Planting and transplanting your plants is an important cultivation aspect. When done correctly, proper transplanting will enhance your operation and maximize yield and revenue. Your plants will thrive without delay. Here are our best tips and practices for transplanting your clones into their new home.
First, we recommend that you transplant your clones immediately after purchase to get the best results. Dark Heart sells cannabis in three different configurations: seedlings, clones and teens. Each stage has its own unique requirements.
Seedlings, clones, and teens – what’s the difference?
Dark Heart Nursery germinates seedlings in biodegradable grow coons filled with a peat-based blend. Seedlings differ from clones in that they grow their own taproot. The taproot is the little white tendril that pops out of the seed as the very first root. The taproot will get longer and longer until it pushes the seed through the surface of your growing medium and the first leaves will start to grow. This will reduce the risk of the transplanting process.
Clones are cuts from a mother plant that have recently grown roots— you’ll see them protruding from the rockwool cube. Dark Heart Nursery grows two types of clones: heartlets and premiums. Premiums are more mature clones at 6 inches tall. Heartlets are slightly smaller at 4.5 inches tall. Both are grown from the same stock with the same guaranteed genetics. Clones are versatile and work across all growing mediums.
Teens are mature clones that are about 3-4 weeks old and range from 18-24 inches tall. They’re almost adults but not ready to flower quite yet. Teens have already been growing in a one gallon pot and are well established. They offer high value for cultivators because of their reduced vegetative period.
Benefits of purchasing teens:
- Reduce your veg time
- Grow bigger plants fast
- Try out new strains
- Fill space later in the growing season
- Maximize harvests for year round growing
Our top tips for a successful transplant
Inspect your plants for pests
Dark Heart Nursery uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to prevent, detect and resolve any problems early on. Instead of overly relying on chemicals, we focus on preventative measures over extermination. This saves our customers time and money, ensures that your product passes compliance tests, and results in the highest yield at harvest.
If you purchase seedlings, clones or teens from another company, it’s a good habit to do an inspection before bringing them into contact with any other cannabis plants. If you find a problem, quarantine your plant right away.
Signs you have pests:
- Small specks
- Bite marks
- White spots or fuzzy patches
- Yellow spots
- Blistered looking leaves
- Wet looking leaves
Mind your roots
A healthy root system results in perky, vibrant green leaves and new apex growth. If your clones become rootbound (when the roots have wrapped around inside the pot), the roots will tangle and stunt your cannabis growth.
Signs that your clone is rootbound:
- Needs frequent watering
- Stunted growth
- Wilting leaves
- Smaller and slower bud production
- Red stems
Time your transplant
A healthy and successful grow operation relies on timing your transplant correctly. Transplanting cannabis plants should only be done one or two times during the entire growth cycle of that plant. The perfect time to move the clone or seedling into a one gallon pot or larger is when the roots fill the original container but have not become rootbound yet.
If you transplant too early, the roots may not be strong enough and can easily be damaged. If you transplant too late, the plant’s growth will slow down. Rootbound plants will lose their vigor due to micro deficiencies, dehydration and other problems— reducing your yield at harvest.
Always transplant your cannabis plant before it enters the flowering stage so the roots have space for rapid growth.
Prepare your soil ahead of time
Quality soil is one of the most important factors in growing healthy cannabis. First, choose your soil conditioners that you want mixed in. Cultivators may use sand, rock gravel, perlite or vermiculite. Often soil media will require preparation like soaking or conditioning. For example, coco peat soil needs to be soaked and then broken up. You can also buy pre-mixed coco coir substrates that are easy to work with. You may also choose to include fertilizer or other additives for pH buffering. Remember, the more sand in the soil, the better the drainage; the better the drainage, the more watering is needed.
Since our clones are grown in rockwool, all you have to do is make a hole big enough to accommodate the rockwool. Check the moisture level of your soil every day to ensure it is moist but not saturated with water.
Use the right container size
Our seedlings, clones, and teens can be transplanted into a larger container early on. Keep in mind that they won’t grow as fast for a few days or weeks due to low oxygen intake. Wait longer between waterings and make sure you are wetting the roots and surrounding area.
After your plant has grown a couple sets of leaves, you can begin watering normally, with the water draining out of the bottom of the pot. If growing in containers, make sure the plant has room for its roots during the first month of flower. This period is critical due to the plant stretching and preparing for flower onset. If there isn’t adequate space, your plant will become rootbound and this will seriously decrease your yield. If the root system can’t grow under the soil, then buds and leaves can’t grow above the soil.
Select the best watering processes
Before you transplant, water the clone and then wait one or two days before taking it out of its original container. Once transplanted, be sure to water your clone with distilled water immediately otherwise the soil may leach water from your plant’s roots.
Choose a watering method that mimics rain, like watering wands or sprinkler type watering cans. Don’t use a hose as this may compact the soil. Hoses also make it too easy to overwater and can remove nutrients from the soil. Lightly mist the leaves and stems.
Avoid transplant shock
Every time you transplant a seedling or clone, it will stress the plant as it adjusts to its new surroundings. If you make a mistake, like damaging the roots or using poor soil mix, your plant can go into shock. The leaves will yellow and wither, and ultimately die and drop off. In a serious case of shock, the whole plant can die from the trauma.
Overall, transplanting your clones into the right pot size is very beneficial. It helps speed up the maturing process while reducing the amount of hands-on care for you, the grower. Transplanting will have a very positive effect on the quality of your harvest and will maximize revenue from your Dark Heart Nursery crop.