What is the Best Size Pot to Grow Cannabis? Plant Container Sizes Explained
Every seemingly little aspect of the cultivation process matters when it comes to the final product.
From the amount of light cannabis receives to how much you water the plant, all the way down to the pot you grow it in.
Yes, the pot you use to plant your pot matters.
Even the pot’s size matters (sorry, fellas).
So, what is the best size pot to grow cannabis? Let’s get to the bottom of it.
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Getting to the Root of the Matter
If you want a happy pot plant, you need to make sure its roots are happy too.
After all, your cannabis plant grows from that very root!
You need to make sure that the pot you put your seedlings into allows enough room for the roots to grow and has plenty of areas underneath the soil that allows for drainage.
Moisture – When roots dry out, they die.
Oxygen – Any living thing needs to breathe this bad boy in.
Nutrients – The roots are the first line of defense when it comes to intaking nutrients. If the roots get fed, the plant gets fed.
Adequate pH Levels – pH levels change the genetic makeup of plants. So, ensuring the roots have the correct pH level can help reverse any damage that lousy pH levels may have done.
So when purchasing a pot with roots in mind, you want to make sure there’s a lot of holes at the bottom so that the plant doesn’t become overwatered.
Under the pot, you want to place a tray or saucer to catch excess water (unless you want to flood your house).
The soil will also slowly absorb this extra water keeping them happy.
Warnings for Little Seedlings
When you are beginning your cannabis cultivation, you want to start small.
If you place a bunch of tiny seedlings into a large container, it dramatically increases the odds that you will overwater them.
When this happens, you deprive the plant of oxygen, effectively choking the life out of it.
Also, planting seedlings into a larger container can slow down the process.
Therefore, a lot of people starting their growing journey like to put their seedlings into a SOLO cup.
See, there’s more to those things than just being beer pong party cups!
If you do use a SOLO cup for this process, be sure to poke enough holes at the bottom to provide adequate drainage for the plant.
When you start the planting process, you will have to water your seedlings almost every day.
Seeing as there is so little soil in the space, the roots pretty much soak up everything you pour into the cup.
If SOLO cups aren’t your thing, you can also start off with a 1-gallon pot.
As the Pot Grows So Does the Pot
Marijuana plants are sort of like koi fish.
They grow in relation to the environment that they are planted in.
As the leaves start to hover around the rim of the SOLO cup, it’s time to move the little fish into a bigger pond.
When the seedlings reach this point, you want to transplant them into a container that’s about twice the size of the one that they came from.
Repot the seeds and follow this process as your plant continues to grow.
How to Repot Cannabis Seedlings
Transplanting seedlings can sometimes be too shocking for the plant to survive.
Here are some tips to successfully switch from a small pot to a larger one without killing off your plant.
- Water the seedlings first. You want some of the soil to hold onto the roots so that they don’t dry out as you repot them. Water will make sure the soil latches onto the roots and covers them up during this process.
- Don’t tug the seedlings. To avoid damage, use a butter knife or trowel to pick the seedlings from the soil.
- Lightly remove seedlings from one another if they are stuck together.
- Place them in a new pot. Mix in some old soil that it used to along with new soil full of nutrients.
What is the Best Size Pot to Grow Cannabis
As your plant continues to grow, the size of the pots increases as well.
Therefore, how big a pot you need to buy depends on how big you want your cannabis plant to be.
Rule of thumb, your pot should hold up to 2 gallons per 1 foot in height.
While this is a general guideline to follow, it is not set in stone.
Like all living things, each plant is unique.
Depending on access to light, amount of water, and the microorganisms living about in the soil, all cannabis plants will come in different heights and widths.
Therefore, you must determine if you need a new pot as the plant continues to grow.
However, if you have the desired height in mind, here’s a helpful breakdown of which size pot should be adequate space for the size of plant you hope to grow:
- 2-3 gallon pot ~ 12-inch plant
- 3-5 gallon pot ~ 24-inch plant
- 6-8 gallon pot ~ 36-inch plant
- 8-10 gallon pot ~ 48-inch plant
- 12 and over gallon pot ~ 60-inch plant
What is the best size pot to grow cannabis?
