Cannabis transplant – How and when
Cannabis transplant from one pot into a bigger one is a very recommended technique by experts, in addition to being so beneficial to plant’s health. Cannabis, as many other plants, has a tendency to send roots to the bottom and sides of the pot, leaving unattended the central area of the pot, what detracts performance possibilities of the final yield. Even though there isn’t a norm of when to proceed with a cannabis transplant, in this post we will give you some advices of how and when to transplant cannabis to get more benefits.
What does cannabis transplant mean?
Make a transplant of plant means to move it from one container to another (usually bigger one). This at first look can seem to be something simple, has its advantages, but also its inconvenients, so it is important to know when to proceed with a cannabis transplant, and how to do it so plants suffer the minimum possible.
Benefits of cannabis transplant
Cannabis plants have a natural tendency to send their roots to the bottom and sides of its main root center. Plants grow their root system this way same as buildings need foundations to hold the aerial part. If we place our seed in a container, after some days we’ll see how roots have colonized the bottom of it, besides the sides, creating a dense root system in all the perimeter of the pot, what allows plant to know which are its possibilities of vertical and horizontal growth. Due this reason we can notice a different morphology when plants are grown in different shaped pots (rout or squared) as well as in different size pots. This appreciation tells us that plant’s morphology goes by hand with how roots have formed the root system.
As we said, the natural growth of root system of plants has a tendency to search for the ends of the container but… What happens in the central area of the container? Even though it is true that main root, as well as its secondaries, will pass through the center looking for the ends, its mission is not to fill the center, so the center will be unattended of root mass (this detail is easy to check once plants are chopped taking the plant out of the pot and doing a transversal cut). So here it is the main mission of a cannabis transplant, and the highest benefit of a cannabis transplant: Get the root system to fill the whole container and not only its perimeters.
Another secondary benefits of cannabis transplants could be offering new substrate to plants (with more nutrients available), give larger space to roots in order to get bigger plants, enlarge the distance in-between irrigation…
So it is clear then that cannabis transplant is a global benefit for plants that directly derives not only in its aerial growth, also in its root growth, what helps getting larger yields.
When to proceed with cannabis transplant?
As we previously explained the main mission of a transplant is to give more space to the roots, and get a better container filling, so in order to get those benefits we must know that transplants should always be done while roots are in developing stage. This occurs mainly along vegetative stage of plants, as even though in flowering stage plants may create some roots, are not focussed in that, so it is worthless to do transplant in flowering stage. So if we pretend getting benefits from a cannabis transplant, we should do at least one, or more transplants, while plants are in growing phase.
When is the exact moment for a cannabis transplant? If we take as reference that each pot has a certain volumen, and this will be the limiting, together with the time plants had been in i. As urgent transplant symptoms we have:
> Symptoms of blockage in plant’s development.
> Fading and loss of fan leaves.
> Quick water absortion in substrate.
> Visual control of roots shows symptoms of rootball.
How to cannabis transplant?
We have detailed reasons why it could be beneficial to proceed with cannabis transplant and move plants to a bigger container (or in-ground). Now the following question is: How to proceed to transplant?
1- The first we should know before transplanting from one container to another is if the substrate is dry enough. A humid substrate could hinder the process, with high possibility of decomposing the substrate block.
2- Once we’ve checked the substrate is dry the following is to prepare the pot in which we will place the plant for further development. Our recommendation is tu fill half the pot with fresh substrate (the reference of how much is got placing the old pot on the surface of the added substrate, checking that it does not surpass the height of the new pot).
3- Place a pot from the same size used to keep plants on the surface of the soil added (placing it in the center of the new pot) and fill the sides with new substrate.
4- Press softly the substrate added so it takes form, assuring that there is not space unfilled.
5- Take the pot out (it will leave the exact space to place our plant in). In case of having mycorrhizae, or other beneficial bacteria add to the hole following the recommended dose of each brand.
6- Place the pot that still contains the plant and press the superior endings of the pot, to get the pot separate from the substrate. Once this is done place your hand on the surface of the substrate in a way the main stem stays in-between your fingers and turn it up-side-down.
7- With the plant up-side-down pull the pot out from the plant so the roots will keep uncovered.
