marijuana pots

How And When To Transplant Your Cannabis Plants

Knowing how and when to transplant your cannabis babies can literally tip the scales in your direction when harvest time comes around. Learn everything you need to know about why, when, and how to transplant your cannabis.

How to transplant your cannabis: tips and advice.

  • 1. Why is transplanting your cannabis important?
  • 2. How often do you need to transplant?
  • 3. When to transplant your cannabis
  • 4. How much space does cannabis need?
  • 4.a. Why not plant into the biggest pot?
  • 4.b. What type of pots should I use?
  • 5. How to transplant cannabis
  • 6. Transplanting: step-by-step guide
  • 7. Size of pots indoors and outdoors
  • 8. What about transplanting autoflowers?
  • 9. Understanding Autoflowering Cannabis Plants
  • 10. Can You Transplant Autoflowering Cannabis Seedlings?
  • 11. How Does Transplanting Affect Autoflowering Cannabis Plants?
  • 12. When Is the Best Time to Transplant Autoflowering Cannabis Plants?
  • 13. How to Transplant Autoflowering Cannabis Plants
  • 14. Plan Ahead to Avoid Transplanting
  • 1. Why is transplanting your cannabis important?
  • 2. How often do you need to transplant?
  • 3. When to transplant your cannabis
  • 4. How much space does cannabis need?
  • 4.a. Why not plant into the biggest pot?
  • 4.b. What type of pots should I use?
  • 5. How to transplant cannabis
  • 6. Transplanting: step-by-step guide
  • 7. Size of pots indoors and outdoors
  • 8. What about transplanting autoflowers?
  • 9. Understanding Autoflowering Cannabis Plants
  • 10. Can You Transplant Autoflowering Cannabis Seedlings?
  • 11. How Does Transplanting Affect Autoflowering Cannabis Plants?
  • 12. When Is the Best Time to Transplant Autoflowering Cannabis Plants?
  • 13. How to Transplant Autoflowering Cannabis Plants
  • 14. Plan Ahead to Avoid Transplanting

Healthy roots mean strong plants and fat, resin-jewelled buds on your cannabis. You want everything big—the bigger the better!

Whether you’ve decided to grow in a SOG, a ScrOG, or are keeping things super-simple, no matter what, you should transplant your cannabis into larger pots at least twice. There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule—which we will clear up later down the line—but first, let’s pose an all-important question.


Unlike with hydroponics, growing in a solid medium like soil or coco makes transplanting into bigger pots necessary as your plants grow. Why is that?

As the roots expand into the substrate and seek out nutrients, their network will grow to encompass as much space as possible. When the roots have completely filled out the volume of the pot, running circles around the inside perimeter of the container, growers refer to these plants as “root bound”. Vegetative growth will slow down, ultimately limiting the potential of your yields as well.

By transplanting to bigger pots early on, we can prevent this from happening. Transplanting ensures the roots always have space to grow freely and vigorously.


Contrary to what we said in the beginning of this article, you don’t technically need to transplant; but you should—especially if you want to max out yield.

Plants grow faster in smaller pots but are more susceptible to overwatering and overfeeding. When you start in small seedling pots or solo cups, the risk of fungus and other growing problems is largely mitigated, but new problems arise once your soon-to-be vegetative plants want to establish a strong root system.

A good way to go about transplanting is to keep your babies in seedling containers until they’ve each developed at least three nodes. At this point, you can transplant your specimens into larger pots until they double in size. Eventually, you’ll want to move your plants to their final, largest containers where they can truly flourish.

Typically, you will transplant a (photoperiod) plant 2–3 times. Re-potting more frequently isn’t recommended as transplanting causes significant stress.


Let’s run over a list of visual indicators that can help you determine if your plants need to be moved to larger pots!

Size of the plant: If a plant has visibly outgrown the pot, it’s time to transplant. Look to the number of nodes as a guideline.

