Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Cotyledons are the first leaves that are seen on a marijuana seedling once it starts to sprout. Cotyledon leaves are also known as seed leaves, and they mostly grow in pairs. When the cannabis plant continues to grow, these leaves shed off so that the other parts of the plant can keep on maturing and growing. Cotyledons play a crucial role in the early stages of plant life.
Cotyledon leaves provide a new plant with all the nutrients they need to survive and thrive. As the cotyledons break through the surface, photosynthesis begins and the growing tip pops out of the base of the cotyledon. This produces leaves that keep on advancing the process of photosynthesis.
At times, cotyledons sprout up a little too far. In such cases, it’s vital to take it away from the shade and prevent it from stretching. If the cotyledon gets too far up out of the soil, the plant can topple over and die. It is best not to remove them and to just let them do their thing until they fall off the cannabis plant on their own accord. With time, cotyledons turn yellow, then brown, and soon after, they simply fall off. If you do see brown ones that haven’t fallen off yet, it’s recommended you pinch them off.