You've conquered seed starting. Woot! But do you know when to repot seedlings? Transplanting seedlings is a step you can't skip! Learn the signs your plants are telling you they've outgrown their seed starting tray. Germinating seeds is not at all a complicated process. Even transplanting the seedlings is doable. For example, an improperly germinated seed may result in less flavorful or potent flowers. How to Germinate and Transplant Cannabis Seeds While it’s a bit early to begin germinating seeds for the outdoor growing season
5 Signs It’s Time To Repot Your Seedlings
It’s important to be able to recognize when it’s time to transplant seedlings from the seed tray to a larger pot. Transplanting seedlings a few weeks after starting should be part of your seed starting routine.
We start the seeds in smaller containers because we can control moisture and temperature much better that way, and if you’ve heard me talk much about seed starting then you know my motto is that moisture and temperature are the most important factors in getting good germination.
But once the seeds sprout, they quickly outgrow their seed starting container. It would be a bad idea to let them continue to grow in a pot that is too small. They’ll become nutrient deprived and their roots will grow round and round into a big knot.
Transplanting them into larger pots, helps them develop healthier roots and grow faster. By not restraining their growth indoors, you’re training them to grow big and strong when it’s time to put them in the garden.
But how do you know when to repot seedlings?
There are a few simple things you can look for that are dead giveaways your plants need a bigger pot.
1. They have one or two sets of true leaves
The ideal time for transplanting your seedlings is about 3 weeks after they sprout or when you have 1-2 sets of true leaves. It’s better to get them in new containers before they start to show the signs of stress listed below.
2. The cotyledons are turning yellow and falling off
Cotyledons are the first leaves that emerge from a seed. They are different than the “true leaves.” True leaves are the second and subsequent sets of leaves that grow after the cotyledons emerge.
It is normal for cotyledons to yellow and fall off, but if they’re doing it when you only have 1 or 2 sets of leaves, your plants really need to be transplanted.
3. The true leaves are turning yellow
It’s definitely time to transplant if the true leaves are yellow. This is a sure sign that your plants are starved for nutrients.
4. The roots are wound around and around the root ball
You definitely want to see roots in your growing medium when it’s time to plant, but if they’re circling around the edges of the root ball, then they’re getting too crowded.
5. They’re crowded
You don’t want to overcrowd your plants when they’re young. Some plants will grow taller than others and that will affect how much light the others get. You’ll also get the larger plants sequestering all the nutrients and that will stunt the growth of your other plants as well.
Why transplant the seedlings at all?
You might wonder why we would go to the trouble of repotting seedlings at all? Why not just give them some fertilizer, or better yet, start them in a larger container to begin with?
You’ll be much more successful germinating seeds if you start them in small containers. This allows you to have more control over the temperature and moisture in the seed starting container. We’ve found we have much better sprout rates in the smaller cell trays as compared to using other types of seed starting containers.
You can dose your plants with some fertilizer but that will stimulate growth. They’re already telling you they need more space, why stress them by making them grow bigger in the same small space?
Both of those options are viable alternatives, but you’ll have healthier plants if you transplant instead.
How to repot seedlings
Transplanting seedlings is quite easy to do. You simply need a new container and some potting mix. We recommend a container that is twice as big as what they are in now and a high quality potting mix like Fox Farm Ocean Forest.
We like to mix the potting mix and the seed starting mix in a 50:50 ratio. This is especially helpful for young seedlings who still have tender roots.
Before filling your containers, wet down your soil mixture to ensure even watering after you plant. Then nest your seedling in the new container, filling in around the base of the plant and pressing down to seat it in well and remove air pockets.
For tomatoes, bury the stem leaving only 1 or 2 sets of leaves above the soil line. For all others, plant them level or bury the stem about 1/4 inch or less.
Water your transplanted seedlings well and place them back under the light.
What about fertilizing seedlings?
