Transplanting is when you take a plant out of one pot and plant it into another. This usually is done to accommodate the plant as it begins to outgrow its current pot.

Is Transplanting necessary when growing marijuana?

No. It is not necessary, but there are various reasons for doing it. As with most things related to cannabis cultivation, the answer is, “it depends.”

Here are a couple considerations that come in to play for us in our decision to start our plants in small containers and transplant later into larger containers.

  • Saving space — small containers and cups don’t take up space, so we can run a lot more seedlings and clones. This is particularly helpful during pheno hunts, but also with regular production.
  • More frequent feedings — with a small container, you can hit the seedling/clone/small plant with more feedings, and the nutrients all land right where the roots are.
  • Shape of the plant — in a nutshell, the development of the roots influence the development of the canopy. If the roots grow lateral, watch your plant spread out wide in a similar pattern. If you limit lateral growth of the roots, the plant will put its effort into vertical growth.

So using these considerations, you will see how we make our decisions around transplanting to suit our needs and wants.

Why do we transplant cannabis?

We must transplant our cannabis because we start our plants in small containers. But we don’t want to finish them there.

We eventually want large plants, and that requires a larger root system, which requires a larger pot.

But why do we start in small containers and cups?

To save space. That is the main reason.

We like to sprout seeds in water or using the paper towel method. Once the seed has sprouted, we will plant it in soil in a red solo cup.

But a red solo cup is way insufficient for growing ganja.. We’ve tried it before and the results were terrible.

Transplanting weed from a small pot to a large pot

The potential of your plant is determined by the overall development of its root system. The more expansive the root development, the bigger the ganja plant.

Why not just start with a huge pot?

You can. Especially if lack of space is not a consideration. Also, if you were growing in soil you might want to.

However, for us, we want to pack a lot more seedlings and clones into our veg space so we can conduct super huge pheno hunts. Saving space is a huge consideration.

But there is another aspect to small containers, as well.

Small containers cause vertical growth

You may have heard us talking about growing horizontally, and wanting to spread our canopy wide. Yes, we want all of that. But not yet!

At this stage, we want to the plant to grow vertical. Straight up and down.

Why?  So we can top it!

And with our style of topping, we like to cut a decent amount of length off the plant to create our “crown” that rises up a week later.

Therefore, we don’t want the roots growing lateral, and causing the plant to start growing wide. Not yet. Want want a quick vertical growth spurt, then we top it. Then we start working on widening that canopy growth.

Small containers allow for more frequent feedings right at the roots. The water can’t run off away from the roots in a small container. This will also help that vertical growth spurt.

Large Containers allow the plant to grow wide

We have noticed that a plant’s overall canopy tends to mirror the size and growth of the roots underneath. For the same reason that a small cup will cause only vertical growth, a large, wide pot will allow a plant to grow wide.

If the roots can grow laterally, so can the plant.

Because we want our flowering plant to grow very wide, we must use a larger pot when it comes time to flower the plant. But you never want to transplant during the flowering stage.

Read our next article on the best time to transplant.


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