8- Place the plant in the hole prepared previously.
9- Fill with more substrate the surface in case of needing.
10- Proceed to irrigate within a good root booster.
How many transplants are necessary?
If talk about essential, or needed for a proper development, the answer is none. What? Yes you read it right, if we talk about essential, a cannabis plant does not really need to be transplanted, in fact there are many growers who got great results without needing to transplant, so that’s why we say it is not essential. However, if we pretend to build a healthy and powerful root system it is recommended to proceed with at least 1-2 cannabis transplants before placing the plants in their last pot.
The most common thing talking about transplants is that indoors you should do 2, while outdoors it is more common to do 3-4. If we do more or less will depend on the starting point (size of the first spot) and the size of the definitive pot in which we want to place the plants.
Recommended pots for marijuana transplant indoors
For indoor growing the first we should think is the type of garden we will execute:
– SOG: Sea of Green.
– SCROG: Screen of Green.
Why? becase we should know which will be the ending size of the pot used. While in a SOG garden growers usually use 5-7L sized pots, in a SCROG what is recommended is to use 15-20 liter pots to get the plants develope quick enough to cover the growing area the sooner as possible.
If our intention is to proceed with a SOG what’s recommended is to begin with 1L pots, from there move plants into a 3 liter pot, and then into a 5-7 liter pot.
On the other hand, doing a SCROG what’s recommended is to start with 1L, later on place plants in 3L pots, from there jump into the 7L after what we’ll jump into 15-20L.
Recommended pots for cannabis transplant outdoors
Growing outdoors has a key characteristic: A long vegetative stage. Thanks to this, we can transplant cannabis more times, before placing plants in the definitive pot (or in-ground).
In this case we should pay special attention to an important detail beyond the pot volume: Sun and its impact in pot’s plastic.
It happens more often than desired that a grower uses pots from an indoor grow to use them outdoors, deriving in a common phenomenom: The son warms up the plastic pots, that contain humid substrate in, turning into root “cooking”. If we want to avoid this we should buy pots thought for outdoor growing (more thick and usually white, or at least not black), porexpan pots, or fabric pot like Smart Pot, that avoid this effect.
Once we have the pots our tip is to proceed with 3-4 transplants along vegetative stage (what in the northern hemisphere occurs between April and July).
A good size to start with is 1L, to then place plants in 10L, later on in 20-25L, before transplanting them into a 40-50L pot (or in-ground).
A good option that we specially like when we pretend placing the plants in-ground is to use big-sized fabric pots (200-300 liters). In these cases we can proceed in two different ways:
– Make a hole in the ground and place the pot in it (our favourite option as plants will be more protected from hard winds and also from indiscreet eyes, besides being a great option to keep root temperatures under control).
– Place the pot on ground.
The bes advantahe of using big-sized pots is the great yields will get with only one plant, while its main disadvantage is the plant will be less discreet than growing more smaller plants.
Autoflowering cannabis transplant
We didn’t want to forget talking about autoflowering seeds in this post, as their characteristics, and special needings, make them very different to others. We want to highlight that autoflowering seeds should never be transplanted in any case.
Firstly because these type of automatic strains are very susceptible to stress issues, and any kind of transplant could be harmful.
Second because these genetics have a natural tendency to start flowering in cases where the root system has reached the ends of the container, so it causes an early flowering begining, reducing notoriously the final yields.
If we take these two main reasons, it is clear then that the best way to grow autoflowering strains is to place them directly into the definitive pot (and never use a jiffy, what can also cause dwarfism in autoflowering seeds). The volume of these pots will depend on a main factor:
The ideal plant size at late flowering (usually expressed in the description given by the seedbank). We could simplify it in two main groups:
– Small autoflowering strains: The ones that don’t grow taller than 40-60 cm.
– XL Autoflowering strains: Those strains that grow taller than 1 meter height.
While those smaller autoflowering strains can be grown in 10L pots, for the XL ones it is recommended to use 15-20 ñiter pots to get a higher performance.
As we couldn’t get the benefits from cannabis transplant with autoflowering seeds, we aim you to read our post about how to stimulate growth of autoflowering seeds.
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