Transplanting Marijuana Plants

Transplanting your cannabis plants can be one of the trickiest parts of growing your marijuana plants. It may seem overwhelming, but when properly researched it can be done with ease by just about anyone. So what makes transplanting cannabis so important? What would even happen if you didn’t do it? In this article, we will answer those questions, and will dive into the following topics:

Why Transplant
Indoor or outdoor
Transplanting tips
When to transplant
How to transplant

Why Transplant


Why transplant weed plants







The right time to transplant your cannabis plants is when they have an established, sturdy root system in place. The plant is ready to focus its energy on vegetative growth now, so it needs to be moved to a better location for such a task. You will need to educate yourself about how to do this properly, since making even a small mistake during the process could have a devastating effect. You will also have to carefully choose where you are going to put your cannabis plants permanently to live out their adult lives.

Transplanting cannabis plants at this stage is always necessary, regardless of how you sprouted your plants to begin with. They simply cannot thrive if they are grown in containers for their whole lives, so you cannot avoid the transplantation process. The best way to deal with this is through research and planning.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

So what could happen if you make a mistake while transplanting your cannabis plants? Your plants could go into shock, which might cause their leaves to turn yellow and then wither, finally dying and dropping off the plant altogether. In some more serious cases, the plant itself could actually die from the trauma.

While risky, transplanting your plants will have an overwhelmingly positive effect (when done responsibly). It will help speed up the maturing process of the plant while simultaneously requiring even less hands-on care from you as the grower. In summary, it’s well worth the risk and hassle in the end.

Indoor or outdoor


Indoor or outdoor transplanting cannabis






Before beginning the transplanting process, you will first need to make some decisions about your permanent grow site. The location is everything, as it will determine your cannabis plants’ growing environment (and, therefore, their rate of success) as well as your own security.

If you want more control over the environment in which your plants are growing, you may be interested in setting up a permanent grow site indoors. With this method, you can grow all your plants in larger separate containers of some sort (check these containers). This can be a great way to ensure the health of your plants since you would control every aspect of their lives. On the other hand, growing your cannabis plants indoors will also require you to use a lot more money, time, and effort. Whether it is light, food, water, temperature or ventilation, you will have to provide it yourself.

For growers on a budget or who prefer a more natural method of growing, setting up a grow site outdoors might make the most sense. It costs much less in both money and effort. That being said, with this method it is even more important to choose the right grow site for your plants, since it will have a significant effect on both the environment around your plants, as well as your own personal security. It will need to be a safe place with easy access, where you can ensure safety for both yourself and your cannabis plants.

Transplanting tips


Transplating tips weed






When you are transplanting your cannabis plants, there are a few specific things you should be sure to avoid. The following steps are most important to remember when going through a transplant:

  • Avoid watering your plants for a day or two before the planned transplant.
  • Always take care of the roots. In other words, don’t touch them. The less the roots are disturbed during the transplant, the more likely that it will be successful.
  • Use nutrients that are only half-strength in your water, and water your plant immediately after its transplant.
  • Avoid hitting your plant with intense light in the first one or two days directly after the transplant.


The whole process can be risky, but when some simple measures are taken to lower that risk, you should have a highly successful transplant and harvest.

When to transplant


When to transplant cannabis plants






The basic idea behind transplanting at a certain time is to do it when your plants’ roots have reached as far as they can grow within the constraints of their container. Roots actually tend to grow further and faster when they are enclosed in a container; it’s almost as if they are eager to reach open space as soon as possible. Strangely enough, roots that are already planted straight into the ground do not grow with the same amount of urgency. So what happens if you leave your plants in a container for too long? The answer is simple: they’ll just stop growing altogether.

Containers are not the only thing guilty of causing such a response in the plant. Peat plugs can do the same thing since their mesh perimeter usually acts as a hindrance to the roots, and they stop growing as if they were contained in a plastic pot. This will cause them to stop growing as well.

Once your cannabis plants have sprouted, two leaves that are oblong in shape will start to be visible. These are called cotyledons and they come out from the one tiny stem that will pop up from the soil. They don’t resemble the easily recognized marijuana leaves, but after just a few days they will drop off and normal marijuana leaves will emerge. This shows you that your plants are beginning their seedling phase of life. Plants in this phase are still relatively small in size, but their roots will begin to grow and develop into a proper root system. This system, though nicely developed, is still quite fragile.