Well, that depends on the stage of life your plants are in and the size you plan on growing them.
Ideally, you want to transplant the plant as little as possible.
So, after you sprout your seeds in a small pot, move them to the size you plan on keeping them for the rest of the grow. Be sure to buy your seeds from the ones we recommend here.
The Right Cannabis Containers are Not a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
As any professional cannabis grower will attest, there is an art to successful growing. The right cannabis containers and root systems need to cohesively work together, in ideal conditions, in order to yield the healthiest crops.
Cannabis plants are extremely fickle, and much of that has to do with their complex root system. Cannabis roots:
- Do not like to be overwatered. Many times, a poor draining container is the culprit for overwatering as roots literally sit in pools of water they simply can’t drink fast enough.
- Do not like to beover-fertilized, which causes salts to build up in the soil which blocks the nutrients from being absorbed by the root system.
- Need room to grow. Cannabis is a fast-growing plant – in fact, the roots grower faster than the leaves. But if the root size exceeds the container, it leads to root binding and stunted growth.
- Prefer a consistent temperature. Fluctuations in their growing climate will develop problems in their overall health.
The right cannabis containers are not a one-size-fits-all approach. Oftentimes, choosing the right container is based on maintenance and scheduling.
While some containers help to retain moisture, requiring less watering, others dry out quickly, meaning you’ll be spending more time than you may want collecting water runoff and reapplying.
Another thing to consider when choosing the right cannabis container is root shock.
Cannabis roots are fragile and many times transplanting them into a larger container can do irreparable damage to the overall plant. Therefore, make sure the container you choose as your finishing pot has enough space for the size plant you’re planning on supporting.
For cannabis plants typically grown indoors in greenhouses, it is recommended to use containers ranging from three to seven gallons (depending on finished size).
Seeds are often started in much smaller containers to help control moisture. Some people use plug trays, while others turn to something as simple as a plastic disposable cups or empty egg cartons.
Fiber containers provide an optimal solution, as the entire pot can be planted into a larger container without disturbing the root system. The fiber composition will decompose over time, allowing the roots to naturally expand in their new environment without any negative effects to the roots.
An additional option for safe transplanting includes the RapidStack™ pot, which has a removable bottom to allow the roots to expand into a larger container when planted on top.
When it comes time for choosing your finishing pot, there’s a variety of options and each may, in fact, be ideal based on your unique growing conditions. However, there are pros and cons to each which we point out below.
Terra Cotta Containers
Holds moisture, lower temperature on hot days, heavy weight adds stability
Not optimal drainage – not easy to drill additional holes, heavy weight makes it hard to transport
Pros: Low cost, excellent drainage, easy transplanting, readily available, easy to sterilize and reuse, compatible with automated systems
Cons: Can’t protect against temperature fluctuations, can crack over time, airflow issues
Pros: Promotes healthy roots, increased airflow, excellent drainage
Cons: Requires more maintenance and watering, structure is flimsy
Pros: Natural root pruning, excellent drainage and airflow
Cons: Requires more watering, expensive
Pros: Ideal for propagation, saves time on transplanting, sustainable alternative, increased airflow
Cons: Concerns over mold growth, one-time use, often requires more watering, cost
Coco Grow Bags
Pros: Transplant ready, plastic or fiber covering
Cons: Wait time to expand media, may have drainage issues, high cost, plastic waste
Pro: Transplant ready, clean, excellent drainage, full control on fertigation
Cons: Little buffer capacity, slow root growth, one-time use
Again, when it comes to the right cannabis containers, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Environment, time constraints and cost will play a big part in which cannabis container makes the most sense for you.
For immediate assistance, contact Jordan Bukowski, our District Sales Manager for the Cannabis Market at 440-724-1931 or [email protected]
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