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when to transplant weed seedlings from seed tray

Why do cannabis growers start seedlings in small pots just to transplant them to larger ones later? Wouldn’t it be less troublesome and more convenient to start your plants in their final pots? Find out about the benefits of transplanting seedlings, and learn how and when to transplant them.

Your seedling becoming root-bound means that it has truly outgrown its container. The roots have filled out the pot and would like nothing more than to expand further, but there is no space left for them to grow. They are “bound” in the confines of the pot.


Less experienced cannabis growers may think that transplanting plants from a smaller container to a bigger one isn’t really necessary. They may start their seedlings in their final pot and skip the “potting-up” later on, finding this easier and more convenient. Although you can get away with this when growing autoflowering strains, you should always consider transplanting your photoperiod seedlings.

Some growers don’t look so much at the signs themselves, but instead adhere to a schedule. These growers transplant their seedlings in the final two weeks of vegetative growth, right before the plants start pre-flowering. After repotting the plant, it will rapidly expand its roots and grow significantly bigger within a short time.

Bypassing the transplant process means that the roots of your seedling will be held in a large amount of soil. Since your seedlings are still tiny and their root system isn’t developed, they can only take in small quantities of water as they grow. As a result, moisture will be sitting in the over-sized container, which can result in root rot, causing nutrient deficiencies and all sorts of growing troubles.

Most weed growers start seeds in small 4-inch or 1-gallon pots when germinating.

The same goes for transplanting outside, in the ground—you can go straight from the first pot into the ground, but it depends on when you transplant and your local climate and weather.

When to transplant marijuana

When in doubt, always opt for slightly more space than needed. A plant tends to require 2 gallons of soil for every 12 inches of growth it achieves during the vegetative stage. Knowing the potential height of the strain you’re growing is helpful.

Transplanting is the process of “re-homing” a cannabis plant, or moving a plant into a bigger pot with more soil as it grows bigger.

Growers typically start off the cannabis growing process by planting many seeds in small pots because they don’t know if all of them will sprout—or germinate—and they don’t know if all of them will be female.