Types Of Pots For Growing Weed
Not all growing containers are equal. Some types of containers are better suited for some purposes than others. Likewise, growing pots don’t just differ in size. You can find containers from the classic flower pot to advanced smart pots or specialty containers for hydro systems. Learn what you need to know about growing containers for weed.
Selecting the optimal growing containers for weed isn’t always easy and straight forward. While you may be able to get by with the ol’ flower pot for your first grow, you want to choose the right growing containers, that provide for optimal growth and healthy plants. Let us take a look at the various types of growing containers available along with their differences, advantages and drawbacks.
If we were to simplify things a bit, the optimal growing containers for your weed plants would be those types of pots, that will provide your plants with the best possible environment for their roots. Healthy roots are essential for optimal nutrition and water intake and quite literally are the foundation for the healthy growth of your plants.
Knowing this, we can go from there when we want to find the optimal type of pot, since we can take into account what cannabis plants need for healthy roots:
The roots of your cannabis plants should never entirely dry out, since dried-out roots mean, that your plants would likely die.
Roots will also want adequate aeration and oxygen. When the roots have easy access to oxygen, this not only promotes fast growth, but will also help keeping mould and other growing troubles in check. A stale root zone depleted of oxygen will almost always lead to problems, if not entirely kill off your plants.
TYPES OF GROWING CONTAINERS AVAILABLE
If you visit a grow store or search around online to get some pots on the internet, you can find various types of containers for cannabis growing. Here are some of the most common types of growing pots.
STANDARD FLOWER POT
This is the good ol’ flower pot, that you can get almost everywhere for little money. They are most often made from plastic these days, but you can also find the old classic types, which are made from terracotta. If you get these standard flower pots, you will usually want to get them together with a matching saucer, that serves to catch your runoff water below the pot.
What’s important to know about these types of pots, is that you want them to have drainage holes at the bottom to avoid water logging. Not all pots come with prebored holes, sometimes you will have to break them out, before you use the containers to grow your plants.
Terracotta planters are heavier than plastic pots, but they can be a good choice. Terracotta has a natural ability to soak up and store excess moisture and can provide a cooling effect, which would benefit your plant’s roots in the hot summer months.
SMART POTS (FABRIC POTS)
The principle behind fabric pots, these so called “smart pots”, is to prevent, that your plants would become rootbound. Rather than growing in a cycle as would be the case in normal (closed) pots, smart pots made from fabric are air-pruning the roots as soon as they reach the sides of the container. This ensures constant new growth of roots and can help promote better plant growth.
Fabric growing pots or bags have the added advantage, that they make it pretty much impossible to overwater a cannabis plant. They can also easily be stored when not in use.
Make note, that the soil in smart pots dries out faster when compared to standard pots. To avoid the smart pots drying out too fast, you want to get double the size pots as you normally would. Of course this comes with the slight drawback, that you will require a bigger amount of growing medium. Since these types of pots leak water to the outside, they may not be suitable for all growing environments.
RQS FABRIC POT WITH AQUA-BREATHE LAYER
Royal Queen Seeds re-engineered the standard smart pot to create an improved version that continues to air-prune roots for enhanced growth while preventing overwatering. But it also includes several new features that make it easier to use.
If you’ve ever struggled to move a standard smart pot once your plants reach their full size, you’ll really appreciate the convenient side handles of the RQS fabric pot. They’re double-stitched and securely attached to the main body of the pot. You won’t believe the difference they make.
Although it’s not as clearly visible as the handles, the inner “Aqua Breathe” layer is the real game-changer. This inner layer of specialised material gives the RQS Fabric Pot another advantage over a standard smart pot. It allows air to flow through the pot, but ensures the water drains only from the bottom and not from the sides. Not only does this keep your grow space cleaner and preserve your nutrient mix, it prevents unsightly salt stains from forming on the sides of the pot.
Featuring the iconic RQS logo embroidered on the side in gold, the RQS Fabric Pot is a useful and attractive addition to any grow space. It can be used inside or out, in hydro or in soil, and it’s environmentally friendly. It’s washable, biodegradable, and available in a convenient 11-litre size.
Air pots make use of the same principles as the above mentioned “smart” pots. These are plastic containers with openings on the side, that provide automated “air-pruning” for the roots of your cannabis plant. Like smart pots, you will have to water more often, since these pots can dry out faster as compared to standard pots. Compared to fabric pots and grow bags, air pots have the advantage, that they are sturdier and won’t likely tip over. Since air pots are also leaking water from the openings at the side, you may want to set them above properly sized saucers.
Hempy buckets are providing a type of manual hydroponic system for growing cannabis plants. The difference to normal pots is, that the drainage hole isn’t at the bottom, but several centimetres above, which leaves a small reservoir of nutrient solution at the bottom of the hempy bucket.
