Transplanting Cannabis the Right Way!

Your cannabis seeds have sprouted, or you are growing clones, and they are developing at a fast rate.

It appears they are getting too big for their current home. They might not look as healthy as they once were.

Whether you are growing marijuana in soil or hydroponically, eventually you are going to have to consider transplanting your plants.

In this post, it will cover an in-depth look at the questions and provide you with a clear understanding of transplanting cannabis the right way.

There are some questions many first time growers want to know, and that is:

“When and how should I transplant my cannabis plants?”

“Are there issues when transplanting? “

Let’s jump right in,

When to transplant your marijuana plants

Many signs determine when to transplant your marijuana plants. Here is a list of some signs to look for:

Dry soil Does your plant(s) need water every day or every other day?

If so you should transplant as the plant requires more water than the current container can hold.

This can mean the roots have overgrown the amount of soil in the container, leaving it with more roots than soil or grow medium.


Leaves are drooping (possible root-bound issue ) You should transplant now because the container the plant is in is probably too small for the current root structure.



Leaves turn yellow (possibly root-bound)Transplanting is recommended as the container the plant is in is too small for the current root structure.


Visual Signs the plant is too big for the container, falling over, needing to be staked, or being in the same pot for months such as a mother plant.



How to Transplant Cannabis Plants

How to transplant marijuana from seedling

After your seeds have been germinated and sprouted in their rooting medium.

It is time to transplant to a new home for them to grow and thrive in.

You have a lot of choices to transplant your seedlings into such as:

A solo cup filled with coco or soil medium

Or to a 1,3,5,7 1-gallon container with either coco or soil mixture. DWC baskets, or hydroponic tables.

We will go over how to transplant to a solo cup, and other methods noted below.

  1. First, get your growing medium ready if that’s Coco then you may need to rinse. Or add it to a pot and water completely so it gets soaked with water to get run off.
    If you use soil with perlite mixture moisten the soil to where it’s moist in your hand but still falls apart slowly after releasing.
  2. Cut small holes in the bottom of the solo cups for proper drainage.
  3. Next, fill up a solo cup with grow medium to about an inch and a half remaining from the top.
  4. Make an indent in your growing medium a little bit deeper than the size of your grow cube.
  5. Take your seedling that is currently in a rooting plug or Rockwell and or pellet and place it into the indent of the Solo Cup.
  6. Next place the growing medium on top.
  7. Make sure there’s a tight fit around the growing medium and your rooting plugs or rock wool/ pellet.
  8. Add a small bit of water with your nutrients and pour around the seedling making sure to avoid and he leaves.
  9. Now the transplant is complete.

How to transplant cannabis clones

Transplanting cannabis clones is relatively easy, we will go over a basic overview of this process.

If your cannabis clones are getting roots now in your cloning machine or your routing plugs or pellets it is now time to transplant.

Transplant from cloning machine

After both 5 to 10 days depending on the cloning machine you are using roots should now be appearing at the bottom of the stems of your cuttings.

  1. Get the growing medium of your choice ready as discussed in transplanting seedlings.
    Or your Rockwell or routing pugs, are not required as the clones can be planted directly into the growing medium.
  2. Make a small indent in your growing medium 43 in deep with a straw or Chopstick of your choice.
  3. Remove the Clone from the neoprene collar gently and place it into the hole of a growing medium.
  4. Cover the hole firmly with your growing medium either coco or soil.
  5. Give it a fresh drink of nutrients now it’s been transplanted
  6. You’re now finished transplanting your cannabis clone

To transplant your clones from rockwool or rooting plug/pellets to a growing medium and or hydroponically is covered below.

Transplanting your marijuana into the soil



For preparation when transplanting cannabis into soil make sure you water your marijuana plants a good two days before.

Make sure the soil is slightly moist come the day you would like to transplant.

Do not make the mistake of letting your plants completely dry out.

The root structure will completely fall apart, and you risk transplant shock and possibly killing your plant if the roots are disturbed.

! Sand is a great preventative measure to protect against fungus gnats. Add 1/4 -1 inches to the bottom and top of your container of soil.

1. You may need a butter knife or a tool with a non-sharp edge and run the blade around the outside of the soil of your current container. To loosen the soil from the container. If the seedlings or clones are in a Peat or coco pellet, there is no need for this step.

2. Take the soil of your choice and wet the soil till it holds together when you grab it in a fist but falls apart when releasing your fist.

3a. If you have an extra container of the size your plant was in you can measure the size of it and start to fill in the soil to the container then place the pot while filling it with soil

3b. Fill a container of your choice with the soil mixture to about 4 inches from the top of the container.

4. Make a hole dirt and place your plant into the hole and slowly cover it with the remaining soil if you need more feel free to add more soil.