Speed of growth: If you see your plant’s growth accelerating in a too-small pot, transplant before growth becomes stunted. As a hint, the more fan leaves your plants have, the more they can photosynthesise, and the bigger they will become.

Root development: If plants are rootbound or roots are coming out of the pot, they need to be transplanted.

Problems with watering: Your growing plants are thirsty! If the pot dries out too quickly, it’s likely your ladies need a larger vessel.

Growing problems: If you observe slow growth or a sickly appearance from plants in undersized pots, it could be due to the size of their container.


In nature, the spacing of plants affects how they grow. When cannabis is grown for industrial purposes, it is planted very close together. The resulting root tangling releases hormones that encourage a tall plant without much side branching. This characteristic has been exploited by humans for a long time to obtain perfect fibres uninterrupted by heavy branching.

When growing marijuana for personal use, however, you generally want to allow each plant more space—not just to encourage branching and robust growth, but to keep plants healthy overall. So, how big should your containers be at each stage of growth?

As a guide to help you utilise your space and time efficiently, here is a list of standard pot sizes alongside the stage of growth they are typically used during. A very reasonable plant can be grown in a 30cm pot as its final container, and an exceptional plant in a

60cm pot. All standard pots are alike in that their diameter at the rim is equal to their depth. A healthy cannabis plant can easily have a canopy three times the diameter of the pot.

For seedlings and young vegging plants

For robust vegging plants

For seedlings and young
vegging plants
For robust vegging plants Beginning of final pot size
10cm = 0.5l 25cm = 11l 46cm = 57l
13–15cm = 1l 30cm = 19l 61cm = 95l
18–20cm = 4l 36cm = 26l 76cm = 114l
22cm = 7.5l 41cm = 38l


This is up to you. However, a large pot with plenty of soil that is yet to be infiltrated by roots poses a risk of waterlogging. This means you need to be careful when watering so as not to support conditions for mould, rot, or any other type of pathogen or infection.

Cannabis likes dry feet, so err on the side of caution. If planting directly in the biggest pot right away, water sparingly during the first week after potting on. Consider that smaller pots are easier to look after, particularly in the early weeks of vegetation. Small pots are also easier to move when tending to, and can be easily rotated for 360° light coverage.


Most cannabis growers opt for standard white plastic pots with drainage holes in the bottom. Why white pots? Black or other dark colours will generate heat as the sun beats down, whereas white containers will help the soil stay relatively cool. Alternatively, some growers like to use air pots or fabric pots, which naturally “air-prune” the roots and allow for optimal health and development. For seedlings, growers tend to use plastic solo cups or specially designed seedling pots.


The most important rule to keep in mind when transplanting is that transplant shock causes a lot of stress to your plants. Be extremely careful; the less root damage, the better! This is not a process to rush.

Another important factor is cleanliness. Ensure your working area is clean, and wash your hands before you handle your plants. Better yet, wear gloves.

Do not transplant during the day in the bright sun or under an intense grow light. To avoid exposing your roots to undue light, transplant at night.


1. When transplanting your seedling, water them 1–2 days before transplanting. The soil should be moist but not wet. For later transplants, a drier soil will help the root ball stick together.

2. Prepare the new pot by filling it with good-quality soil. Don’t fill it all the way up and don’t overpack. Water the new pot. Dig a hole in the centre large enough for the new plant.

3. With your hand, cover the soil in the old pot (with your plant) and carefully flip it over. The plant should stick out between your fingers.

4. Carefully slide out the root ball and remove the old container. If the root ball doesn’t come right out, gently squeeze and pat the sides of the pot to loosen the soil. If still stuck, lay the pot horizontally on the floor and try to slide out the root ball. If it still won’t come out, use a knife and cut around the outer rim of the soil to free it (use this only as a last resort). Do not grab the plant and try to pull it out with force!

