How to Transplant Cannabis Seedlings

An in-depth guide on how to transplant cannabis seedlings. Discover everything you need to know about transplanting marijuana seedlings to ensure a successful crop.

How to Transplant Cannabis Seedlings Cover PhotoAs a cannabis seedling emerges from its shell and begins to reach for the light, you’ll experience an incredible sensation that can be described in a single word — eureka!

There’s no better feeling than successful germination and the subsequent process of caring for marijuana seedlings. Cannabis seedlings, however, are incredibly vulnerable and must be transplanted soon after they emerge.

Read along and learn how to transplant marijuana seedlings successfully. Discover proper repotting techniques, transplanting mistakes to avoid, and much more.

How to Care For Cannabis Seedlings Before Transplant

The period between seed germination and transplanting marijuana seedlings is short.

However, the consequences are dire if you do not adequately care for your weed seedlings before transplant. Let’s take a look at three top tips to follow before you transplant your cannabis seedlings.

Water Marijuana Seedlings

water seedling
Although it may seem obvious, many beginners are unsure how much they need to water cannabis seedlings.

Remember, marijuana seedlings are at the beginning of their life, which means they do not require much to survive. The root system of seedlings is miniature compared to that of mature marijuana plants. Therefore, you don’t need to drown them in water, but instead, ensure the medium remains moist (not wet).

The fragile root system won’t dry out by providing a steady flow of moisture, and the susceptible stem won’t rot.

Provide Light For Cannabis Seedlings

light seedling
Once the seedling emerges from the medium, you must provide it with light.

Whether exposed to the sun or a fluorescent light bulb, cannabis seedlings require light. Marijuana seedlings require light for two reasons:

  1. Reduce stem elongation (seedling stretch)
  2. Photosynthesis

By providing natural or artificial light, cannabis seedlings will not overstretch, which creates lanky stems that are prone to falling over and snapping.

Furthermore, light allows seedlings to photosynthesize, which enables them to produce energy to grow.

Be Gentle With Marijuana Seedlings

You must be gentle with weed seedlings because one false move is all it takes to destroy them.

There are a few methods to repair damaged seedlings. However, the healing process stunts the overall growing procedure, which increases the time it takes to grow weed.

Therefore, you must handle your marijuana seedlings with care to ensure a healthy transition during the repotting process.

Size Matters

When it comes to cannabis seedlings — size matters.

When we say size, we do not mean height. Instead, cannabis seedlings should exhibit their first set of true leaves and roots bursting from the germination medium.

Therefore, take a look at the current container (or rooting cube) and check if roots protrude from the bottom. Furthermore, the development of true leaves (not cotyledons) is another signal that your marijuana seedlings are ready for transplant.

By transplanting well-established cannabis seedlings, you’ll witness explosive growth soon after the repotting process.

Why is Transplanting Marijuana Seedlings Important?

One of the first things you learn as a cannabis cultivator is how to transplant marijuana seedlings.

However, many beginners ask why you need to transplant marijuana seedlings. Here’s a list of reasons why you need to transplant marijuana seedlings after the germination process.

Transplanting Marijuana Seedlings Encourages Root Growth

If you’ve never heard the term rootbound — now’s the time to understand what it is.

Rootbound describes when a plant’s root system takes over all available space within a medium or container. Once rootbound, cannabis plants are unable to thrive.

Therefore, you must avoid rootbound seedlings at all costs.

Once you move marijuana seedlings to a bigger home, they will continue to grow as the roots begin to colonize the new medium rapidly.

Transplanting Cannabis Seedlings Prevents Disease

As with all things in life — everything is connected.

If you do not transplant cannabis seedlings, they will become unhealthy because they do not receive optimal nutrition, moisture, and oxygen. As you can imagine, unhealthy marijuana seedlings are more susceptible to disease outbreaks.

Therefore, transplanting weed seedlings is a necessary method that boosts the plants’ overall defense system.

Transplanting Marijuana Seedlings Increases Water and Nutrient Intake

Once again, rootbound marijuana seedlings decline in health because they consume water and nutrients faster than you can supply them.

Therefore, rootbound cannabis seedlings will become stunted and unhealthy. Moving marijuana seedlings to a larger pot or medium will increase their water and nutrient uptake — thus encouraging healthy and robust growth.

When Do You Need to Transplant Cannabis Seedlings?

Now for the million-dollar question — when do you need to transplant marijuana seedlings?

Instead of relying on several days, it’s best to look out for visual cues to determine the perfect time to transplant marijuana seedlings.

Here’s a list of criteria that you should look for before transplanting marijuana seedlings.

  • The seedling exhibits its first set of true leaves
  • The seedling’s roots are protruding from the medium

If you observe these indicators, you have a green light to move forward with the transplanting process.

Remember, you may witness these visual cues within 5-10-days after the seedling first emerges. However, your marijuana seedlings may reach this point sooner or later than the 5-10-day period. This is why we encourage you to pay attention to leaf and root growth when deciding when to transplant marijuana seedlings.

What Medium Should I Transplant Marijuana Seedlings Into?

Good question!

As a rule of thumb — we recommend that you transplant marijuana seedlings into similar mediums. In other words, you must transplant weed seedlings in like substrates.

If you sprouted your marijuana seeds in soil, it’s best to transplant the seedlings into a larger soil container. If you choose to germinate your marijuana seeds in a hydroponic medium, we recommend you transplant the seedling to a hydro-based media.

