Here’s the scoop on switching your cannabis sativa seedlings to their final destination.
If you are growing cannabis plants at home, chances are that you’re probably wondering when to transplant seedlings. You got the plant in there, it started getting pretty big….so now what are you supposed to do? Follow along as we describe the process for transplanting seedlings for your home cultivation project.
Starting your seedling in a smaller container
You may be wondering why you didn’t just start your seedling in its final container. Well, that’s because smaller containers create the perfect ratio of air, water, and soil for your seedling’s tiny roots. In an oversized container, your baby plant will drown.
Whether you have your seedling growing outdoors or growing indoors, it is important to know when to move your cannabis seedlings to bigger pots.
Starting your plant in a small container helps the roots get enough oxygen. If your plant’s roots become waterlogged, it might die, or have this crucial growing stage impacted. You want your seedling to grow as much as possible when it is young.
You’ve put a lot of TLC into growing your cannabis sativa plant. Whether you started it as a seed or transplanted it from a clone, transferring it successfully into a larger container is not a big deal. Don’t stress. Here’s how to get through this step of the home cultivation process.
Knowing when it’s the right time to transplant
You’ll know when to transplant your cannabis plants by signs from their roots and leaves.
Checking the roots
Whether they are in solo cups or seed trays, you’ll want to transplant them once their roots are holding the growing medium together. Make sure that the roots are not wrapping around the chosen container, as this might be the beginning of a root ball.
Preventing a root ball is key to making sure your plant's roots have enough oxygen and airflow. If the roots form a tight circle around the soil, it will prevent the plant from properly using water and nutrients. If your plants seem droopy, check to see if the roots have formed a ball.
Signs from the leaves
Your plant's leaves will also indicate when your plants should be transplanted. Once they touch the edges of the container, it’s probably time to move them to a larger one. If your plant is too large, you may have to cut it or find ways to support it. You don’t want to hurt your plant before, during, or after transplanting.
Before you transplant your seedlings, remember to water them about one to two days prior. This helps keep the moist soil together when you are moving the plant.
No matter how you’ve been growing your seedlings, it’s better to transfer them to a larger container too early rather than too late. Ensuring that your plants get the essential amount of oxygen during this crucial step in the growing process will determine their ultimate size and yield.
Transplanting your seedling to its new container
Taking your plant out of its container can be stressful, but we find that you can make the process stress-free by being extra careful.
Be gentle when handling your seedling’s roots
Another perk of using disposable cups as containers is that they make it easy to loosen the soil around the seedling. Just take a butter knife and run it around the edges of the container. Don’t pull your plant; just gently tap the seedling out. Shaking your plant can disturb its delicate roots. Exercise great care when transplanting your seedlings to avoid putting all of your hard work to waste.
The best container for your seedling
Be mindful of what you use as your plant’s new container. It’s crucial to have enough space for the plant to properly develop. For indoor plants, containers should be at least three to 5 liters in size.
Be sure to use a dark, opaque container as sunlight will damage the plant’s fragile roots. If you are very nervous about transplanting, you can move your plant into its final pot. Beware not to overwater your plant's roots if you do this.
How to properly use soil when transplanting
If you’ve chosen to transplant your seedling to its final destination, just add some extra perlite. This will improve drainage and loosen the soil. You don’t want to add too much soil while transplanting the seedling. Excess soil has the potential to compromise your plant’s draining and its delicate root systems. Remember, stay on the gentle side with watering until your plant is steadily growing and has a few sets of leaves.
When to Water Your Transplanted Seedling
One way to tell when to water your transplanted seedlings is the “lift the pot” method. This is an easy way to figure out when your plants are thirsty. Just pick your plant up and see if it feels “light.” If your plant has sucked up all of its water, it should feel pretty light.
Transplanted seedlings and flowering
You’ll want to stick your plants in their final container before they switch into the flowering stage. They will need at least one to two weeks to adjust to their new environment. If you transplant after the beginning of the plant’s flowering cycle, it might get a transplant shock.
What to Do if Your Seedling has Transplant Shock
It’s important to avoid transplant shock, as it can affect the initial development of your plant. If your plant is drooping, growing slowly, or has leaf problems, it may be experiencing transplant shock.
Adding nutrients can impact your plant for the better or the worse. Cut nutrient intake in half to avoid transplant shock. If you have already transplanted your seedlings, and your plant is showing signs of transplant shock, you can use nutrients to help your plant get back on track.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, giving your plants extra care when transplanting will pay off with great performance and results. Use a gentle hand with watering and give your plant lots of space for its roots to grow. The right combination of space, water, nutrients, and sunlight is essential to your plant’s growth after transplanting. No matter how you homegrow, be patient with your plant. Give it lots of time to adjust to its new environment so that it can achieve maximum growth.
Always make sure you are monitoring your newly transplanted seedlings. Check their roots, leaves, and overall structure for signs of transplant shock. Giving your plants the proper care they need will pay off in a higher yield come harvest time.