Nico’s Nuggets: Plant Containers for Beginner Growers

4 Hot Pot Products: October 2017

Hey Nico!
I’m new to growing, and I put my girls into a terra cotta pot with fox farms ocean forest as my medium. I’m very confident about my soil choice, but not so sure about the pot I planted my girls in. What kind of pot would you recommend? This is a stealth grow so I don’t have much room… Thank you much!
— Hunter via 

Howdy, Hunter. Thanks for reading and writing in. I actually get your question regarding plant containers quite often, so I figure it is time to answer this one and get it archived on!

To start, container size is most important because it will ultimately dictate the final size of your plant. The larger the root mass is allowed to grow and expand, the larger size plant you can grow. If you do not have much space, or are growing in a sea-of-green (SOG) system, you will not have much use for larger containers.

Fabric bags come in all sizes and offer the best drainage and aeration.
Fabric bags come in all sizes and offer the best drainage and aeration.

The next consideration, in terms of size, will be whether or not you plan to transplant your plants into larger containers later on. This step is usually reserved for seedlings and clones that have been started in smaller containers to accommodate a small nursery room. Overall, you want to transplant your plants as little as possible as this process will stress and shock you plants, causing a delay in plant growth and development. If you can, start you seeds or clones in the same container you plan to harvest them in.

Plastic containers are most common for indoor use and come in every size possible.
Plastic containers are most common for indoor use and come in every size possible.

After size, the next two primary concerns will be drainage and aeration. The latter is especially important as the roots breathe in oxygen (not CO2 like the rest of the plant), and they do so during the dark cycle. Containers (and media) that do not allow for ample air flow into your grow medium can hinder your plant’s growth and thus yield. This is one reason why some hydroponic growers use air stones in their reservoirs, trying to get more oxygen into their water supply.

Drainage is important for a similar reason. Besides the fact that you never want your plants sitting in still, stagnant water, you also want to allow your medium to dry out completely at least once a day. This helps in aerating your medium and getting that precious oxygen to your root zone.

Plastic bags are least breathable and not very sturdy.
Plastic bags are least breathable and not very sturdy.

Personally, I always recommend fabric pots for growers. These container bags are made from breathable fabric, offer excellent drainage and come in every size imaginable. Terra cotta pots are not a bad choice either, as long as they have drainage holes at the bottom. I’d remove any saucer that comes with those pots as they will likely catch the runoff, and your plant will sit in water that now has a much higher pH level. It is always best to put your container on a flood table or tray to catch the runoff and then drain to waste.

Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!

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