Best Containers For Weed Seeds When Starting

When it comes to selecting the right cannabis containers, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Environment, time & cost play a big part. Learn why. What’s the Best Pot? Containers Explained Which growing container works best for cannabis? What is it that makes some containers better than others? The answers are contained in the roots of Containers come in various shapes and sizes. They play an important role in growing cannabis, especially if you’re planting autoflowering seeds. Autoflowe

The Right Cannabis Containers are Not a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

As any professional cannabis grower will attest, there is an art to successful growing. The right cannabis containers and root systems need to cohesively work together, in ideal conditions, in order to yield the healthiest crops.

Cannabis plants are extremely fickle, and much of that has to do with their complex root system. Cannabis roots:

  • Do not like to be overwatered. Many times, a poor draining container is the culprit for overwatering as roots literally sit in pools of water they simply can’t drink fast enough.
  • Do not like to beover-fertilized, which causes salts to build up in the soil which blocks the nutrients from being absorbed by the root system.
  • Need room to grow. Cannabis is a fast-growing plant – in fact, the roots grower faster than the leaves. But if the root size exceeds the container, it leads to root binding and stunted growth.
  • Prefer a consistent temperature. Fluctuations in their growing climate will develop problems in their overall health.

The right cannabis containers are not a one-size-fits-all approach. Oftentimes, choosing the right container is based on maintenance and scheduling.

While some containers help to retain moisture, requiring less watering, others dry out quickly, meaning you’ll be spending more time than you may want collecting water runoff and reapplying.

Another thing to consider when choosing the right cannabis container is root shock.

Cannabis roots are fragile and many times transplanting them into a larger container can do irreparable damage to the overall plant. Therefore, make sure the container you choose as your finishing pot has enough space for the size plant you’re planning on supporting.

For cannabis plants typically grown indoors in greenhouses, it is recommended to use containers ranging from three to seven gallons (depending on finished size).

Seeds are often started in much smaller containers to help control moisture. Some people use plug trays, while others turn to something as simple as a plastic disposable cups or empty egg cartons.

Fiber containers provide an optimal solution, as the entire pot can be planted into a larger container without disturbing the root system. The fiber composition will decompose over time, allowing the roots to naturally expand in their new environment without any negative effects to the roots.

An additional option for safe transplanting includes the RapidStack™ pot, which has a removable bottom to allow the roots to expand into a larger container when planted on top.

When it comes time for choosing your finishing pot, there’s a variety of options and each may, in fact, be ideal based on your unique growing conditions. However, there are pros and cons to each which we point out below.

Terra Cotta Containers
Holds moisture, lower temperature on hot days, heavy weight adds stability
Not optimal drainage – not easy to drill additional holes, heavy weight makes it hard to transport

Plastic Containers
Pros: Low cost, excellent drainage, easy transplanting, readily available, easy to sterilize and reuse, compatible with automated systems
Cons: Can’t protect against temperature fluctuations, can crack over time, airflow issues

Fabric Containers
Pros: Promotes healthy roots, increased airflow, excellent drainage
Cons: Requires more maintenance and watering, structure is flimsy

Air Containers
Pros: Natural root pruning, excellent drainage and airflow
Cons: Requires more watering, expensive

Fiber Containers
Pros: Ideal for propagation, saves time on transplanting, sustainable alternative, increased airflow
Cons: Concerns over mold growth, one-time use, often requires more watering, cost

Coco Grow Bags
Pros: Transplant ready, plastic or fiber covering
Cons: Wait time to expand media, may have drainage issues, high cost, plastic waste

Rockwool Blocks
Pro: Transplant ready, clean, excellent drainage, full control on fertigation
Cons: Little buffer capacity, slow root growth, one-time use

Again, when it comes to the right cannabis containers, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Environment, time constraints and cost will play a big part in which cannabis container makes the most sense for you.

For immediate assistance, contact Jordan Bukowski, our District Sales Manager for the Cannabis Market at 440-724-1931 or [email protected]

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What’s the Best Pot? Containers Explained

Which growing container works best for cannabis? What is it that makes some containers better than others?