5. When the plant is finally freed, keep a hand under the root ball and transfer the plant to its new hole in its new container. Use extra soil and fill in the gaps. Pat down the soil just slightly to keep your plant in place.

6. Lightly water the plant to help it settle into its new home. This is a good time to use a root stimulator. Root stimulators help ease transplant shock and promote root development.

Pro Tips:

• We recommend preparing your new soil with Easy Boost organic plant nutrition. Add about 50–100g Easy Boost per 20l of soil. Easy Boost is an organic fertiliser that provides your plants with food for 10–12 weeks.

• How long does transplant shock last? It depends, but a few days of slow or stunted growth after transplanting is normal. Allow plants to recover for at least two weeks before inducing bloom or carrying out high-stress training methods.

• If plants are looking weak right after transplanting, support them with stakes.

• Sterilise old containers to reuse in the future.

The environmentally friendly RQS fabric pot, complete with proprietary “Aqua Breathe” geotextile layer, lets your plant’s roots breathe for optimal growth.

The environmentally friendly RQS fabric pot, complete with proprietary “Aqua Breathe” geotextile layer, lets your plant’s roots breathe for optimal growth.


When it comes to recommended pot sizes, this will vary based on whether you are growing indoors or outdoors.

Indoors, you’re constrained by the size of your growing area and the number and expected size of your plants. When growing outdoors, there are often fewer limitations.

Outdoors, you could, in principle, grow as large a plant as you want. This ensures the roots of your cannabis can grow extensively for the biggest possible yields. On the other hand, pots that are too big are not optimal either: If the roots can’t fill an oversized pot, you will end up wasting nutrients.

Large and heavy outdoor pots can also be an issue should you need to move them around. Alternatively, if you’re growing in the wild, you can just plant directly in the ground. This way, plants are not limited by pot size and can reach their full potential.


We generally suggest you avoid transplanting autos and instead plant your germinated autoflowering seeds directly into their final pots. Here’s why:

Understanding Autoflowering Cannabis Plants

Autoflowering cannabis strains flower based on age rather than changes in their light cycle. They get this trait from Cannabis ruderalis, a unique cannabis variety native to certain areas of Eastern Europe and Russia.

Hence, whereas photoperiod strains flower once the days get shorter (or you flip their lights from 18/6 to 12/12), autoflowering strains will flower automatically after about four weeks, although this can vary from one strain to another.

Can You Transplant Autoflowering Cannabis Seedlings?

Yes, you can technically transplant an autoflowering cannabis seedling. However, there is a downside to doing so.

When you transplant a photoperiod strain, you’ll typically keep it in veg for an extra week to help the plant recover from the stress of being transplanted. When transplanting an auto, you don’t have that same luxury, and the stress of the transplant will typically have a bigger impact on the plant’s growth and yield.

How Does Transplanting Affect Autoflowering Cannabis Plants?

A plant’s roots are super sensitive. No matter how gentle you are when transplanting, you’re going to cause your plants some stress when moving them into a new pot.

On average, cannabis plants can take up to 7 days to completely overcome that stress, although this can vary depending on the overall health of a plant (healthier plants will take less time to recover).

Because you have no way to compensate for this stress when growing autos, your plants will typically show signs of stunted growth following the transplant, which will ultimately translate into lighter, lower-quality yields.

When Is the Best Time to Transplant Autoflowering Cannabis Plants?

If you must transplant an auto, timing is absolutely crucial to minimise the impact on your yields. Try to transplant your autos once they’ve developed strong roots and at least 4–5 true leaves.

How to Transplant Autoflowering Cannabis Plants

When transplanting an autoflowering cannabis plant, remember to follow these steps to minimise the shock to your plant’s roots.


  • A clean work area
  • Gardening or surgical gloves
  • New pot and soil

Prepare Your Plants, Pots, and Work Area

Avoid watering your plants the day you transplant them, as it’ll be easier to remove dry soil from the container. Also, prepare a clean work area where you’ll perform the transplant. A big, clean table works great.

