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 be over-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
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
Pros: Promotes healthy roots, increased airflow, excellent drainage
Cons: Requires more maintenance and watering, structure is flimsy
Pros: Natural root pruning, excellent drainage and airflow
Cons: Requires more watering, expensive
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
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 JBukowski@HC-Companies.com.
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