How Large of a Container Should I Transplant Marijuana Seedlings Into?

A common dilemma among novice cannabis growers is choosing the next container size for their marijuana seedlings.

You have two options:

  1. Transplant cannabis seedlings into a temporary yet larger container.
  2. Transplant marijuana seedlings into their final container.

For example, if you choose the first option, you may transplant the marijuana seedling into a 6″ x 6″ (1.25-gallon) square pot for 2-4-weeks until it requires a larger container. This first method is also known as potting-up.

For the second option, you may choose a 3-6-gallon hydroponic bucket system where the marijuana seedling will grow until the day of harvest.

Both options have their perks, but the final choice depends on your growing style.

What is Transplant Shock?

When transplanted incorrectly, marijuana seedlings are susceptible to transplant shock.

Your number one goal is to learn how to repot marijuana seedlings to avoid significant stressors that result in transplant shock.

Here’s a list of examples that may encourage transplant shock:

  • Rough handling
  • Broken roots or leaves
  • Crushed stem
  • Improper repotting technique

Now, what are the symptoms of transplant shock in weed seedlings?

  • Falling or wilting leaves
  • Weak stem
  • Branch die-off
  • Sudden death

Here are a few tips on how to minimize transplant shock among marijuana seedlings:

  • Always handle marijuana seedlings with the utmost care
  • Buy vigorous feminized and autoflowering seeds
  • Learn how to transplant marijuana seedlings properly

How to Transplant Two Different Types of Marijuana Seedlings

Depending on the chosen germination technique, there are two different ways to transplant marijuana seedlings.

We’ll cover the two techniques below with step-by-step guides to help you repot marijuana seedlings like a pro.

Let’s start.

1. How to Properly Transplant Potted Marijuana Seedlings in Five Easy Steps

If you’re ready to transplant potted marijuana seedlings in five easy steps, read along.

Before we dive into the step-by-step process of transplanting potted marijuana seedlings, let’s shed some light on the necessary tools for the job.

  • Containers or hydroponic system
  • Medium
  • Labels
  • Water
  • pH meter (if using soilless media)

Step One

First — organize everything.

In other words, fill the new containers with soil or hydroponic-based media. If you wish to transplant marijuana seedlings into a hydroponic system, you must ensure the system is built and ready.

When filling containers with media, do not overfill them. Instead, fill the container up to 3/4 full and create a small hole in the middle.

Lastly, you must label each container with its corresponding strain name at this stage.

Step Two

When transplanting marijuana seedlings from small containers, such as solo cups, you must allow the soil or soilless media to dry out.

By allowing the media to dry out, the re-potting process is clean and easy.

Step Three

Gently move the cannabis seedling to its new home.

When transplanting marijuana seedlings from a container, gently flip the pot upside down and squeeze the container’s edge. Ensure you place your free hand against the soil line to prevent the seedling from falling to the ground.

Once out, carefully place the seedling into the previously dug hole.

Step Four

Once the seedling is inside the newly dug hole, backfill the soil or soilless media and cover the hole. At this point, you may add more media to ensure that the base of the seedling is secure.

Step Five

Water the seedling.

This final step is necessary to jump-start the marijuana seedling in its new home. If watering a seedling in soilless media, make sure the pH is set to 5.5.

2. How to Properly Transplant Marijuana Seedlings From Rooting Cubes in Four Easy Steps

Of all the three techniques described, learning how to transplant cannabis seedlings from rooting cubes is the easiest method.

Here’s a list of tools needed:

  • Containers or hydroponic system
  • Medium
  • Labels
  • Water
  • pH meter (if using soilless media)

Step One

First — organize everything.

Fill the new containers with soil or hydroponic-based media. If you wish to transplant marijuana seedlings into a hydroponic system, you must ensure the system is built and ready.

When filling containers with media, do not overfill them. Instead, fill the container up to 3/4 full and create a small hole in the middle.

Lastly, you must label each container with its corresponding strain name at this stage.

Step Two

Next, gently remove the marijuana seedling from the rooting cube. The rooting cube should easily slide out from the germination tray.

Step Three

Place the rooting cube into a hydroponic system or into a previously filled container.

Secure the rooting cube by backfilling the remainder of the hole with media. Instead of packing the media around it, gently pat it down.

At this point, you may fill the container with more media to ensure the stem is secure.

Step Four

Water the seedling.

This final step is necessary to jump-start the marijuana seedling in its new home. If watering a seedling in soilless media, make sure the pH is set to 5.5.

How to Fix Long and Stretchy Stems in Cannabis Seedlings

Sometimes it’s impossible to prevent the dreaded stretch of marijuana seedlings.

The long, lanky form of stretched-out marijuana seedlings are susceptible to falling over, or worse — snapping.

Therefore, you must know how to fix stretchy cannabis seedlings.

If your marijuana seedlings stretched too much, simply dig a deeper-than-normal hole in the new container. Once you transplant the seeding, the majority of the stem is covered with media.

Voila!

By using this technique, you can say goodbye to lanky seedlings and hello to robust stems.

The Road Ahead

Now that you’ve learned how to transplant marijuana seedlings, it’s time to move forward with your cannabis cultivation journey.

The road ahead is long. However, you’re now one step closer to harvesting buckets of top-shelf buds!

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