The answers are contained in the roots of your cannabis plants. The idea behind choosing the right container is to pick one that is going to provide the best possible environment for your cannabis roots. Your roots are like the “heart” of your of your cannabis plant. They need to be healthy for your plant to get nutrients and grow.

What do marijuana roots want?

Happy cannabis roots want…

Moist at all times – roots die when they dry out! Good watering practices combined with a great growing medium will make sure your roots never dry out

Oxygen – your roots “breathe” oxygen, so one of the best things you can do for them is make sure they always have access to plenty of oxygen – more oxygen to the roots = faster growth

Nutrients – your roots “find” nutrients at the roots, and then deliver them to the rest of the plant, so making sure your plant has easy access to nutrients will help your plants thrive and make buds

pH Management – Some nutrients are sensitive to the pH of their environment. When exposed to the wrong pH, the molecular form of these nutrients actually changes. Nutrients in the wrong chemical form become unavailable to your plant roots. Exposing nutrients to the correct pH reverts them back to a form your roots can take in.

Bottled Cannabis Nutrients

Managing pH is especially important when using bottled nutrients.

Using bottled nutrients gets the nutrients to your plant faster (which equals faster growth), but it also means you are in charge of managing the pH.

These systems deliver nutrients directly to the plant roots in their simplest form, but there is no “middle man” between you and the plant roots, leaving you in charge.

So if you’re using bottle nutrients, make sure you manage your pH!

See also  Horny Goat Weed Seeds

Amended & Composted Soil

When starting your cannabis grow with properly amended and composted soil, pH isn’t as important for you to manage. Instead of managing pH, you need to manage and care for the bacteria and microorganisms in the soil. In a proper composted soil setup, the microorganisms deliver nutrients to your roots in the right form. They become the “middle man.”

Types of Containers

There are many kinds of popular rowing containers for cannabis gardens…

Standard plant container with saucer

Here’s a breakdown of those different container options…

Standard plant container with saucer

This is a container with a hole at the bottom for drainage, plus a saucer to catch the water.

Tried and true method

Easy to find at any gardening store

Saucer captures runoff water for easy disposal

Smart pots (fabric containers)

More oxygen to the roots

Prevents plants from getting “root-bound” via “air-pruning” from the sides

Since growing medium dries out from the sides, smart pots make it difficult to overwater your plants, but that also means you will end up watering more often

Since smart pots dry out faster than regular cannabis containers, you should get double the size as your normally would, and it’s recommended your final size should be at least a 5-gallon container (anything smaller than that dries out in just a day or two!). So if you would normally get a 2-gallon container, you’d want to get a 5-gallon smart pot.

Need an extra large saucer or a tray to capture runoff water – smart pots don’t come with a saucer or tray and they seep out water from the sides

Air pots

More oxygen to the roots

Helps prevent plants from getting “root-bound” via “air-pruning” from the sides

Since growing medium dries out from the sides, air pots make it difficult to overwater your plants, but that also means you will end up watering more often

Although water seeps out the sides when watering, air pots are tall and thin so you can use a regular size saucer for each container

Hempy Buckets

Like a regular plant container except instead of having drainage holes out the bottom, they are located near the bottom on the sides

This leaves a small pool of water in the bottom of the container after watering

Need to water less often with hempy buckets, which is a great advantage when growing larger plants that drink a lot

Can sometimes lead to root or nutrient problems since stagnant water can sit at the bottom of the container and any nutrient buildup never gets rinsed out


How to Catch Water Runoff

The two most popular ways of capturing runoff water in small containers are…

Individual saucers for each container

Trays to catch runoff from several containers


Most regular plant containers come with a matching saucer. These are placed under the plant and catch the runoff water for each individual plant.

When using a container that lets air in through the sides (such as a smart pot or air pot), you will need a larger than normal saucer to capture all the runoff water, since water will be seeping down the sides of the container.

One of the problems with saucers is you usually remove them from under the plants to empty the runoff water (always remove runoff – never let it sit so it’s seeped back up into the growing medium!). This is easy with just a few plants, but can become a problem when growing with a lot of plants in a small space. It can be difficult to get to the saucers in the back after the grow space has been filled up with plants.

