4 Tips for Safely Transplanting Cannabis Plants
Whether you started from seeds or just purchased your first clones, your cannabis plants are likely in very small pots. Small pots are ideal when you’re dealing with sprouts and new plants, as the smaller size can help prevent overwatering and helps train the roots to grow more evenly.
To reach their full potential, cannabis plants need abundant space for their root systems. Without more soil and room to stretch, your plant will eventually stop growing. You’ll want to transplant them into their permanent pots once they begin to outgrow the smaller planters or you risk them becoming “root bound.”
Watch for signs your plants are ready for transplanting.
If your plant starts to overshadow its pot and begins needing water more frequently, it’s probably time to size up.
Limit the number of transplants.
Each time the plant is handled and its roots are disturbed, you’re causing it stress. Some people recommend transplanting cannabis multiple times throughout the growth cycle, but if you can limit it to once or twice, you’ll be doing your plants a favor.
Handle the plant carefully.
Fill your new pot approximately halfway with soil mix, ensuring there is enough room for the root ball to comfortably fit. Lightly pat the soil until its slightly firm. Grasping the plant at base of the stalk, hold the base of the pot and upend it over the new pot while gently pulling. It should slide out easily. If not, gently squeeze the sides of the pot to help release the plant roots. Place the root ball in the new pot and cover it with soil, patting it down to create a firm surface. Never touch the roots!
Reduce stress with food and reduced light intensity.
Be sure to water your plant right after transplanting. Some cultivators water their transplants with a half-strength nutrient solution as well as reducing the intensity of light received to help them recover from stress.
Most cannabis plants will survive a transplant without issue, however some delicate strains may still show signs of stress. Always take care to avoid touching the roots and handle delicate young plants carefully to avoid permanent damage!