Before learning how to transplant autoflowering cannabis plants, let’s start by saying that any form of transplanting is huge stress for autos. Autoflowering seeds are genetically modified seeds that take only weeks to grow and about 8 weeks to harvest. Technically, these plants use all their energy in growing fast. These plants don’t have time for stress and definitely transplanting can give them so much stress that it cuts around 1 to 7 days from their growing period. Take an autoflowering plant that has been grown from a party cup and transplanted to a larger final pot and an autoflowering plant that has been grown in a single pot. Place these plants side by side and watch them grow; you will eventually find out that the transplanted plant appears shorter while the plant grown from a single pot is larger.
However, if you have made a mistake of starting out in a small pot or a party cup, there is no reason not to transplant your plants. You can transplant these right away but you must do it in such a way that you won’t cause too much stress to your plant.
When is the Best Time to Transplant?
Different growers will tell you different answers but ideally it has to be the time when your plant has already developed strong roots and have at least three small layers of leaves. This is why if you must initially plant in a small cup; choose a transparent cup or party cup just to check for root health.
It’s also crucial to transplant your plants before the dark period or winter time where you are located. Winter time is stressful to cannabis plants because this is the time that they are programmed to procreate. Remember that you are adding stress to plants while doing so in an already stressful time. It needs enough time to recover from all these stress.
Now if you think that your plants are ready then waste no time to transplant them in to large pots. Ideally these should be at least three to five gallon pots to allow your autoflowering plants to root out, de-stress and recover. You must also transplant your plants in the same soil or soilless medium that it came with so you won’t shock your plants.
How To Transplant Your Autos Carefully
Transplanting should be done fast but in a very careful manner. Make sure everything you need is within reach to avoid leaving your plants unattended and making mistakes. Here are quick and surefire steps how this is done:
- Choose the plant that you need to transplant and carefully place it on a table. Make sure that wherever you are working on, it must have enough light to reduce stress on the plant.
- If you have just watered your plant, wait for the soil to dry out a bit so it would be easier to remove it from the cup container. Take note; if you are planning on transplanting, avoid watering your plants for at least an hour or two so you don’t have to wait too long to dry out.
- As you wait for the soil to dry out, prepare the new and bigger pot. Fill this with soil similar to the plant’s soil or medium. Make sure to fill it just halfway. Create a hole in the middle just enough to fit your plant together with the soil from the smaller pot or cup. It must not be too deep as to swallow the main stem or trunk. Water the soil to the point that the hole you made becomes damp but not overflowing with water.
- Now that the soil from the smaller pot is dry, carefully press the sides (or massage) of the cup to loosen the soil from the cup. Move your fingers in a circular pattern to completely loosen the soil.
- Cover the soil from the cup with your palm with the main stem or trunk of the plant in between your fingers. Slowly invert the cup and remove it from the soil. Do not pull the stem or trunk and do not touch the roots.
- Place the plant inside the large pot. Cover the hole with leftover soil and make sure that there is enough soil to hold the main stem or trunk of the plant at least halfway from the first level of leaves.
- Water heavily after you are done. Every inch of your new growing medium or soil should be moist so that the roots can easily penetrate.
- Watch as the water slowly drains from the pot. After there’s no more water draining from the pot, take the plant back to its growing area and label it. Place important information about the plant on your label like the type of strain, the date it was transplanted and any special notations.
- Let your plant recuperate. Feed it, water it and keep it under adequate amounts of light.
Avoid Transplanting Autoflowering Plants!
As you may have known by now that stress is the enemy of autoflowering plants. So to reduce stress and to let your plant flourish and give you good crops is to start planting it in a special large pot from day one. Preparing the best environment for your plant to grow healthy should be done during the planning stage.
A root bound plant is when a plant stays too long in a small cup or pot. This can terribly stress your plant and can affect its yield. You must also have an idea of how large or how small your plant may be so you can prepare the right size of pot. Also when it comes to autoflowering plants you need to think about the size of the plant and how big you want it to be. Staying in a party cup will only cause your cannabis plant to become root bound and eventually stunt its growth.