If you’re having trouble emptying out all your plant saucers, you may want to consider an alternative to regular saucers…


If you want to capture the water from a lot of plants in one space, I recommend using a tray set one a slight incline, so the part of the tray furthest away from you is raised slightly off the ground.. With even a tiny incline, the runoff water will pool at the front of the tray, and a wet vac can be used to capture all the water from the plants. This can be a lot easier than emptying saucers, depending on your setup.

As a bonus to using a tray, you won’t have to move your plants around as much, which results in better and faster growth. Plants don’t like being moved around if you can help it.

How to pick up the water from your tray?

  • Wet/Dry vacuum
  • Water transfer pump

I found the “Bucket Head” attachment at Home Depot which costs about $25 and can be attached to any standard bucket, turning it into an ultra-cheap wet/dry vacuum.

Which Size Container?

Final Size Container for Desired Plant Size – General guide

When choosing the size of your containers, you must think about the final size of your plant. Bigger plants will need bigger containers, while smaller plants grow best in a relatively small container. You need to match the size of your plant with the size of your container.

A general guide is to have up to 2 gallons per 12″ of height. This isn’t perfect, since plants often grow differently, and some plants are short and wide instead of tall, but this is a good rule of thumb.

So if your final (desired) plant size is…

12″ ~ 2-3 gallon container

24″ ~ 3-5 gallon container

36″ ~ 6-8 gallon container

48″ ~ 8-10 gallon container

60″ ~ 12+ gallon container

Lots of different types of containers will work for growing cannabis as long as it has good drainage holes out the bottom

If you’re using a Smart Pot (fabric pot) or any container that lets in oxygen from the sides, you’ll get faster growth than a hard-sided container. However you will also need to water your plants more often since the soil will dry out more quickly.

Therefore it’s recommended to get twice the normal size if you get fabric pots so the soil doesn’t dry out as fast.

Get twice the normal size if the container lets oxygen in from the sides (like fabric pots and air pots)

Which size container should you start with? Start Small

To start, your plants will do best in a relatively small container. This helps prevent the chances of overwatering (since the container is so small) and since a small container dries out quickly, it will deliver more oxygen to the roots.

Many growers start their plants in a solo cup or a 1-gallon pot.

As mentioned earlier, some growers start their marijuana plants in their final container, which is usually larger than a 1-gallon pot. Starting in a big container isn’t as simple as starting with a small container, and can cause slower growth at first, but here’s you can take to get a seedling to grow quickly in a large container.

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Once the leaves reach the edges of the solo cup it’s time to transfer to a larger container. These seedlings are getting close!

How to water seedlings or clones in a too-big container

When starting seedlings in a big container (bigger than 2-gallon), it’s important to slowly give just a little bit of water at a time until your seedling “grows into” its pot. This prevents overwatering, which slows down seedling growth.

By watering the right amount in the seedling stage, you can speed up growth significantly, especially during that first week or two.

For new seedlings you should give water in a small circle around the plant instead of saturating the whole container.

Don’t give water again until the top inch of potting mix is dry to the touch (which should be less than a few days if you did your job right). This makes sure your seedlings get a perfect mix of air and water so it grows as fast as possible.

Make sure to give water slowly in a small circle around seedlings until you get runoff water out the bottom of the container. This makes sure that water is getting to your plant’s roots but isn’t over-saturating the container.

After plant has started to “grow into” it’s container, the top inch of potting mix will start drying out quickly (less than a few days). At this point, you can start normal cannabis watering practices which means you saturate the whole growing medium until you get about 20% runoff water

How to water cannabis seedlings or clones in a too-big container

Beginning Stage

This is for when you’ve just planted your cannabis seeds or clones in a too-big container. By giving your young plants less water at a time following the steps below, you prevent overwatering which can slow down seedling or clone growth in a too-big container.

  • Pour water slowly in a small circle around the base of the seedling (I first pour my water into a solo cup so that it’s easy to pour water around each plant).
  • The circle should be ~2 inches in every direction from the base of your seedling (or if your seedlings are bigger, about the width of the leaves).
  • Every time, make sure to continue watering slowly in a circle until you get runoff water out the bottom of the container. Make sure to remove runoff water so it doesn’t get re-absorbed through the bottom of the container.
  • Don’t water again until the top inch (up to your first knuckle) is starting to feel dry to the touch.