Finally, prepare your plant’s new pot. You may need to fill the bottom of the new pot with some soil to get your plant to the right height. Also, remember to make sure your new pot has drainage holes.

Remove Your Auto From Its Old Pot

To remove a plant from its pot, tip it over and gently push, massage, or slap the bottom and edges of the pot. Don’t pull at your plant’s stem, as you’ll risk damaging or breaking it!

Place Your Auto in Its New Pot

Place your plant inside the new pot and fill it roughly 2cm from the top with soil. Water generously and, if need be, top up with more soil. Keep a close eye on your plant over the next 3–7 days to check how it is recovering from the transplant.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Transplanting

To get the best results when growing autos, we recommend you plant them directly in their final pots. Most auto varieties will do great in 11–12l pots.

While they’re young, avoid overwatering your autoflowers to prevent drowning their small, delicate roots. Instead, mist their leaves regularly. Once they’ve developed a few true leaves, water them as needed.

Read all about how and when to transplant your cannabis plants. We offer some helpful tips and a step-by-step guide to make the process as easy as possible.

Different Kinds of Pots for Growing Cannabis

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There are many different kinds of pots for growing cannabis, and depending on where you grow, how you grow, and what pots you use, you’ll obtain one result or another. Not all pots are the same, and some have some pretty unique characteristics that differentiate them from others, like how airy they are or how the plants’ roots grow in them. In this article we’re going to explain the main differences between these pots so that you know which to use in your grow.

There are various kinds of flowerpot that are classified in two groups; plastic flowerpots and fabric flowerpots. There are many more kinds of plastic flowerpots than there are fabric ones. We’re going to talk about all of the different models so that you can easily tell them apart.

Your plants will easily adapt to each kind of pot, and depending on which on you use your plant will grow out a certain way – plants tend to grow in the same shape as their roots, which means they grow the same shape as the pot – if you place your plant in a square pot it will grow out in a square, and if you look at it from above you’ll see it has an X shape. If your pot is deeper than it is wide, then you’ll end up with a plant that’s taller than it is wide, and if you have a pot that’s just as wide as it is tall then you’ll have a plant that is as wide as it is tall.

Different Kinds of Pots for Growing Cannabis:

Square plastic flowerpot
Square plastic pots are generally the most used in growing cannabis, as they have the perfect size and shape to efficiently place more plants and make the most out of the space you have available, both indoors and outdoors. They’re much deeper than they are wide, so this will be reflected in your plants, making them the perfect shape for indoor growing and allowing you to place more side by side. Within the category of plastic pots, you can get both black and white pots – white pots are generally used for growing outdoors, where the sunlight can bounce off the pots rather than heating your roots and possibly stressing them out. Black pots are used indoors, where the light isn’t strong enough to penetrate the flowerpot, so they don’t heat up and stress out your roots. You can get pots from 0.20L, which are the smallest ones, up to 11L.

Aeropot flowerpot
Aeropot flowerpots are pots that prune your plant’s roots so that they never stop growing secondary roots. When growing cannabis plants in this pot, the plants will grow just as wide as they do tall, and in some cases even wider. Due to having so many secondary roots your plants will grow out wide, kind of like bushes, and due to the fact that the roots are constantly growing, your plant won’t stop growing either until the roots have completely filled the pot. These pots are ideal for when you want to transplant your plant outdoors in your garden or in a guerilla grow, where you don’t want your plant to be 3m tall and easily visible by prying eyes; using these pots will guarantee you compact plants that are full of thick long colas of bud. For indoor growing these plants are ideal for mother plants, from which you’ll be able to get never ending clones until you need to transplant it to a bigger pot. Apart from all of that, your plant’s roots will get much more oxygen and they’ll feed much better than with a completely closed pot. Make sure to water them slowly, keeping away from the edges of the pot or the water might start flowing out the sides. Available in 1L, 3L, 6L, 10L, 15L, 25L and 50L.

