Seedlings to Vegetative Stages: When To Transfer Marijuana Plants

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The whole cannabis cultivation process basically starts off with growers germinating their marijuana seeds. As this jumpstarts the cannabis plant’s lives and introduces the plant organism to the natural world it will grow in. Thus, it should be under the right conditions at all costs! A cannabis plant will generally show some telltale signs of development. From the first time it sprouts to the first signs of flowering stage, a cannabis plant will begin developing into its final forms through proper care and maintenance! 

But wait a minute, before rushing right into the first signs of flowering stage for marijuana plants, are we sure that they can make it that far? One of the most overlooked things to do for growers who do not germinate their seeds directly in soil is the transporting of the seedlings into the soils. Having trouble understanding what this means? Let’s discuss it further.

From the Seedling Stage to the Vegetative Stage to the First Signs of Flowering Stage:

Germinating your cannabis plants out of the soils will give them the advantage of getting accustomed. First, to the climate and second, to the environment around them. However, there will surely come a time when you will need to transport them into the soils. Whether you choose to use pots or directly into the ground!

This is where the issue of transporting your seeds comes into play. How would you know when to transport your seeds? What containers should you use? All of these will play a major part in the success of your growing processes. Also, each particular stage of a cannabis plant’s life will require you to repot. Transporting your plants into pots of different sizes is also important! This maximizes their growth and gives them the ample amount of space needed to expand their rooting systems. From the time they are ready to enter their vegging up until the first signs of flowering stage, these marijuana plants will need to be properly cared for!

Importance of Transporting Marijuana Seedlings:


Suppose you have just finished the whole germination process of your weed seeds. While you are left with miniature seedlings, the next thing that you should consider is where to transport them. You see, the main objective of repotting your plants is to give their rooting systems just enough room to expand and develop!

Obviously, you would not need a 20 gallon gardening pot to house the roots of your seedlings. Too much soil may suffocate the plants which can lead to their stunted growth! On the other hand, keeping your plants in small containers won’t give them the needed space for proper growth due to the limited spacing in the soil.

Having little to no knowledge about the proper pot sizes for each stage of your cannabis plant’s life could do just as much damage to your crops as any other disease out there. 

  • Your plants, if placed inside the wrong containers, will seem much more fragile and brittle due to the limitations in the water and nutrient absorption in your plants. 
  • Improper containers will eventually lead to the underdevelopment of marijuana buds. These will contain much lesser potency and THC levels, which will result in stale flavors and effects. In worst case scenarios, your plants may even stop developing buds altogether!
  • Like we have said, containers of the wrong size will lead to lesser water and nutrient absorption for your plants. We do not have to elaborate on the fact that this can ultimately lead to killing your plants! Deficiencies in both water and nutrients can discolor the plants and cause them to break apart and crumble. This is evident by the dry and pale appearance of the soil.

When to Transport My Seedling Plants:

Your cannabis plants will start as small seedlings and eventually make their way towards displaying the first signs of flowering stage. As such, it is important to know exactly when the right time is to transport and repot your plants in order to keep them comfortable and well cared for.

Basically, you will have to change the pot containers of your plants twice during their life cycles: once before the plants enter their vegetative stages and another one when you enter the flowering stage. Thankfully, there are a few signs that will indicate the right time to transport your weed plants. Let’s take a look at what they are:

Seedling to Vegetative Stage: During this time, the underdeveloped rooting systems of your plants still won’t be as robust and strong as how it will subsequently turn out in the flowering stages. As such, you will need to use loose and crumbly soil solution. To give that the roots an easy time to penetrate through.

Wait until your seedlings start to develop around 4 to 5 leaves in their branches. This will indicate that they are ready to be planted into a bigger pot. Also, if you notice some slight discoloration in your leaves, this might indicate that they are not getting enough nutrients. The rooting systems may also look a little brown and dry. If this is the case, immediately transport the seedlings into the growing medium and water them. Fresh and mature roots will look white in color, this is a sign that they are ready to be introduced into the  soil and larger pots.

Vegetative to Flowering Stage: The vegetative stage of the cannabis plant is the time when the seedlings mature and fully develop into the overall plant structure. As such, the roots of these plants in the vegging stages will start expanding. They will also start to grow into thick and durable systems. 

This is generally where the larger pots come into play. Leaving them in constricted areas may lead to them breaking through their containers and spilling out all the soil inside! The sudden development and expansion of the roots will also increase in size so make sure to get a pot that can support all this mass!

You can start repotting your vegging plants as early as the last one to two weeks of the vegetative cycle. You need not wait for the flowering stage to fully begin before transporting the plants into bigger areas. This will allow them to get accustomed to the environment. It will also maximize the amount of nutrient and mineral absorption right before flowering.    

Repotting: What Pots Should I Use?

One good tip to remember is that when you are growing cannabis seeds and you expect to repot them, it would be best to double the size of your previous pots. This will give growers much more leeway to adjust their plants. Also, make sure that you aren’t using something too small or too big.  

Seedlings that have just been germinated are usually placed in 5 to 7-inch containers as a means of holding them in. Since their rooting systems are generally still underdeveloped, you won’t need much space at first. 

Once your plants enter vegetative stages, go for the more standard sized pots and containers. On average, a marijuana plant will grow anywhere from 20 to 50 centimeter during the vegetative cycle. You can start using one (1) to two (2)-gallon pots for this period of time. 


Finally, as your plants enter their flowering stages, their roots and overall structure will start expanding and form into their full potentials. A lot of soil will be needed not only to support their framework. In addition, it will also to allow the proper watering and nutrient intake for them. During the last stage of a plant’s growth, opt for a big and sturdy 5-gallon pot (4 gallons if you are dealing with smaller plants). This houses the ample amount of soil needed for flowering. 
Of course, all of these are general measurements based on the average growth and height of typical cannabis plants. Sativa strains are known to reach ridiculously high heights and heavy stems. As such, it is not uncommon for many growers to opt for much larger, 10 to 15-gallon pots

Building knowledge about the height and mass of your chosen strains will help you adjust. It will also make repotting the plants much easier. Take the time to study your seeds! A little more background about this topic can definitely go a long way. 

This is something that you will have to keep in mind if you are planning to grow your own marijuana plant! Remember, your plants will only grow as big as you allow them to. Proper care and attention to the vegetative stage up to the first signs of the flowering stage are crucial in the development of chunky buds!

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