It may seem simple, but knowing why when and how to put your girlies in a new medium is a delicate process we all need to master; whether you are growing cannabis indoors or prepping your plants for your greenhouse set up in the upcoming season. Transplanting your cloned cannabis plants or seeds so they don’t get “root bound”, weak, or susceptible is essential to the future and flowering process of your plant. Let us open up the conversation to the how, what, when and why of transplanting our precious babies, so they are successful from the get-go.
Signs Your Plant is Ready for a New Home:
• Nutrient sensitivity and deficiency: Are your plants looking yellow, droopy, or not producing? This is simply because they are having trouble taking up nutrients due to lack of space.
• New Growth: Check out the new growth. Are there five leaves? Are they flimsy or are they happy and praying to the sun?
• Stem discoloration
• Stunted flower production
These cues are a means of expressing that your plants should have already been transplanted. They are a key reason why knowing how and when to transplant will make all the difference for your cannabis plant’s future health and progress. Let it be noted that these symptoms will be observed later once the plant has either become “root bound” , has root rot, or simply needed to be transplanted far earlier than you anticipated. This is why knowing when to transplant your cannabis before issues arise will be detrimental to a viable crop from start to finish.
When to Transplant Your Cannabis Plants:
When your plants are showing these telltale signs for transplant it is important to make it a priority. A good rule of thumb is looking at the plant’s canopy and the stage of cannabis growth . Judging the plant’s height and canopy while they are still healthy will help you gauge the root system beneath the soil. Another clue that your plants are ready to be transplanted to a bigger pot is how often you are feeding and/or watering. For example, if you are needing to water your plants daily as opposed to every third day then you know your plants need more room to grow. Staying on top of these noteworthy observations will ensure you are transplanting in a timely manner, so your plant’s stay happy, healthy, and on schedule.
Some following indicators that your cannabis plants are ready to be transplanted are its root development. When looking at the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot the roots should be healthy and white, but if your root system starts to extend outside the pot it needs to be transplanted into a bigger vessel. Keynote: A great time to transplant your plants into their final “home” (5-gallons or bigger) is just before you flip your plants into the flowering stage.
How to Transplant Your Cannabis Plants:
When you are growing weed with less equipment or on a budget you are constantly worried about the overall outcome of your crop. Truthfully, growing cannabis successfully takes time, experimentation, and most of all observation. One of the most necessary skills required for growing cannabis plants is the ability to transplant them, especially when they are still young. Transplanting is a delicate process, you will want to double the size of the previous pot and pay attention to soil amendments and water pH to avoid the risk of transplant shock. Let us go through a step-by-step process to ensure the success of your cannabis crops’ future.
• Wear clean clothes, gloves, and wash your hands and transplant station before you begin the transplant process. This decreases the risk of contamination.
• Lightly water the potted cannabis plants before removing them from their current home to prevent shock and stress to the plant.
• Fill your new pot with lightly amended soil about ¾ full to give the roots room to grow and expand after they are newly transplanted.
• Keep the soil light and somewhat airy to allow the roots to breathe and not be smothered. Perlite, rice hull, and different materials for constant aeration are key to keeping your plant’s root systems healthy and draining properly.
• Find a nice shaded area to transplant your clones or seeds to avoid agitation and stress to the plant.
• Finally, water in your plants once they are transplanted into their new pots.
Some extra tips for growing cannabis
There of course are some go-to golden guidelines to consider when transplanting and growing cannabis in general. Your cannabis will thrive on the right light cycle with the right amount of nutrients in optimal conditions. Here are some little tips and tricks to stand by when getting your seeds and clones started and set up for success.
• Ph is important. You want to run your feed and water at around 5.5 ph for fresh cuts and germination of seedlings. This ph will rise with the life cycle of the plant to a pH of about 6.3. Having the right pH helps your cannabis plants uptake the nutrients they need to flourish.
• Soil amendments and building live soil is key to consistent and healthy cannabis plants. Keep it simple, when you are first transplanting your younger plants. Some great amendments to use in your soil at this phase are those that are high in nitrogen. Amending your soil with organic materials such as worm castings, bat guano, and mycorrhizae will help your plant progress steadily without overdoing it.
• Nutrients: PPMs are also important at the beginning stages of growth and throughout the growing process. For the first few weeks run your feed at about 500-600 ppms to help kick start their root system. Using a B-1 vitamin and wetting agents such as aloe vera and yucca are amazing organic ways to kick start plant growth and push root stimulation.
There you have it! Sometimes keeping it simple early on and building a routine for transplanting is what will bring consistent success. Mix up your amendments and try new things to see what works best for you and your plants in your environment. Keep learning, keep growing and happy planting!