5. Water the container with reverse osmosis water be careful not to overwater and drown the plant.

6. You are now finished transplanting your marijuana plant


Watch this short video below how the famous Jorge Cervantes explains what root bound is and gives an easy demonstration of transplanting in soil.

Transplanting cannabis into your hydroponic garden



1. Set up your hydroponic bed and place your medium into the container such as hydroton pellets or coco coir in fabric or air pots.

!  Sand is a great preventative measure to protect against fungus gnats. Add 1-2 inches to the bottom and top of your container of coco coir.

2. Make an indent in the medium

3. Take your cannabis seedlings or clones that are in either a coco coir pellet or rock wool and or root plugs

4. Place the plant into the hole and gently cover it with the remaining medium

5. Water the marijuana plants with either your pump system or manually and allow the water to drain through.

6. You are now finished transplanting your marijuana plant Congratulations!

Watch this video on transplanting into rock wool 

Beware of Transplant Shock in Cannabis

While transplanting marijuana plants you can face some underlying issues that can become severe.

The most common one is transplant shock in cannabis. Its is caused when the roots are damaged or disturbed while transplanting.

One way around this is to wear disposable gloves when transplanting and also to water your marijuana plants a couple of days before.

This will make sure there is a solid base when removing the plant.

    • Signs of transplant shock in cannabis: Include drooping plant leaves or spotted leaves
  • Never grab the stock when removing the plant always grab the top part of the soil.
  • Transplant early rather than later is a good rule of thumb to guard against the plant being root-bound.

Recover from transplant shock

Some growers use Kelp Seaweed Extract to recover from transplant shock.

Other methods although not tested are to boil three tablespoons of sugar with some water and add this solution to the bottom of the hole you are going to transplant in.

Watch this quick video for more info on transplant shock in marijuana

Grow Supplies for Transplanting Cannabis

There are some items that you need for transplanting weed and it all depends on how you are planning on growing your marijuana.

Either in a soil method or a hydroponic method.

The stuff required is pots or containers to transplant.

Soil or growing medium.

Any additional transplanting aids or nutrients.

There are various pots on the market ranging from terracotta (which is not recommended) to plastic to fabric and also come in all different sizes.

When growing cannabis some say, the height of your plant should determine the pot size.

For example 12 inches per 2-gallon container. So if you want a plant to be 4 feet tall, you would need roughly an 8-gallon container.

This is just an estimation it all depends on many factors including quality of light, and types of strain just to name a few.

Make sure there are holes in the bottom of your plastic container. For maximum drainage.

Recommended pots for growing marijuana

Fabric Pots

Smart Pots are hailed as the original fabric pot the benefits of using a fabric pot over plastic are they provide better aeration and water drainage as well as heat release.

Fabric pots cause the roots to air prune meaning they grow to the end of the pot the airflow stops the roots from growing outward and starts to grow side roots off the root structure.

Fabric Pots work well in both soil and hydroponic growing methods.

The pots are also reusable. Smart pots are available everywhere and come in an assortment of sizes.

Other Fabric Pots Many other companies have followed suit and created their version of the smart pot such as a favorite of ours and much less expensive fabric pots by Hydrofarm.

You could also sew fabric pots out of landscape fabric as well if you are crafty or know someone who is.

Air pots made in Scotland the air pot enable air pruning as the roots grow out to the base and air prune the roots when they reach the outside.

Much like the smart or fabric pots,  air pots enhance the root systems to grow more of a root system without any circling of roots. Available is a variety of sizes.

General plastic pots

The regular plastic pots are the most inexpensive and widely available, make sure you are getting pots with holes on the bottom for easy drainage.

And if they do not you can also drill some holes as well. Many sizes are available.

Hydroponic Tubs/ Grow Trays are used when growing hydroponically. The tubs are great for just filling with hydroton pellets or in keeping pots with a high draining ability such as fabric with coco coir.


When growing marijuana an organic method is one using soil, and growing in this medium can enhance the flavor of your cannabis.

Never use just topsoil or a medium that has no other additives these do not drain well and with no airflow can cause fungus growth and bugs, especially fungus gnats.

If using topsoil try adding some of the additives below. Recommended additives in the soil from Gardening Know-How are:

Perlite is a volcanic glass that is heated to over 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit it then expands to 13 times its size.

In the end, is a small pellet with microscopic air holes on the outside of the pellet. This helps to absorb and retain water.

Vermiculite is an aluminum-iron magnesium silicate that is made with intense heat and expands to be shaped like small accordion pellets.

Vermiculite is used to retain water and nutrients and also aerates the soil although not as good as perlite.

