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Grow Q&A: Should I Re-Pot My Root-Bound Pot Plants?

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Dear Dan, I’m totally new at growing. I have a few indica seeds, five in total, and I wondered if I should grow them the entire time in a five-gallon bucket, or should I start small and then keep re-potting them as they get larger. I know re-potting can be a little tricky. Is a five-gallon bucket too big, or is a smaller bucket or planter OK? – Michael R.

Dear Michael,

I believe in growing your plants in the same container for the duration of their growth cycle instead of starting with smaller containers and then re-potting as the plants grow bigger. This is because I believe that the tap root seeks out the confines of any given container and then sends messages through hormones called auxins back to the plant to let it know that space is limited. The plant then responds by restricting growth above ground in order to adapt to the size of its container.

It’s perfectly okay to start your plants in plugs or small cups, but as soon as you’ve seen roots get near the bottom of the medium, transplant into the planter you want to use throughout the plants’ life cycle until harvest. If using a five-gallon bucket, I recommend a vegetative time of between 5-7 weeks before inducing flowering. This gives roots plenty of room to breathe and absorb water and nutrients, without being so root-bound that they struggle to compete with each other for resources.

Have a grow question? Ask away at deardanko@hightimes.com

Don’t miss our previous Grow Q&A: How Can I Protect My Eyes in My Marijuana Growroom?

Danny Danko is a writer, photographer and the Senior Cultivation Editor of High Times magazine. He has selected High Times’ annual Top 10 Strains of the Year since 2005 and is also the creator and founder of the High Times Seed Bank Hall of Fame, author of The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains and the forthcoming book Cannabis: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Marijuana. He hosts the podcast High Times presents "Free Weed from Danny Danko."

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