No matter what kind of system you’ve chosen to germinate your cannabis seeds, you will eventually need to move your plants to a larger and more permanent environment.
The process of transferring your plants to another container is a crucial step in which, if done poorly, could cause shock to your plants, causing them to wither, turn yellow and die. However, if you know when to transplant cannabis seedlings at the right time, your plants will reach maturity faster and healthier in no time.
Before doing the process, now is also the perfect time to decide what growing set up you will provide your plants throughout their lifecycle. Some growers intend to keep their plants indoors, planted in individual growing containers. This option allows any grower with full control of the growing environment, although this set up also demands for more energy and resources to be spent by the grower.
Of course, another option is to plant your marijuana directly on earth, which is how marijuana plants are intended to be. This set-up offers a lesser costly growing experience, but picking the perfect outdoor sites can be difficult for any grower. Not only does the grow site has to meet a specific horticultural standard, but the security, safety of the grower and convenience are all should be considered.
Importance of Transplanting Marijuana
Marijuana plants grow rapidly with its roots reaching around the walls of their container. If your plants start to become root-bound—they will stunt their growth and it is one of most grower’s nightmare. To prevent marijuana plants from becoming root bound, their containers must have at least 4 gallons capacity or more.
Growers using peat plugs are undergoing the same experience. Just as when marijuana plants start their growth spurt, their roots become bounded by the mesh that holds the plugs together. Opposite to what we might expect that the roots of marijuana plants can easily grow through the nets, in reality, most roots of marijuana become root bound, trapped and will stop growing.
When to Transplant your Marijuana Seedlings
As marijuana plants grow, they will eventually shift from the ‘sprouting’ phase to ‘seedling’ phase. During the seedling stage, marijuana plants are still relatively small with visibly recognizable leaves referred as the “true leaves”. This stage is very critical for root growth, where your plants are establishing an essential root system to support the plant’s growth.
During the seedling stage, your plants are still too young to be moved, but you need to ensure that your plants are getting enough lights and moisture. This stage in cannabis’ life usually last between two to six weeks.
By the time your plants are ready to transplant into another container, you’ll see sudden increase in their leaf growth. More of the true leaves will start growing and the stem of each plant will be strong enough for you to hold it without causing any damages. Once these changes have started to occur, you can officially conclude that your plants are moving into vegetative growth.
How to Transplant Weed Correctly
Whether you are moving your plants directly into the soil or you’re planning to plant them into larger containers, the first step is to prepare the growing medium where you will grow your plants.
If you are digging the ground, create a hole which is a few inches larger than the present pot of your plants and leave all the excavated soil nearby where you can easily push them back in place after the process of transplanting is done. It is important to transplant your plants with the soil they have been previously growing to eliminate causing potential shock due to the sudden change in their habitat.
Ensure that the soil in the pot, from where your plant is growing is moist but not muddy, and not too dry that it can crumble. You need it to stick together and become firm so it follows the shape of its container.
Palm down, place your hands over the soil inside the original container, with the plant stalk between your mid-fingers. Your other palm should be under the container’s bottom, and using a smooth and gentle motion, turn the container upside down while emptying all its content into your hand that’s around the stalk.
You will see that the roots of your plants have grown around the walls and now, with your free hands under the transplant’s bottom, lower the roots and put them into the hole you dug a while ago.
If you’re using peat plugs instead of plant containers or pot, you can easily hold your plants and perform the transplant easily. Just tear the mesh around them entirely and then throw them away. Once the transplant was successfully done, cover the hole with the excavated soil completely.
Finally, moisten the soil around the plants with a gallon of water that’s enriched with the right amount of nutrients. Then, you can cover the soil around your newly transplanted plant with ground debris and leaves to retain moisture from below.