As compared to soil grows, you would normally fill the hempy bucket with a mix of perlite and vermiculite or use clay pebbles and then feed the plants with hydroponic nutrients. The nutrient reservoir at the bottom of the bucket means, that you can water less frequently.
Since hempy buckets are a manual and passive way of hydroponic growing with no pumps for oxygen, you need to ensure, that the nutrient solution left in the pot won’t become stagnant, since this could lead to growing troubles.
CATCHING RUNOFF WATER WITH SAUCERS
Since you don’t want runoff water flooding your entire growing area, you want saucers placed under your pots. Normally, you would have a matching saucer for each of your growing containers.
Some types of growing containers like smart pots or air pots will require much bigger saucers, since excess water will flow down the sides when watering. Take this into account.
Most cannabis growers will likely get into a routine of frequently emptying out their saucers. This isn’t much of a problem if your plants are still small and you can easily access any pot in your growing area. Sometimes, in particular when your plants have grown taller, reaching to each and every pot and removing the saucers can become quite a chore, if not entirely impossible due to space constraints.
One solution for this problem can be if you use large trays underneath a number of growing pots as opposed to smaller, individual saucers under each. If you set this large runoff tray on a small incline, the water will usually collect in one space and you can then easily remove it with a shop vac.
Another more advanced solution can be with an automated pump, that can take care of the runoff water, that will collect in your tray.
WHAT SIZE OF GROWING CONTAINER IS BEST
Not all cannabis plants require the same size of growing containers. Some plants, for example autoflowering varieties, are not growing too tall and can do well in smaller or medium sized containers. When you select the size of your growing pot, consider the final size of your cannabis plant.
As a first starting point for selecting the right size pots, you can use pot sizes of approximately 7.5l for each 30cm of plant height. Just know, that not all cannabis varieties grow in the same way. Some strains can grow wide and bushy, while others can grow tall and slender, but this rule can help you get started finding the right sized pot.
GROWING CONTAINERS FOR SEEDLINGS
The same principles for healthy growth will apply for smaller containers for your seedlings. You need to ensure proper drainage for your seedlings as well. Since pots for seedlings can be very small and don’t hold too much growing medium, the soil dries out quicker, which means, that the risk of overwatering is lower.
Many cannabis growers use solo cups (“party cups”) for their seedlings without problems. Just make sure to cut drainage holes in the bottom of the cup.
Not always can it be recommended to start out cannabis plants in a small pot or cup and then transplant them later. Any repotting will always cause some stress to your plants, that you want to avoid.
For autoflowering varieties, that by their nature have a preset and rather short life cycle, it can often be best to start these plants in their final container. The reasoning here is, that you want to avoid any stunted and halted growth from repotting during their short growing life cycle if you want to max out your plant’s growth and yield.
TRANSPLANTING YOUR PLANTS INTO BIGGER GROWING CONTAINERS
Most of the time (with some exceptions as mentioned above) you will likely start out your seedlings or clones in small containers and transplant them to bigger pots when the right time has come. The reason here is, that a bigger container allows for a larger root system, that your now rather grown-up cannabis plant will require to get all her nutrients.
Transplanting on the other hand can always cause some stress for your plants and if not done carefully, could even kill your plant, say, should you damage the roots when transplanting. It is therefore important, that you move your plants, so that you don’t disrupt their roots in any way.
The best time to transplant is when your cannabis plant has developed a vast root system, but is not rootbound in the pot yet. Normally, the right time for a transplant is when your plant’s roots would show through the holes of your pot, as if they were searching for more room to grow. You want to avoid the plant having become completely rootbound though.
Carefully take out the plant from the first pot and try not to disturb the roots. In the bigger pot, make a hole in the middle of the growing medium where you carefully place the plant. Fill any remaining gaps in the new pot up with soil or whatever growing medium you are using.
When you transplant your seedlings, the best time for larger ports is usually when the seedlings have grown 3-4 sets of leaves.
If you want to avoid any type of potential growing troubles and want to keep it on the safe side, simply skip transplanting altogether and start your plants in their final pots. Your plants may start out slower than if you were to start them in smaller pots, but the reduced risk and then the less work from transplanting can be worth it, especially for less experienced growers.
Learn about the types of containers for growing weed to find the optimal container for fast and healthy growth of your cannabis plants.
5 Tips on Choosing Pots for Your Cannabis Plants
Cannabis is becoming legal throughout the United States, whether for medical or recreational purposes. Those in medical states may be able to grow their own marijuana, depending on the specific legislation. If you live far away from a dispensary, then growing can be an excellent option; plus, it’s a rewarding task!
However, the task of growing cannabis can be daunting for novice cultivators. Marijuana can be quite particular about its growing environment, so you need to read up on the proper techniques. It can even be helpful to find growing guides for specific strains!