Regular Watering Stage

Once your marijuana plants have established healthy root systems that can support the size of your container, you can start watering as normal.

  • Once the top of the growing medium is drying out quickly, in less than than 2-3 days, you’re past the beginning stage.
  • Switch to normal watering practices. This means that you are watering the entire container until you get 20% runoff every time. Then don’t water again until the top inch (up to your first knuckle) is starting to feel dry to the touch.

Important: Always wait until the top inch (up to your first knuckle) is starting to feel dry to the touch before watering your plant again. This prevents both overwatering and fungus gnats

Transplanting for faster growth

Transplanting means that you start your plants in a relatively small container, and then transplant the plants as needed so that their roots never run out of room.

Transplanting will provide your plants with faster growth if done right. This is because transplanting allows you to set up an environment where your roots are getting access to plenty of water and air. However, transplanting can stress your plants (and slow down growth) if not done properly. When transplanting, it’s important to carefully move plants so that their roots are not disrupted in any way. This means moving plants before they get root-bound, and creating a hole in the potting mix of their new container so the plants can be placed right in without disturbing the roots.

If you plan on starting your plants in a small solo cup and transplanting your plants to bigger containers as needed, take a look at this transplanting guide.

While transplanting makes it easier to give your young plants access to plenty of water and air, it can stress the plants if not done right, and it can also be too much work for some growers. So many growers start their plant in it’s final container.

When seedlings or clones are started in a large container, it can be difficult to get enough air to the roots until the plant is bigger and drinking a lot. Thisis because when the potting mix gets soaked, the seedling roots just won’t be able to drink it fast enough, and the roots will end up sitting in stagnant water with very little acces to oxygen. The growing medium has to dry out on it’s own, which can take a while, and your plant will be droopy and overwatered until the roots start getting access to air again.

Some growers start their seedlings or clones in a bigger pot, or even the final container they plan to use. While this can slow down growth of young seedlings, you can minimize this effect by watering young plants correctly when they’re started in a too-big container.

Here’s a very quick breakdown of some of the most common cannabis growing mediums for a hand-watered grow. This is not a comprehensive list, but should give you a place to start your research. Each of these different growing mediums have pros and cons.

Soilless (coco coir, perlite, vermiculite, etc)

Store-Bought Soil

Easy to find at any gardening store

You can start with nutrient-rich soil and transplant several times throughout the grow to give your plant what it needs after it’s used up all the nutrients in the soil in it’s current container. If you choose not to continue transplanting to give cannabis more nutrients, you will need to use cannabis nutrients to make sure plants are getting what they need

You will need to manage and adjust pH for a soil grow, especially if using bottled cannabis nutrients

Composted Soil – learn about composting your own soil

You will need to amend and compost your soil to use this method, which can take a lot of time, or buy amended and composted soil from a quality source

See also  Weed From Seed To Harvest

When done right, there’s no need for bottled nutrients or adjusting pH

Many growers claim that composted organic soil provides the best bud taste and smell

Soilless Potting Mix – (coco coir, perlite, vermiculite, etc)

Faster growth than growing in soil

Starting at the seedling stage, you will need to use cannabis nutrients made for hydro, since soilless mediums do not come with nutrients

Managing and adjusting pH is crucial to success in a soilless growing medium

Less likely to get pests or bugs

How much grow medium to get?

In the USA, a “3-gallon” plant container usually holds less than 3 gallons (same with 1-gallon, 2-gallon, 5-gallon, etc.). It’s a weird convention in the USA which means a direct conversion between listed gallons and gallons of soil (or conversion to liters) isn’t accurate. A “trade” gallon holds about 3/4 of a “real” gallon. This makes it easy to buy a lot of extra grow medium. To make things more confusing, in the USA not every 3-gallon pot actually holds the same amount of grow medium (it’s not totally standardized). Additionally, smaller companies often give the actual amount. Other factors change how much grow medium you need, including how high you fill the pot and how much it gets compacted. When in doubt, get the listed amount and you’ll always end up with enough or extra grow medium.