Sphagnum Peat Moss is a dead fibrous material, and living material decomposes in peat bogs. It takes millions of years for the peat moss to form.

It is usually mined in northern Canada and has some environmental concerns related to the mining aspect as it releases a vast amount of carbon into the air.

Some growers refuse to use this medium to grow in as it is not a renewable resource. It also has a lower pH level and tends to be slightly acidic.

Mycorrhizae is a beneficial bacteria and fungus that attaches to the roots and produces filaments that help the plant get nutrients that can boost plant health.

Soil for Cannabis

Many growers have their favorite soil brands and they make their soil themselves.

Some of the best soil for marijuana should have proper airflow and drainage but also be able to retain some water and nutrients to help the plant grow.

Here are some of the best potting soil for cannabis not in any particular order:

Promix HP or BP

Ingredients for HP: sphagnum peat moss (65-75%), perlite, limestone, mycorrhizae

Fox Farms Happy Frog potting soil

Happy Frog contains peat moss, perlite, earthworm castings, bat guano, and some other beneficial additives.

Fox Farms Ocean Forest Soil

Ocean forest soil has you guessed it and an all-around fish base of fish emulsion, crab meal, shrimp meal, kelp, and also peat moss, perlite.

Roots Organic comes in an assortment of blends, some with a base of coco or a base of peat moss.

Hydroponic Growing

If you are growing your marijuana, hydroponically you can use either coco coir ( a favorite ) or clay hydro ton pellets.

Canna Coco Coir is made from coconut husks when they are ground and turn into a “coir” meaning dust. This is a great renewable resource for planting in. much the same as peat moss except the pH is more balanced.

It also retains more water than peat while providing ample aeration for the roots according to Fine Gardening. A bonus when using a fabric pot.

Coco coir is one soil additive I use to help grow massive buds.

Hydroton Pellets are made with clay, and it is heated to about 1200 degree Fahrenheit to expand and become a porous structure.

Hydroton Pellets are perfect for a high water capacity such as when using a hydroponic system when growing your marijuana.

The pellets are renewable as they are made from clay.

Rockwool Cubes can also be used in the same way as hydroton pellets and may be used in pots.

Transplant aids such as Mycorrhizae or Sea kelp may assist with the growth of your plants after transplanting to prevent shock and enhance root growth and health.

Well, that was easy. Whether you are transplanting your seedlings, clones or even a mother plant, it is not too hard at all as long as you are prepared.

I hope this has helped answer many of your questions and demonstrates some easy steps to transplanting cannabis plants.

Remember the importance of using the best soil for cannabis.

As well as to minimize transplant shock when transplanting.

You also have various growing methods on which to try your next growth to see what works for you.

I cannot recommend enough fabric pots and how they can increase your plant size and possible yield as they promote massive root growth.

Please let me know your thoughts or methods and tips if you have any in the comments.

And as always

Grow on my friends

16 thoughts on “Transplanting Cannabis the Right Way!”

  1. Hi Sensi Garden,

    First Time Grower here! Looking forward on trying these techniques. Hoping for a very smooth Transplant!!! Will let you know how it goes Sensi Garden!!!

  2. Just reporting back on those Transplants. Happy to say everything went well! Thanks again SensiGarden looking forward to all the other tips on here!

  3. My plants have become very leggy, (lack of enough lighting) can I transplant deeper into the next size container..(Like tomatoes) to get a better stem?
    Whats the harm

    • Hi Becky,
      Tomato plants are different than cannabis the stalks on a tomato plant have hairs which is why you have to plant them deeper in the pot. Cannabis plants stalks do not have hairs on them only in the roots. So i would suggest having some bamboo skewers and maybe a twist tie or something to keep them prop up and blast them with some stronger light . You may be able to plant it like half an inch deeper on the stem , not sure how that would turn out. I have never tried it out to plant like a tomato.

    • I disagree with Parker. I always bury my plants deeper, over and over. Roots grow from that part of the stem over time. It increases the chances of root rot, but gives more roots.

    • Hi Tom,

      i never have transplanted in early flower. You may shock the plants. If you really feel you need to then Best to try one plant out and see if she takes in 2-3 days.

  4. Ijust transplanted my plant from a half gallon bucket to a 10 gallon container i did not disturb the roots what so ever its about 2 ft tall this is my final transplant. Should my plant be okay?

  5. Got 2 things to add. Firstly Parker Lewis can’t lose! and neither can you, if you follow these tips. Secondly got a sand question. Hear it can hold the water a bit. Especially if it is soft sand, like the aquarium type. Can perlite be used instead of sand? Understand sand is better but coarse sand is not available in all areas, unfortunately. Hate these fungal gnats.another tip, spray the root ball as you are transplanting with a diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide. What do you think about that one?


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