You can fertilize young seedlings after transplanting as needed. Use a liquid organic fertilizer diluted to half strength. If they tolerate the half strength and seem like they need more, you can up it to full strength.
Don’t fertilize your seedlings until after you transplant them. You don’t want to stimulate growth in a space that is too small.
Easy Steps to Germinating and Transplanting Cannabis Plants – Bonza Blog
Germinating seeds is not at all a complicated process. Even transplanting the seedlings is doable. Like other things, it is only difficult in the beginning. However, with enough practice, then it becomes a piece of cake.
After having a better understanding of the process, it becomes apparent the methods or procedures involved are simple. Even so, these are still critical aspects of nurturing cannabis plants to its full potential. For example, an improperly germinated seed may result in less flavorful or potent flowers.
Germination is the process in which plants develop from seed. Among growers, many have taken to calling it ‘popping seeds.’ Although simple, it is apparent that growers should be careful during this phase (and all stages for that matter) to bring out the best of the plant.
Germinating Seeds- Image powered by Hydroponics.co.uk
There are factors to consider when germinating cannabis seeds.
1. Moisture. Be sure not to over-water. With just the right amount of moisture, the seed should split, and roots start to grow.
2. Temperature. Seeds should not be exposed to low or cold temperature. It should be warm where the rate of germination becomes optimal.
Prior to germinating cannabis seeds, prepare the following:
- 4 sheets of paper towels
- distilled water
- 2 plates
- 2-inch pots (as many as needed depending on number of seeds)
Step 1. Soak four pieces of paper towels in distilled water then place two sheets on a plate. Place cannabis seeds over it making sure each is one inch apart from the others. Next, use the two remaining paper towers to cover the seeds.
Step 2. To create a suitable environment for the cannabis seeds to germinate, place the other plate on top. Although light is needed in almost all stages of cultivating plants, it is not the case during germination.
Step 3. Keep the room temperature between 21 to 32 degrees Celsius. Although it is possible to increase the temperature and raise the rate of germination, that would also entail buying equipment such as seedling heat mat. Once done, then it is time to wait for the cannabis seeds to sprout. From time to time, check and make sure that the paper towels are damp.
Things to Remember
Germinating Seeds – Image powered by Skunkmagazine.com
Adding water once or twice a day is good enough. Be sure that it is adequate and not excessive. Otherwise, the seeds could end up drowning. On the flip side, if it is not enough, then the seeds may not sprout at all.
Once the seeds start sprouting, remember that it is very fragile. As such, be careful in its handling.
Transplanting the Seedlings
Soon, roots start to form after the seed splits open. Once that happens, then it is time to place the seeds in small pots. To do that, prepare the following items:
- small 2-inch pots
- potting soil
- spray bottle
- pen or pencil
Transplanting the Seedlings – Image powered by Dailyimprovisations.com
Step 1. Put some soil in the small pot. At the center, make a half-inch hole using a pen or pencil.
Step 2. Use a pair of tweezers to transfer the seed to the pot. Be gentle as it is fragile. Carefully, place it in the center of the hole. After, top it and make sure the seed is only a few millimeters deep.
Step 3. Spray water and let it settle.
Let the seedling sprout until it has two or more internodes. Until then, keep it moist, and it should grow nicely. Transplant the plants into bigger pots once they are ready. This time, instead of using tweezers to pick up individual seeds, it is only a matter of removing the whole plant including a clump of potting soil and placing it in its new environment.
Things to Remember
Transplanting from a small pot to a bigger one allows the plant to continue growing. Otherwise, it becomes too crowded, and it stops rooting.
Spraying water once or twice a day is good enough. The key here is knowing how much is enough or lacking. If the leaves are signs of being droopy in which entire leaf curls down or having a yellowish color, it may be a sign of over-watering. If it looks wilted, then it may be due to under-watering.