You cannot yet move your plants while they are in their seedling phase, but do ensure that they have plenty of light and water (or just moisture in the soil). The seedling phase can be between two and six weeks long. Read How to grow strong plants ready to transplant

So how can you identify the time when your plants are ready for transplantation? Doing it too early would be devastating for your tender seedlings, so you must act with caution. Once you suddenly are seeing faster growth of leaves as well as a firmer stem. You can test the firmness of the stem by grabbing it with your hand (gently) without doing any damage to it. If these things are happening to your young plants, they have officially entered the vegetative growth stage of their life.

You can, of course, begin the growing season a bit earlier by using peat plugs. This is ideal for growers who are located in climates where the growing season is naturally shorter. If you do go with peat plugs, make sure you are always aware of the mesh perimeters and whether root tendrils are emerging from underneath them. As soon as you see this you will need to transplant the seedlings into a bigger container or else into the ground outdoors. If you don’t, the growth of your plant could remain stunted forever.

How to transplant


How to transplant cannabis plants






The first thing you need to do when transplanting your plants to a new, permanent location is to choose a spot for it. There are three types of locations that you can choose between. The first one is an indoor location that can be accessed with ease, but is not easily noticed by other people. A second option would be to move your plants outdoors, where many of the valuable resources they need come at no cost to you. The third option is a sort of indoor-outdoor hybrid: you can move your plants to larger containers, but in turn move these containers outdoors temporarily.

If you are most concerned about the discovery of your plants, the third option might be for you because it means that you will be able to quickly relocate your crop in case of detection. It also works well for moving your plants away from pests. Out of the three options, moving your plants from one container to another is most likely the simplest and most straightforward option available to you.

No matter what option you choose to go with, there are a few key factors to your successful transplantation. First and most obviously, you need to make sure that new soil (whether in the ground or in containers) is fully prepared before you begin the transplantation process.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

If you are moving the plants into new pots, make sure that each pot is 4 gallons at the very smallest. If you are going to move your plants to an outdoor location, simply dig a hole that is a few inches greater in size than the pots that your plants have been living in thus far. Make sure to have piles of dug up soil around the hole as well, so that you can push it back in once you have completed the move.

You should actually keep the plants in the soil that they have already been growing since it will reduce the amount of shock that it undergoes, and will instead ease your plant into its new environment. If you have grown your plants within a closet until now, they are especially susceptible to shock, so be particularly cautious.

The next factor that you need to pay attention to is the condition of the soil that your plants are currently living in. It needs to be moist but not wet, and not dry enough to crumble. The most important thing is that your soil sticks together during the transplantation, keeping the shape of its original container (wiki on transplanting).

The process is simple. Put the palm of your hand on the soil in its original pot, keeping the plant’s stem between two of your middle fingers. Your other hand should be beneath the plant. Using both hands, smoothly flip the pot upside-down, putting the full contents and weight of the plant and its soil into your hand that’s holding the stalk of the plant. Then put away the container, as you will no longer be needing it, and put your hand back on the bottom of the contents, where you should be able to see the white tendrils of the roots. You then put the whole thing into one of the holes you have already dug in the ground.

Do not panic if large pieces of soil fall from the roots of the plant. Your only priority is getting the plant’s roots back underground and covered completely with soil. With a peat plug, the mesh surrounding your plant’s roots should be pulled off and discarded since your plant will no longer be engulfed by water.

Once you have pushed all the soil onto plant’s roots, make sure to give those roots plenty of water. Use up a full gallon that has added plant food. The last step is simply to cover up the soil that has been exposed to natural debris and leaves that are already at this location. This will both slow down the evaporation of the water you just poured, as well as camouflage your garden from unexpected discovery.

Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible


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25 thoughts on “Transplanting Marijuana Plants

    • Hi Hingi,
      Just put your email in the box at the top right, and you will get the download link send to you!
      Take care,

  1. Hi Romey,

    Most of our strains for sale we breed ourselves. Only on rare occassions do we buy seeds. But, only from our own trusted suppliers here in Amsterdam.

