Which POT is best?
Should I transplant my beautiful clones directly into their final 3 Gallon resting place?
Transplanting causes intermediate, beginner, and advanced growers untold troubles, and incorrect transplantation can immediately slow development and taint potential plant growth. Transplanting initially into smaller pots vs larger pots can help a lot of people avoid common mistakes, which is the main reason I recommend this technique apply to everyone.
The two zones of growth on cannabis plants occur above and below the “soil” where either carbon dioxide or oxygen respiration is occurring. Photosynthesis above the soil causes the plant to convert light, water, and carbon dioxide into glucose (plant sugar building blocks) and oxygen. The root structure performs differently, and modern research is showing us that plants can in fact develop a thriving root structure in nearly absolute darkness. That is another story, and you can read about our light deprivation experimentations at a later time.
The root system of cannabis plants is very tolerant to drought, and typical plants will bounce back after all leaves sag and wilt due to lack of moisture. Usually, cannabis leaves can recover from wilt as long as the leaf has not completed dried up and become brittle, and as long as it has not developed mold or mildew as a result of overwatering. On the contrary, pot plants will not usually bounce back from overwatering issues, causing this to be the leading killer of cannabis plants, far exceeding the united states government over the past century.
To combat issues of overwatering and excess saturation of the area below the canopy, we recommend several techniques. Begin by utilizing the root system that your plant already has, and plan its medium mass and moisture level based on the amount of rooting material your plant already has. If your plant is in a 1.5” rock wool or riot cube, begin by transplanting it into a 4”x4”x4” or smaller plastic drainage pot. This will allow the small start to use up the water much quicker than using a larger pot, and this process will ultimately allow your plant more oxygenation in the root zone in a shorter period of time. Keeping cannabis water is a lot easier than most people think. The gardener should maintain conditions that will allow the plant to use all water and dry up in a cyclic rotation, allowing the plant enough time to experience moisture as the time it will experience oxygenation. A mutual balance should be achieved where the plant uses all the water, but is not drowning in moisture at the same time.
Super clones and teen plants should utilize larger capacity mediums because they can efficiently absorb the moisture within at a relevant pace. Typically, if your plant is drying up the medium at least everyday, a perfect balance has been achieved where the medium becomes almost 100% dry, yet the plant does not fall over and die. This encourages healthy oxygenation in the root area. If possible always remember, less water is more beneficial. I actually encourage apprentices to experience the wilting process firsthand, as the plants will almost always recover from under watering within several hours, and the process trains the gardeners hand and sharpens his mind.
This leads quickly to Question #2.
Are my beautiful cannabis plants OK in plastic pots?
Outdoor plants can typically respirate enough in plastic pots to be OK, but indoor plants have major issues with these pots because indoor grow lights are much weaker than the intensity, radiation, and heat produced by the sun.
Plants will be able to breath through the edges, sides, bottom, and top of fabric pots, whereas only through the top of plastic ones. Because the intensity of light directly affects the rate of transpiration, the results will be much more evident indoors than outdoors. Outdoor grows traditionally done with fabric pots have 1/2 buried beneath the ground level, and 1/2 visible popping out of the ground. This technique applied by Subcool and many other industrial farmers yields exceptional evaporation/absorbtion capacity and the gardeners notice much more vigorous growth by utilizing this knowledge.
This leads quickly to Question #3.
Which fiber pots offer the best performance and value?
There are three main contenders in the fiber pot marketplace: Geopot, Smartpot, and Dirt Pots. They are all fairly similar and I have most extended use with Geopots, although Hydrofarm’s competition Dirt Pots have a most advantageous color and texture allowing ideal management root zone temperatures. All three will offer advantages over plastic pots such as air root pruning and top of the line aeration. “Air root pruning is a key component to a healthy fibrous root ball. Unlike plastic containers, roots do not circle… air root pruning creates a more fibrous root structure with more root tips. More roots means quicker growth. No circling roots mean better growth” - Smart Pot.