Transplanting and the Vegetative Stage
Cannabis plants rarely ever live out their whole lives in one pot. They have to be transplanted as they grow, into pots that can accommodate their new size.
Why Marijuana Seedlings Need to be Transplanted
When deciding on the size of your containers, you have to consider the eventual size of your plant. Larger plants require larger containers, while smaller plants grow best in a relatively small container. You need to match the size of your plant with the size of your container.
So, while in the germination phase a smaller pot will suffice, as the plant grows it becomes necessary to transplant it. This is because cannabis grows really long roots, which need a lot of space to flourish properly. If there isn’t enough space, the roots will be underdeveloped, and this will lead to stunted growth. Stunted growth shows in red stem discolorations, and flimsy new growth.
When to Transplant
Ideally, cannabis should only be repotted once, and this is after the young plant sprouts four or five leaves. This is at approximately three weeks of growth. Here, the plant is just entering a vegetative state, and the roots need space to accommodate the coming growth.
At this point, the plant should be transplanted into its finishing pot. Some people try to keep transplanting to bigger pots as the plant gets bigger, but this puts unnecessary strain on the plant.
The Best Pots for Transplanting
Cannabis can grow in anything, just as long as it’s clean. However, there are many factors to consider when it comes to containers for transplanting your cannabis plant. The primary factors are:
Which Containers to Use?
Containers can be made of anything, but some have advantages and disadvantages over others. The common types of containers are:
- Clay: Using a clay pot requires that you water your plants twice as often, as the clay will sap the moisture out of your soil.
- Metal: Metal containers will strip your soil of heat, and are open to the risk of rust, which might cause contamination.
- Wooden: Wooden containers are pretty much perfect, but they’re also usually expensive, so are considered luxury pots.
- Plastic: Plastic containers are ultimately the best as they don’t steal the soil’s water or heat, and are very cost-effective.
What Size Container is Best?
Container size average is between 4 and 14 liters and is totally dependent on your plant’s growth. One might feel the need to extend this to up to 45 liters, depending on how long they plan to keep the plant and how big the plant will grow.
Having an undersized container would be bad for your plant. However, having an oversized container wouldn’t do anything to help unless your plant has the potential to get that big.
One should aim for a container that ensures the roots of the plant will never run out of space. This means that the plant should fill it, but not need any more space afterward.
For your cannabis plant to grow to be very healthy, there are a few things that need to be in place:
- Ability to retain water
- Soil texture
The soil used when growing your cannabis plant must be able to retain water. Otherwise, the roots will get injured due to how quickly the water in the soil will dry out.
However, it must also be able to achieve this water retention without becoming muddy. The soil needs to be wet, not a dirt paste.
To achieve this perfect balance, the soil needs to be of a light, loose texture with a rich, dark appearance. If you’re growing indoors, we advise against getting your soil from outside.
Aside from containing bugs and unwanted bacteria, the PH value of outside soil might not be up to par.
The Ideal PH value for cannabis is between 5.5 and 6.5. If soil is more acidic or alkaline, this can result in various deficiencies. Soil coming from an uncontrolled environment that is too acidic or too alkaline disturbs a plant’s ability to absorb and use nutrients which will ultimately result in a lesser quality harvest and yield.
Your soil should also drain to the bottom easily and not leave a pool above the soil for over a few seconds. Plants need a good mix of oxygen and water to go to the roots, all of the time. If this isn’t happening, the plant will get droopy.