When you’re setting up your indoor cannabis grow, the first step is to germinate your cannabis seeds in small containers. This gives seedlings better root oxygenation and makes them easy to move. The problem is that cannabis plants quickly outgrow these little pots, which means they’ll need to be transplanted – and while they’re still delicate.
Transplanting can be nerve-wracking, especially for beginner growers – but it doesn’t have to be. If you want to transplant your cannabis plants, it’s simple as long as you’re cautious. You can get your cannabis transplanted quickly and easily if you know what you’re doing.
When to Transplant
The trick for knowing when to transplanting is balancing plant hardiness with size. Young seedlings grow quickly, so the difference between perfectly fitting their container and becoming root-bound can be just a few days.
Ideally, you want your plant to have about four or five sets of leaves when you transplant it. This shows that they should have the hardiness to survive some jostling, but haven’t yet completely outgrown their current home.
If you’re still not sure, you can also check on the roots. If you look through the drainage holes in the bottom of the container, you should see healthy, white roots. They shouldn’t be escaping the pot yet or turning brown. If roots are brown or look “off,” then you are probably dealing with rootbound plants and root rot. That’s a sign you should transplant immediately to keep your cannabis growing.
Some growers choose to transplant multiple times, from a germination pot to a vegetative stage pot to a flowering stage pot. This is because a lot of strains of cannabis have a significant second growth during flowering, increasing upwards of 50% in size. In this case, the second transplant should happen about two weeks before you move to the flowering stage. This gives the plant time to recover from any stress caused by the transplant.
How to Transplant
When you decide to transplant, there are a couple steps to follow.
- First, leave your plant alone and avoid watering for at least a day before the transplant. This helps soil cohere, so you don’t lose half your dirt in the process.
- Pre-fill the new pot with soil. Ideally, you should begin with the soil high enough that your transplant’s rootball will be level with the top of the new pot. This allows you to place the rootball on the soil and fill in around it with additional soil.
- Avoid touching or damaging the roots of your plant during the transplant. That’s the number one cause of death due to transplants.
- Keep the lights dimmer than usual for a day or two after the transplant to avoid shock.
- Water it well after the transplant. This both helps the plant adjust to its new container and settles the soil.
These steps apply to every transplant. The rule of thumb is that for every transplant, give the plants two gallons of soil for every anticipated foot of growth. If you anticipate your cannabis growing five feet taller, for example, it should get ten gallons of soil. For the flowering stage, you can usually anticipate adding three to five more gallons, depending on the strain.
Transplanting has lots of benefits for your indoor weed grow. You can keep multiple generations of plant growing in less space by having multiple size of pot, and you can keep your marijuana plants’ roots aerated. Your yields will improve and your plants will be healthier.
If you’re working with soil, transplanting is a necessity, but one that’s easier than you think.