well. That’s not the source of your problem.