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.
Best Pots For Growing Weed
If you know even a little about pots or growing containers, you’ll be well aware that they are not all the same. Each has a particular design that matches the grower’s needs. Similarly, growing pots don’t just differ in terms of size. Different kinds of containers are present in the market, ranging from regular to advanced pots.
What Do Cannabis Roots Want?
As far as pots go, cannabis requires one thing more than any other, and that’s a healthy and safe place to develop its roots. Cannabis fails to thrive optimally if the roots are not healthy, the reason being that the roots take charge of nutrient absorption, water retention, helping with vegetative growth and serving as an anchor for the plant.
Here are the 3 major elements that all cannabis roots require.
As you may know, retaining water is vital to the health of any plant. Without water, cannabis doesn’t thrive and ends up dying after withering for a certain period. Of course, the growing medium is a key part of this process, so choosing the right container to house your plants could do you a world of good. Therefore, make sure to mitigate any damage by providing proper drainage access to your roots. If you want to figure out the quantity of water your plants require, consider factors like plant size, overall plant health, outside temperature and plant growth stage.
Just as moisture is vital for a plant’s health, so is oxygen access just as crucial. Keeping this information in mind, go for containers that offer sufficient oxygen to develop the plant’s roots while ensuring they don’t allow the plant to gain too much exposure to harmful elements. Various container varieties provide the roots with extra oxygen exposure through an assortment of perforation styles.
The plant’s roots use oxygen by absorbing it directly from water or soil that contains dissolved oxygen. The quantity of dissolved oxygen present in water depends on the water’s temperature. Cold water contains a higher quantity of oxygen while warm water has lower amounts.
Roots need optimal conditions to absorb nutrients effectively. Nutrient availability, optimal temperatures and pH balance play a key part in effective nutrient absorption. Just like animals, plants also go through various stages of life. They need different nutrition in all stages to thrive and grow. Of course, using an optimally-sized pot and excellent soil is vital, but nutrition is just as important.
New growers often wonder whether they should take the chemical or organic route for their plant’s nutrition. The reality is that both have their place. Each offers a different option, which means you need to decide which to use according to the particular requirements of your plant.
Types Of Pots
Tons of options are out there when it comes to pots. The place where you’re growing your cannabis, how you plan to grow it and the type of pot you want to utilize are the main determinants. As mentioned earlier, every pot is different. Let’s take a look at the different types of pots that growers prefer.
Standard Plastic Pots
This is one of the most common pot types. You can find them easily almost anywhere and they are also quite cheap. In fact, standard pots are mostly available in plastic form. In case you go for these standard plastic pots, make sure you get a matching saucer to go with them. It will come in handy to catch runoff water present beneath the pot.
A vital thing to keep in mind about standard plastic pots is that they should contain drainage holes to prevent water logging. Drainage holes are present at the pot’s bottom. Not every pot has pre-bored holes, so you may need to create these yourself before beginning to utilize the containers for growing your plants.
- Transplanting is affordable and simple
- Drainage is quite solid
- Overhead costs are very low
- Could have airflow issues (depending on growing medium)
- Durability is on the lower side since structural damage and cracks could occur over time
- Standard pots are unable to prevent temperature fluctuations by shielding root systems
Standard Terracotta Pots
Also referred to as ceramic containers, standard terracotta pots are similar to standard plastic pots. The only difference between the two is the material. However, terracotta pots are highly beneficial for growers who plan to grow weed in warm climates. Terracotta pots are also heavier in comparison to plastic pots. This pot type is naturally able to store and soak up extra moisture, creating a cooling effect. This is the reason why hot climate growers prefer it so much.
- Pot’s heavy weight comes in handy to anchor bigger plants
- Retains low temperatures and absorbs moisture on hot days
- Heavy weight of this pot sometimes creates difficulty in transporting plants
- Drainage is not at all optimal, and drilling holes is a labor-intensive task requiring the use of special tools
Fabric (Smart) Pots
Fabric pots and smart pots are one and the same. Their purpose is to ensure that plants do not become root-bound. Instead of growing in cycles as growers usually do with standard closed pots, fabric pots air prune all the roots once they reach the container’s sides. Because of this, the roots can grow without any hindrance, in turn improving plant growth. Fabric-growing bags or pots also have another advantage – they make sure you do not overwater your cannabis plant by a single drop.
