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Ideally, you’ve had success germinating and planting cannabis seeds. By now your starter plant is probably ready for a new and larger container of soil. You will know for certain it is time to move the plant to a larger container when the soil in the small pot becomes overly dry within 24 hours of a thorough watering.

What should I grow my pot plant in?

Container size is dictated by the size plant you intend to grow. A good rule of thumb is one gallon of soil for every six inches of plant height. But often there are space constraints when growing indoors—especially in city apartments or shared houses—and five- to 10-gallon pots just won’t fit in your grow area.

Although it’s best to err on having too much soil, you can still have great success with half the recommended amount of soil—one gallon per foot of plant— if you keep in mind that smaller pots with large plants will require more diligence.

Credit: Stephanie Rudig

What type of soil should I use?

There are a variety of soil choices available at grow shops springing up in the area. We like Ocean Forest and Happy Frog soils from Fox Farm, a company that tailors its products to weed growers. You want to get soil that will drain well and stay loose and aerated. Cannabis does not like soil that retains too much water. Root rot can easily develop with an overly wet, compact soil mix.

Follow these simple steps: Fill your new container to almost the top with soil. Gently press the soil to fill voids but do not apply so much pressure that you compact the soil. Leave enough room to add water. Next completely saturate the soil. Add water until it flows out the bottom and then allow it to drain for a couple hours before transplanting. Now, you need to dig a hole in the center of your new pot that is just large enough to fit your original container.

Turn your plant upside down with one hand supporting the plant and soil. Give the container a gentle squeeze and shake—the plant and root ball should come out easily. Place it in the newly excavated hole, fill in any voids around the root ball, and gently pack. Your plant now has more space to spread its roots. With proper care, you should begin to see rapid growth.

The Potanist is written by Bud Baker and Herb Green (yes, those are pseudonyms; yes, they are real people). Reach them at potanist@washcp.com.

Illustrations by Stephanie Rudig