In this generalized guide, we will explain one of the fundamentals of growing pot: Choosing a pot to grow it in! Here are our top five tips for choosing the right container for your cannabis.
1. Know the Types of Pots You Can Use
One of the first things to know is that there are different kinds of pots used for growing. If you have a green thumb and already garden, you’ll probably have some handy containers lying around just waiting to be put to use.
Here is a brief breakdown of the most common pots used in cannabis growing:
- Plastic Container: A standard plastic pot used in planting. They are inexpensive and provide good drainage, but are not very durable.
- Ceramic Container: Terracotta plant pots are a familiar sight for many gardeners. They’re great for temperature regulation, but not so good for drainage.
- Fabric Containers: Fabric pots have a thick fabric covering; they support soil and plants surprisingly well. Fabric containers have excellent airflow and drainage, but can be flimsier than other containers.
- Air Pots: Similarly to fabric containers, air pots provide incredible airflow via holes throughout the pot. However, they may be expensive and lead to an increase in watering.
Of course, these are not the only pots available. There are other containers you can use, but most growers use the above.
You need to consider things like cost and the size of your grow room, as well as how many plants you are growing. Even with limited space and a reasonably low budget, you can make any of these pots work for you; but you may need to adapt the growing process depending on the qualities of your container.
2. Understand Growing Mediums
Another vital factor in choosing a container is thinking about which growing medium you will be using.
When you first start growing your plants, you’ll need to choose what growing medium you’ll use. No matter what, your plants will require access to water, oxygen, and nutrients. Typically, growers use a soil medium. Plants can acquire water and nutrients from the soil, as well as oxygen depending on how good the airflow of the container is.
Other growers use hydroponics, which means growing in water with an alternative medium such as rock wool or coco coir.
Different containers are better for different growing mediums. Air pots are ideal for hydroponics, for example. As long as your roots are developing healthily, then you’re doing something right!
3. Finding the Right Sized Container
Importantly, you need to make sure that your plants have a container that is the right size. Otherwise, they won’t be able to draw the right amounts of oxygen, water, and nutrients from the soil.
A seedling will only need a very small pot. Some growers even use a solo cup, to begin with! As it grows, you will need to transplant it to larger pots (more on this in the next section).
A good rule of thumb is to use two gallons for every 12” of height. You will need to research the strain you’re growing to find out what containers you will need. Here is a rough guide to the size you will require:
- 12” plant: 2-3 gallons
- 24” plant: 3-5 gallons
- 36” plant: 6-8 gallons
- 48″ plant: 8-10 gallon
- 60″ plant: 12+ gallons
By the way, fabric pots may need to be twice the usual size due to how quickly they dry out.
4. Transplant When Needed
Eventually, your young cannabis plant will outgrow its seedling pot and will need to be transferred (transplanted) into a larger container. When the plant’s leaves reach the edge of the pot, it’s time to move the plant.
A few days before it’s time to transplant, avoid watering your plants. This helps the soil to stick better when removing it.
Here are our top tips for transplanting:
- Before you begin, make sure you wash your hands and wear gloves, so you don’t contaminate the roots – they’re really sensitive.
- Fill the new container with the growing medium and transfer the plant from one pot to another.
- Be careful not to damage the roots, as this could shock the plant and may kill it.
- Avoid intense light, as this may also shock the plant.
- The first transplant is the one most likely to cause shock, so be extra careful!
- Water the soil after transplanting.
- Do not transplant any plant after it has started flowering.
5. Make Sure You Catch Water Run-off!
When growing cannabis, you’re bound to get some water runoff. As the water moves through the soil, it may pool at the bottom unless you have adequate drainage. Most plant pots have holes in the bottom for this purpose – but you don’t want water ending up all over the floor!
Water needs to be collected after every watering, so you need to find a simple and effective water collection system. This might be easier than you think!
All you need is a saucer or a tray. Saucers are ideal for just one or two plants, but you need to remember to empty the water often. Trays are better for lots of plants as they can collect water from multiple pots at once.
Another benefit to trays is that you can use a water transfer pump to effectively move the water out of the tray. This removes a lot of work for you!
Ultimately, whichever tool you choose is dependent on how many plants you are growing at any one time.
Final Thoughts on Choosing Pots for Your Cannabis Plants
Choosing the right container for your cannabis plants is vital, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s pretty straightforward to find ideal pots for your plants. You need to consider critical factors such as how many plants you’re growing and what your growing area looks like. Different containers work for different cultivators, and so there isn’t any one right answer.
In the main, you need to ensure that the container is the correct size and provides adequate drainage and airflow. Once you have that covered, you should be good to go!
Any questions? Leave them below in the comments, and a member of our team or our community will get back to you with advice.
If you're embarking on your first cannabis-growing adventure, you might be wondering which pots are best for your plants. Here's our complete guide.