- Fabric pots have ideal drainage, which is perfect for well-maintained gardens
- Roots receive more airflow in these pots
- Storing fabric pots is very convenient
- Promotes strong roots
- Plant support can be tough because of the flimsy structure, as these pots tend to dry out fast
- Needs more maintenance and attention
Air pots are quite similar to the smart pots discussed earlier. They are plastic containers that possess side openings which help with automated pruning of your cannabis plant’s roots. However, as with fabric pots, you have to water air pots regularly, as they tend to dry out quickly in comparison to plastic pots. Air pots are quite sturdy, so you don’t need to worry about them tipping over. Because air pots tend to leak water from side openings, make sure to keep them higher than regular size saucers.
- Perfect airflow and drainage
- Excellent perforation helps to prune and catch roots effectively
- Air pots are slightly expensive because of their complex design and material
- They need extra care and watering in comparison to regular containers
Hempy buckets are just simple buckets that contain a hole on both sides. These buckets are filled inside with coconut coir soil and perlite. The bucket works as a passive watering setup by retaining a decent amount of water in the section that contains pure perlite. The reason why hempy buckets use perlite is because of their light weight and perfect water drainage abilities. Essentially, it tricks the plant into thinking that it has a natural pocket of water.
- It would be wise to go for a bucket that is not transparent, as algae tends to grow in transparent buckets due to sunlight exposure
- Hempy buckets do not require frequent watering and attention, so are perfect for growing bigger plants
- Using hempy buckets could lead to nutrient or root problems once in a while due to the presence of stagnant water at the container’s bottom. The more water there is at the container’s bottom, the more nutrients tend to rinse away.
Maintenance Of The Pot
Although pot maintenance sounds like a daunting task, it really isn’t. In fact, it would be fair to say that this is quite easy. Consider your pot’s material before you begin to maintain it. Make sure it provides adequate drainage so that water can easily pass through. You would also benefit from pairing your containers with trays or saucers. The reason for this is that by design, they catch runoff water as it passes out from the holes. It is vital to collect moisture at the end of every watering session – some growers choose automated or vacuum systems for collecting water.
What Container To Grow Seedlings In
The most important thing to guarantee a healthy grow is to make sure your container provides sufficient drainage to the seedlings. Mostly, seedling pots tend to be quite small and do not hold a large quantity of growing space. Because of this, the soil dries out much faster than you might imagine, which decreases the risk of overwatering. Party cups or solo cups are also quite common among growers, and are excellent options to grow seedlings effectively. Remember to cut a couple of drainage holes below the cup. You may need to transfer the larger grows to a different container later on if and when they become larger.
Which Size To Choose For Indoors/Outdoors
Always using the same type or size of container simply doesn’t do the trick when growing weed. For instance, since autoflowering varieties are not too tall, you can easily store them inside medium or small size containers. When you choose the size of growing pot, think about your cannabis plant’s final size.
A pot size of around 2 gal (7.5 liters) would be an ideal starting point for a plant close to 1ft (30cm) in height. Just keep in mind that every cannabis variety grows differently. While some strains are slender and tall, others can be bushy and wide. It could help you to find the correct size of pot right from the start.
How Does Pot Size Affect Yield?
The size of a pot has a major impact on the yield. A plant’s roots require adequate space in order to properly grow. Without enough space, plants become pot-bound, which deteriorates your yield quality. Keeping a rough estimate of the yield’s final size is a wise choice, as this helps you to choose an adequate pot size that won’t negatively impact your yield.
Selecting a pot is a decision that most experienced growers base on maintenance. Some containers need less maintenance, as you do not need to water them often. Other containers may require frequent maintenance, and you may need to water or monitor them regularly. It all comes down to how much time you can dedicate to the container on a daily basis.
Finally, it would also be advisable to consider transplanting. You may need to learn this skill, as some yields grow larger and require transplanting to separate containers.
When you’re looking for cannabis pots, there’s a lot of options available, from plastic and terracotta to fabric pots. But what are the best weed pots to help you get the best yield? Here’s how to choose one that works for you.