Growing your own marijuana is legal in some states, which has given rise to quite a few more potential growers who want to see just how green their thumbs truly are. They have learned how to germinate their seeds and get them sprouted, but now they have seedlings they need to nurture and care for properly if they want to have healthy, flowering plants. While it can take some work, it’s not too difficult to take care of your marijuana seedlings. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
You Need the Right Size Containers
One of the first and most important things to consider when you are growing marijuana seedlings is the containers you plan to use. You need to have a container that will be large enough that it can accommodate the seedlings now, as well as when they start to grow and get larger.
While it is possible to transplant the seedlings during the growing cycle, it is not recommended until the plants are growing strong. This is because transplanting the seedlings can be quite hard on the plants. Transplanting the seedlings too much could cause a shock to the plants’ systems, so you want to limit it as much as possible. Therefore, you want to choose a container that is large enough to hold the plants until they begin to vegetate.
However, you do not want to make the mistake of putting a plant in a container that is far too large for it. When you do, they tend to grow slowly. Instead, keep the seedlings in small to mid-sized containers until they are starting to grow well, and then you can carefully transfer them to a larger container.
Even if you have already placed a small seedling in a large container, there are still some things you can do to help keep it healthy. Only add a small amount of water at a time, and only right around the seedling. Otherwise, it becomes too easy to overwater since many people try to keep the soil moist. In a large container, that is a surefire way to water the plant too much, which will limit the amount of oxygen the plants can get and cause the leaves to droop. When the plant starts to grow well and expand in the container, you can start to water as normal.
Always Be Careful Planting and Transplanting
You want to make sure that your marijuana seedlings, and the plants they grow into, are always in the right sized containers. You will do this via transplanting as the plants get larger, but you need to be extremely careful doing so. The less you need to transplant the better, as it will cause less of a shock to the system of those plants.
One of the first things you need to do is consider just how large of a plant you plan to grow. When you are just starting out, you will want to start in a small container to nurture those seedlings.
As a rule of thumb, you will generally need to have a larger size container for your “final” container if you do not transplant very often. For a large 60” plant, you would need to have a final container that is between eight and 10 gallons. For a small plant that’s around a foot or so in height, you could use a two to three gallon container as you’re your final container.
If your seedlings are doing well, they will generally be ready for transplanting within about two weeks or so. Keep in mind that even though they are growing, they are still going to be quite vulnerable at this point. Always be very careful and gentle around the roots, and you will find that the best results tend to come when you utilize the same planting medium in the new pot. Whatever grow medium you were using, such as soil, just continue using it. In addition, if you are using plant food, make sure you have the same brand.
You want things to be as similar as possible when the plant is transferred. This will make it much easier on the plant’s system. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Those who use rock wool as their planting medium will find that it can be transplanted into any other grow medium without a problem.
Light and Temperature
While large cannabis plants will benefit from a lot of light, the seedlings do not need to have quite as much. Still, you want to make sure you are getting about 18 hours of light for the plants, along with six hours of darkness. When growing inside, you will want to use LED lights (or metal halides or fluorescents) rather than incandescent so you do not generate too much heat, which could damage the seedlings.
Ideally, you will keep the temperature as close to 73 degrees Fahrenheit as possible. This is the perfect temperature, and if it were to get any higher, you will notice that the leaves start to curl up. The soil might dry faster, as well. If this happens, lower the heat. You can do this by simply moving the heat source a bit further from the plant. Keep a thermometer nearby, so you will always have a good idea of the temperature.
You Will Learn
If you have issues with the first seedlings that you grow, learn from the mistakes you make and then try again. If you are growing inside, you do not have to worry about the growing seasons that those who grow outside have to contend with.
When you are first growing your seedlings, it can seem overwhelming, and you will worry about every little thing that you do. These simple tips in this article, along with the experience you gain as you grow more and more, will help to keep your seedlings in great shape so they can grow up to be strong, flowering plants.