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transplant cannabis

How and when to transplant cannabis plants

If you’re a complete novice, when we refer to the term of how to transplant cannabis, we’re actually just saying, “re-homing” it. Usually when growing any plant from seed you’ll start off in a small container.

For your cannabis plant to achieve its best shape and size you will need to transplant it into a larger vessel. While you can grow a seed in place from the get go, you want to be able to monitor the plant during its germination period – which is easiest when in a small container.

Before we go any further let’s find out why transplanting your cannabis plant is important.

What you need to transplant your cannabis plant

Your plant’s roots need space. The more they’re able to stretch their legs the better and healthier the plant will be.

When roots get tangled up – or become “root-bound” – it will choke your plant’s ability to absorb nutrients, water, and oxygen.

While some may suggest planting the seeds directly into the soil of a large pot it can be wasteful (water wise) and in some cases it’s hard to monitor. Also, if you grow the seed in a large pot the surrounding soil can become water logged and lead to root rot. We’re spoken about how to water your cannabis plant correctly before.

Most growers will start with a small sprouting pot which can be sized anywhere between 10cm pot to a jiffy pellet.

After a few weeks the seedling will grow and around the time it puts on its second leaf tier (4-5 leaves) you should consider repotting your cannabis plant.

If you’re worried your plant is root-bound you will see the following symptoms:

  • Flimsy new growth
  • Stunted flower production
  • Stem discolouration (turning red)
  • Nutrient sensitivity
  • And nutrient deficiency

Your plant might look as if it’s lacking water.

Now, that you have an idea why you need to transplant, let’s focus on when.

When to transplant your marijuana

Most homegrown cannabis plants will go through two transplant during their life. While it could be more, due to a number of factors, make sure to have a larger pot around.

A good sign that your plant needs more root space is if the roots are popping out the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot.

As a rule of thumb your first container should be around 4 – 5 litres. You’ll most likely be using this within 4-8 weeks of germinating the seed.

Your second container should be around 20 litres.

You can use an in between container, but most growers are ok with moving their plants between these sizes.

These numbers and figures can vary depending on your strain.

Then you do not want to transplant your cannabis during its flowering stage. Once there are buds forming you want it to be comfortable and not exposed to any stress.

The plant will be hit a growth spurt during flowering, developing in size and flowers.

As mentioned plant sizes vary due to strain and growing conditions.

Here’s a quick table to determine what size pot to use.

Plant heightPot size
0 – 15cm4-inch (16 oz.)
15 – 30cm5 litre
30 – 60cm10 litre
60 – 110cm20 litre
110 – 150cm40 litre
150 – 210cm80 litre

Right, but how does one do a transplant?

How to repot your cannabis

Now that you’re sure of the signs and timing, it’s time to dive into the how.

The first step is to ensure that your hands and gloves are clean to ensure that you don’t contaminate the fragile roots. Make sure your tools are clean as well.

Before removing your plant make sure to drizzle some water on the ground to minimise shock to the plant. Make sure not to drench the soil as this will make working with the plant more difficult.

Your new pot should have some soil it in, but not too much. If your plant’s roots can’t fit into the container then there’s too much soil.

Don’t disturb the roots too much when removing and transplanting the cannabis plant. And ensure that the roots aren’t overly exposed to the sun.

Once the little plant is in its new home make sure not to overpack the soil as it can hamper drainage when transplanted.

And last step, water the plant in its new home.

If you’ve followed the steps to the letter you’ve most likely completed a successful transplant.

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