Types of containers to grow autoflowering seeds

Containers are very important if you want to get the best yields. Know more about the different types of containers to grow autoflowers!

  • 1. Things to remember when choosing containers
  • 2. Paint buckets
  • 3. Plastic containers
  • 4. Terracotta containers
  • 5. Cement pots
  • 6. Smart pots
  • 7. Air pots
  • 8. What is the right sized container for the best autoflower cultivation?
  • 8. a. Indoor cultivation
  • 8. b. Outdoor cultivation
  • 9. In conclusion

Containers come in various shapes and sizes. They play an important role in growing cannabis, especially if you’re planting autoflowering seeds. Autoflowering cannabis varieties are a little different compared to photoperiod strains because they don’t grow as big as the latter. This makes it even more important for you to choose the best container.

It might make sense for you to just select a big container to grow your autos. However, that’s not a good idea. Just like your potted flowers don’t do well in large containers, autoflowers also tend to struggle if you plant them in containers that are just too big. On the other hand, choosing really small containers will also hinder the growth, and you’ll end up with small plants with tiny buds. Thus, as you can see, it gets a bit tricky.

Also, containers don’t differ just with their sizes. You have to look at the type of the container. For instance, a plastic pot may not perform as well as a smart pot. In some cases, an airpot can be your best friend. No matter what you choose, you must go for something meant specifically for autoflowers, and that’s exactly what we will discuss today.

1. Things to remember when choosing containers

For growing autoflowering cannabis plants, choosing a container can be tricky. However, once you understand how the plant responds, you’ll be able to do a better job. To choose a container for autoflowers, you need to know how long the plant will survive. A little information on how tall and big the plant grows will also help.

Many people underestimate the importance of containers, but they always end up paying a heavy price at the end of it all. Remember that you need to consider the amount of space you have. If the plant performs very well in a 3-gallon container, purchasing a 5-gallon will not only take up more space but you’ll also spend a lot more money as well. Most autoflowers grow well in 3-gallon pots, but you can always experiment with one plant before planting ten different seeds.

Another important thing to remember is that most autoflowers don’t perform well if they are transplanted. Of course, expert growers start with small containers and move on to bigger ones even with autos, but it’s simply not recommended.

It’s critical to grow plants in containers that allow them to breathe. If not, the roots suffocate and the plant eventually dies. Healthy roots are the foundation to growing big plants that produce fantastic juicy buds. Also, don’t choose pots that completely dry out the roots. The key word is “damp” here where the roots aren’t completely swimming in water or are totally dry. In short, select containers that give your plants an abundance of oxygen. Roots love it when they can breathe.

Pro Tip – Never start off your autoflowering seeds in dixie cups or any small plastic containers because you’ll force the plant to become root-bound.

2. Paint buckets

If you don’t like spending a little extra on containers, regular paint buckets are a fantastic way to grow plants. Those with the urge to “DIY” everything will surely love this. The only problem is that they don’t come with holes at the bottom, but you can easily drill a few holes yourself.

There are a few concerns about using paint buckets since some paint manufacturers include lead in their paints. As you will be smoking the buds, this can be scary. Thus, you can either ditch the idea of using these buckets or you can use paints that don’t have lead in them. Just make sure that you wash all the paint thoroughly before using them.

3. Plastic containers

These are your standard containers that suit any plant. They are available anywhere – online and local nurseries. While these are easy to use, you must take care while growing cannabis, especially the autoflowering varieties. Plastic containers tend to make the roots stick together, and they eventually become root-bound. However, if you have no other choice, plastic pots ranging from 3 to 5 gallons will also work well.

Just ensure that there are ample holes at the bottom of the container so that the water drains out or you’ll end up with soggy roots that will kill your plant faster than you’ve ever imagined. If you don’t see any holes (it happens sometimes) simply punch 5-10 holes at the bottom, and you’re good to go. Most plastic containers come with small saucers that help to catch all the water draining out of the pot.

first time ever growing and got some amazing colors from this strain with low temps ran it at about 58-64 for 2 weeks and got this color