    Our seeds are sold in the ILGM seedshop:

    Go over there and check-out some of our delicious strains :-)

    Happy growing,

    Robert Bergman

  2. I have transplanted one of my babies into its permanent growing pot and while i was transplanting one of the many many roots kinda was stuck to 2 liter bottom and while transplanting got pulled off just a little though was curious if any thoughts on if that will be the one thing that kills it or does it matter since there are so many others could you email with resopnse please..

  3. robert ,,a friend have a plant bt it is in no so good soil , i want to transplant it in a new prepared soil , but the soil where now is to thick and roots cant spread easy,how to take all the bad soil out of the roots?and how to tranplant it?

  4. I live in the USA. I noticed that it is not listed in the country list. Does this mean we are sanctioned (haha)

    • Hi Lisaray,
      The USA is where almost all our visitors, friends and clients are from! No clue what you mean with the USA not being listed in a country list. Both reading our blog from the USA, and shipping our products to the USA, are free! :-)

      Happy growing,

      Robert Bergman

  5. robert please tell me when to transplant from indoor light box to large outdoor pots ? thank you

    • This is a matter of choice, and once experienced can be varied to fit your needs.

      Before planting outdoors; You must do 2 things; 1. Make sure you have established a strong root zone, and the plant is strong enough to withstand wind. 2. The transition from indoor to outdoors need to be done a little at a time over a few days. The Sun is much brighter than you lamps, oso it is good to keep the plant in t eh 1-3 gallon pot indoors. Use this to move in and out for an hour one day6, monitoring the response of the plant. If all goes well, try 2-4 hours the next day. If all goes well, you can probably take one more day at 6-8 hours, and then replant into large vessel and leave outdoors. hope this helps. :)

  6. Last year we planted six plants. The plants were very small (short). What did I do wrong, they were very healthy and produced a good amount. We planted them on the south west side of a shed they missed the morning sun but got the afternoon and evening sun. Could this be why I lie in the California dessert. Thanks so much for all the info you give

  7. Hey! I’m in need of help. I have to explain my situation but I’ll try to make it brief :)
    Ok, sometime when breaking down my herb (very rare this happens) I find a seed, or a friend finds a seed. I have a house plant and i just started to stick the seeds that were found inside my plant pot. It’s probably been about 6 months since I found a seed, and 8 months to 1 yr for the other seeds I’ve found and just put in plant pot. My friends told me it wouldn’t grow but I said “what the heck, why not put it in the pot with my house plant”…so allllllllllll these months pass by, and I happen to look at my plan & see two sprouts growing up from the dirt. One is longer than the other. The one that is a little longer has spread two long leave + two short leaves…

    My question to you is what should I do next??? I was not expecting it to grow! And remember it has been many months since those seeds have been in dirt. AND it’s in a pot with my actual house plant..HELP!!!!

    plz n thnx in advance

  8. Kevin. This is hard to say. Some genetics “Indica” will stay shorter and bushier. Auto-flowers tend to be smaller. The problem is; You have given us no indication of what type seeds you used. :) Please join the forum, and post this topic there so we can help you more efficiently. Peace

  9. Thnx for your response :)

    Any particular soil/dirt I should use?? I’m going to use some of the soul it started growing with so I don’t shock the babies lol…and surround it with new soil/dirt

  10. Any good composted soil would work good. Make sure it is ammended and not too hot for the roots. If you can afford it Foxfarm is a great soil, but expensive. They make 2 or 3 different mixes. Miracle grow makes a soil called Organic choice. I have used this and had good results. Very affordable :)

    Finally; You can mix your own.
    1. Sterile dirt. (clean topsoil dirt with no additives or fertilizer value)
    2, Perlite 1/3
    3. Promix BX (nursery product) Ingredients:
    LIMESTONE (buffers PH)
    MYCORRHIZAE™ PREMIER TECH (Glomus intraradices)

    ProMixBX is available at farm and ag supply stores. 4CF for approx. 35-40 bucks. Great deal B

  11. Hello, question?.. i had to pull my plants out of the ground.. they have not budded yet and they are about 4 feet tall.. what can be done to stop them from dying? is there any immediate advice to give? as they were pulled today…

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