Special Autoflowering Pot
These pots are plastic, 18L white pots that are absolutely perfect for growing bigger autoflowering strains such as Deimos, Magnum or Big Devil XL. Due to the fact that these autoflowering strains take about three months to complete their cycle, they need quite a lot of substrate in which to grow their roots. They also need to have more soil in order to retain more humidity for hot outdoor days. If you were to plant a three month strain in a 7L pot like other autos then they’ll have just enough water for one day when they’re fully grown – add on the fact that water evaporates when it gets hot, and you have a recipe for disaster. With this autoflowering pot you’ll have the perfect amount of space and substrate for your plants to get enough water that they need once they get bigger. Keep in mind that due to having so much soil at the start you need to water carefully, as if you over-water your plants at the start they can grow out rather dwarfed. Only available in 18L.

Round white handled pots
These white round handled pots are generally used for flowering seasonal outdoor plants or to keep mother plants indoors. When you grow cannabis plants you need to transplant them just like someone whose grown out of their shoes – your plants shouldn’t go into these pots right at the beginning, as the smallest size available is 30L and you’ll need to start off small and slowly move up to different, bigger pots – 3.5L, 7L, 11L etc. Generally, growers tend to let the plants grow out more in 11L pots and then do the transplant to a 30L pot once the light changes and your plants will soon begin to flower. You can even grow them in 30L pots and transplant to 50L pots once the flowering period rolls around. Available in 30L, 40L and 50L.

Cannabis grow bags
Grow bags gained quite a lot of popularity, as they’re extremely comfortable and easy to use. You need to clean normal flowerpots after every use, whereas with these bags all you need to do is throw them out and replace them with a new one – you can clean them if you want and reuse them a few times but it’s much easier to just chuck them out, which is what they’re made for. They’re much taller than they are wide, and they have a round and elongated shape, making them perfect for indoor growing where you can place many of them in small spaces. You can plant an enormous amount of clones in a small amount of space with the 2,2L or 4,4L bags. You can also plant pretty much any strain you’d like as they also come in a 44L format. They’re extremely easy to transplant, as all you have to do is cut the bag and place your plant and its roots to a bigger bag or to our outdoor garden. Available in 2.2L, 4.4L, 8.8L, 12L, 22L, 30L, and 44L.

Grid flowerpot
These flowerpots are designed for growing in hydroponics or aeroponics, where the plant’s roots are suspended in clay balls, receiving a constant water flow. Depending on your system you’ll need a specific sized grid flowerpot. The smallest ones are used for cloning in hydro and aero, where you’ll need to have them in order to hold the clay balls while your clones put down their roots – they can also be used in systems such as Dutch Pot Hydro, where 5 of these little pots are used with a 12L flowerpot. The bigger ones are for different systems, like the 3” ones for Amazon by Nutriculture or 6” for the DWC Pot by Neptune. They’re extremely resistant and easy to clean and reuse time and time again.

Fabric flowerpot
Texpots are an innovative form of flower “pot” made out of fabric so that your plants’ roots can breathe properly, especially in dry climates. Due to being so aired out, the roots will be permanently prunes which will ensure a speedy and lengthy growth, which will lead to a bud-monster during the flowering period. You can wash them in any old washing machine, meaning that after every grow all you have to do is pop them in the washing machine, dry them and they’re ready to go again. They use a similar system to Aeropot flowerpots when it comes to growing roots, and they’re also round, although the big difference is that these pots are made out of fabric. You can get them in both black and white for indoor and outdoor growing; available in 1L, 3L, 7L, 15L, 25L and 50L.

If you have any questions or doubts, leave a comment down below and our team of experts will get back to you as soon as possible.

Author: Javier Chinesta
Translation: Ciara Murphy

Different kinds of pots for growing cannabis explained, so you know which one is the flowerpot for you and why to use each pot.