When and How to Transplant Cannabis Seedlings

When you are looking to grow big cannabis plants, an important process to think about is when to transplant cannabis seeds. This is an important step in the growing cycle to get the best results for large plants that will grow dense buds. You should always consider starting to grow your cannabis plants in a relatively small container when they are seedlings as they will grow faster than if they were in a big container at the beginning stages of the growing cycle.

When the cannabis plants are grown from a small container, in the beginning, the plant will receive the right mixture of air, water, and nutrients as opposed to being waterlogged in a bigger container. After a while, the plants will outgrow their current container and need to be transplanted to achieve a top-quality harvest of the densest and biggest buds.

Why is Transplanting Cannabis Seedlings Necessary?

It is essential to transplant cannabis plants as they go through the different growing phases and outgrow their current container. As your cannabis plants get bigger, they can become rootbound in their current container if it is in a smaller container. You will know that your plant is rootbound as you will see the roots have grown entirely at the edges of the container. When this happens, your plant will no longer grow bigger as it has minimal space and therefore it will need to be transplanted into a bigger container that has the efficient space for the roots to stretch further.

When To Transplant Your Cannabis Seedlings?

The best time to transplant cannabis seedlings is when your plant starts to show that it has outgrown its existing container and if you look at the soil, you can see the seedling’s roots poking out. Typically, when the set of true leaves of the seedling have spread out to cover the circumference of the container, it’s a good indicator that it’s time. Vertical growth is also an obvious indicator that the seedling is ready for a transplant. You shouldn’t wait too long to transplant, it generally takes 7-10 days for a seedling to outgrow a small container of 1 liter or less.

If you avoid transplanting the seedling, the plant will ultimately, stop growing altogether as it has no more room to grow. When you are looking to transplant, you will want to give the plant, at least, double the space of its previous container. This reduces the number of times you will have to transplant the plant into bigger pots as well as minimizes the risk of transplant shock.

Some signs that your plant is root bound:

● Smaller buds and the plant has stunted growth
● Soil is drying out within a day or to, this shows the plant needs more water than the container can hold
● Nutrient deficiency symptoms such as  yellowing, spots, or wilting leaves
● Your plant has grown too tall for its container size, this will cause the plant to tip over.

The Best Way to Transplant?

When you are looking to transplant cannabis seedlings, you will need to consider the risks such as transplant shock. This can be quite detrimental to your plant’s growth and in some cases, it can cause your plant to wilt and die. To avoid this, the process of proper implementation is very necessary, as it will lead to the substantial growth of your plant roots and the production of large, healthy leaves and a big plant.

The first transplant should take place after the seedling has sprouted about 4 or 5 leaves. If you look at the roots of the plant and you can see that the roots are filling out the pot with healthy roots, this is a clear sign that it is time to give your plant a new home.

To begin your transplant, put the palm of your hand on the soil of the orginal pot, making sure you are holding the stem between two fingers. Tilt the pot and lightly tap the base of the container with one hand while gently pulling the plant out with your other hand. Your plant should slide out onto your hand that is holding the stem with little to no resistance. Place it in the next container and cover the plant with soil. Make sure to give it lots of water once the plant is in its new home.

Some helpful tips for your transplant:

  • Wear gloves when transplanting the plant to avoid contamination of the roots.
  • Make sure to give water to the plant beforehand to minimize transplant shock (1 or 2 days before). Don’t drench the plant as the soil can fall apart and will be difficult to work with.
  • The new pot should be filled with soil. The soil should allow enough space for the new plant. The soil in the new pot should be well watered before moving the plant.
  • Squeeze the soil lightly so that there is good drainage. Make sure to avoid overpacking the medium into the new container during the transplant as this can damage the roots of the plants.
  • To prevent transplant shock, make sure there isn’t any intense light during the transplant and avoid disturbing and agitating the roots during this process.
  • If you are doing multiple transplants, make sure your plants are in the biggest container at least 1-2 weeks before the flowering stage begins, and avoid transplanting plants during the flowering/budding stage. This can cause stress to your plant and may affect your final yields.

Pro Tip:

If your plant looks like it might be suffering from transplant shock (the leaves are drooping and there is slowed growth after the transplant) it is best to use a seaweed kelp extract, this will help your cannabis plant recover from the shock more quickly.

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