Transplanting the Seedlings – Image powered by Growweedeasy.com
Once seedlings appear, lighting becomes vital to its survival and growth. Regardless if eventually placed outdoors or using grow light inside the house, it should not be too hot. It is achieved by placing it in an area where there is ample shading or adjusting the height of lighting fixture.
Soon after the first internode appears, it is time to add some nutrients. Some growers prefer the root-stimulating foliar nutrients. But, be cautious of the dose since the roots are young. Keep the concentrations low.
Finally, do not stress out the plants. Transplanting itself is already strenuous. During its care after, limit movement and avoid touching.
Proper Germination for Strong Cannabis Plants
As one can see, germinating and transplanting seedlings is not a complicated process. The most important thing to remember is that growers must be as careful as possible.
It appears to be inanimate objects, but plants are a life-form. Like people, it also experiences stress. Consequently, it may lead to poor-quality plant or in worse cases, death.
On the bright side, keeping it as safe as possible is also very much like a person having a happy childhood. Often, these people develop into well-rounded adults. In the same manner, proper germination and transplanting also leads to optimal growth and maximizing the potential of the plant.
When To Transplant Weed Seeds From Paper Towel
How to Germinate and Transplant Cannabis Seeds
While it’s a bit early to begin germinating seeds for the outdoor growing season here in Northern California, if you’re an indoor grower, there’s no time like the present! Starting a cannabis plant from seed can be a rewarding endeavor, allowing you full control over your plant from the very beginning. If you plan on creating a mother plant from which to gather your own clones, you’ll absolutely want to start from seed to begin with the strongest, purest genetics. Just like in sci-fi movies, the more times a clone is copied and recloned, the weaker its genetics become.
Germinating and transplanting is quite easy but does require some care. Your little plant will be delicate and poor handling can damage it easily.
Let’s get started!
- Choose your seeds. You can find seeds at your local dispensary. The Natural Cannabis Company carries several different seed providers and has many strains to choose from. They can also be bought online.
- Gather your germination materials. You’ll need paper towels, water and some type of covered container. This can be anything from a lidded kitchen storage container to a bowl covered with a dish towel. If you use clear glass, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your sprout’s progress without opening the dish.
- Place the paper towel at the bottom of the container and moisten. You want the paper towel to be saturated but not soggy. There should be no puddles of water in the bottom of your dish.
- Arrange your seeds. Sprinkle the seeds you want to germinate onto the wet paper towel, slightly spaced apart. You can germinate different types of cannabis seeds together, just keep them in separate areas so you know which is which. Cover the container and place somewhere warm but not in direct sun. You don’t want it to get too hot and kill your seeds!
- Wait. Some seeds may sprout right away, others may take up to a week. Some may not sprout at all. Once the seeds begin to sprout you will want to plant them in soil right away. Choose the seeds that have developed the strongest looking roots. This will be the plant’s main taproot, so it’s important to choose the best ones.
- Pot. When the seed has produced a root, it’s time to place it in a loose, airy soil. Small 2” pots are a great size to put seedlings in. Fill with soil and then poke a small hole in the middle with a pen or your finger. Using tweezers, gently pick up the seed, careful not to touch the offshoot, and place it in the hole. Gently fill in over the seed, but don’t pack the soil. Keep it loose. If your seed has grown into the paper towel, don’t fret. Just tear off the piece it’s attached to and plant that!
- Mist gently with water. You don’t want to drench the soil and drown your little sprout! Continue to water this way as needed. If you keep the soil moist and the temperature warm, you should soon see little plants poking up out of the soil. Congratulations! Let’s hope it’s a girl!
If you are growing from seed for the outdoor season in Northern California, you should wait until spring’s initial unpredictable weather is over if you don’t have an indoor light set-up. One harsh rain or overnight frost can quickly kill delicate, young cannabis plants.
Not ready to start from seed? All Natural Cannabis Company locations also carry clones! Stop by the garden department and speak to our knowledgeable staff for tips and help choosing the right strains to get your garden started from seed or clone!