Autoflowering cannabis strains differ from photoperiod strains since they don’t grow as large. Thus, if you have a limited space, using a smaller pot size for growing autoflowers could be more beneficial.
It’s also essential to determine the best type of pot that would facilitate the healthy growth of cannabis.
Stick around as we explore the best autoflower pot size and material for the best plant quality.
Which pots are the best for growing autoflowers?
Regular plastic pots with bottom holes may not survive as long as fabric containers. many growers prefer the latter as they can be washed and reused, and most importantly, they induce root trimming.
Root hairs naturally migrate to the sides of the pots in the dark. So they tend to become rootbound in traditional plastic pots. The fabric pot, on the other hand, allows better air circulation and promotes root pruning.
Why is this significant?
In a solid, smaller size pot, the roots hit the “wall” and begin to form a mangled mess that’ll inevitably cause poor drainage. When your plant becomes root bound, it’ll experience stunted growth. With its short growth cycle, you’ll want to avoid any of these mistakes as your auto plant won’t have enough time to recover.
With fabric containers, the extensive root zone stops this from happening. As the hairs reach the boundaries of the container and push through, they’ll turn back in on the growing medium.
Root pruning promotes healthy cannabis growth compared to plants cultivated in plastic containers.
So, which is the best autoflower pot size?
The answer is simple, there’s no difference between a pot size for autoflowers and any other cannabis variant. The pot size just determines how big your autoflower plant will be at harvest time.
If you opt for smaller pots, you risk causing stress for your plants, as the roots won’t have enough space. Bigger pots require more of the growing medium and waste valuable nutrients. They also occupy a significant chunk of your growing space, which can be troublesome, especially if you’re growing indoors.
To prevent potential root damage or compromising your autoflower plant’s health, ensure that you select the right size for its growth stage. It should provide sufficient space to encourage proper drainage and promote airflow to support your plant’s development.
What to look for in pots for autoflowering cannabis plants
Aside from the traditional pots, you may have heard of alternatives like air, plastic, or the more versatile fabric pots. With all these options, there are a few things to consider when selecting the best pots for your plants.
The basics of pot size
Selecting the best pots for your autoflower strains greatly affect the potential yield of your plants. If you don’t select the proper sized pot, it could negatively impact your plant’s growth.
The correct pot size for your autoflower strains encourages optimal conditions for your plant and healthy cannabis growth. If the pot is too large for your plant, the soil is more likely to dry out and resulting in nutrient wastage.
You should also consider your intended height, and the limitations of your growth space while selecting a container. A smaller size pot could stunt growth and cause the plant to become rootbound.
Determine the available growing space and the average plant height you should expect. If your space is limited, it’s better to opt for multiple smaller plants than fewer large plants. For a more accommodating space (like outdoors), bigger pots are ideal for growing large plants as they encourage expansion.
While transplanting into larger containers is an option as your plant grows, we advise against this practice for autoflowers. This is especially true for novice growers. With their short growth cycle, auto plants don’t have enough time to recover from potential mistakes or shock caused by transplanting. So it’s best to select the right pot for autoflowering cannabis from the very beginning.
Ideal drainage capacity
Drainage is a factor that growers may overlook, although it’s the most critical feature your pots should have. Your cultivar’s growth and development depend on the pot’s drainage capacity. Ideally, your chosen pot should have medium and drainage capacity to encourage air circulation and prevent root rot.
Drainage and air circulation are two of the most crucial aspects of cannabis cultivation. Your plants need a great deal of water, yet store excess moisture around the plant’s roots could cause drowning and rotting.
Ensure that your container drainage holes are large enough and unobstructed. Be sure to catch runoff water as this allows you to test the watering requirements of each cannabis plant. When you catch runoff water, it also allows you to test how many nutrients your plant is absorbing, preventing deficiencies.
Sufficient root zone
Your cannabis plant needs a healthy root system to thrive and reach its full potential. This means selecting the right pot size for autos that provides an extensive root zone. At the end of the day, healthy roots translate to a heavy harvest of dazzling buds.
A great rule of thumb for regular seeds is to determine the final size of the plant. The pot should have a gallon for each foot of plant height. With autoflowers, the pot size correlates to the plant size. Due to their shorter growth time, the root mass doesn’t require as large a space to expand.
Since autoflowers rarely grow into massive plants, 1.5–2.5 gallon sized pots are sufficient to grow healthy cannabis.
Whether or not you employ a training technique is also a vital consideration when selecting the right pots. For example, if you have a limited space, you could use a single, larger pots to Screen of Green (ScrOG) plants, increasing the yield. Alternatively, cultivate multiple smaller plants using the Sea of Green (SOG) method in smaller pots.
4 Different autoflower pots?
Most container alterations are purely aesthetic. For autoflowers, however, pots can affect how well your plants grow.
- Plastic pots
The solid plastic container is a popular choice for many when growing cannabis at home. These pots are lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to acquire. Unfortunately, though, they’re better suited for indoor growing as constant exposure to the elements can cause the plastic to degrade.
Despite its popularity, plastic is not an ideal autoflower pot. The container doesn’t provide a suitable environment for the plant’s roots, ultimately impacting the plant’s growth.
It’s essential to ensure that your plastic autoflower pot has enough holes to promote sufficient drainage. Without it, the growth medium will retain too much moisture, resulting in root rot.
- Terracotta pots
The next easily acquired popular choice is terracotta pots. This is a better suited autoflower pot option as the clay absorbs excess moisture, keeping the roots damp.
These baked clay pots are suitable for outdoor growing as they’re more durable and can withstand exposure to the elements. Terracotta pots also last a long time, but can be incredibly heavy, so it’s best to avoid using them indoors.
- Fabric pots
These smart pots have become the fashionable choice among cannabis growers. Providing an abundant oxygen supply, these fabric pots promote a healthy root zone.
Unlike their plastic counterparts, fabric pots make air pruning possible as the roots reach the container walls. The pruned root hairs then grow secondary roots, ultimately strengthening and encouraging the plant’s height and development.
Another benefit of this autoflower pot is that it promotes proper drainage. Any extra water immediately drains out, preventing over-watering.
- Air pots
As with the fabric, air pots are famed for providing enough oxygen to the root system. The air pots, while made of plastic, have multiple openings along the sides, allowing the roots space to spread.
Thanks to its significant air circulation, the growth medium dries out significantly faster than with any other autoflower pot. The quick fix for this is to water the plant a little more than you usually would.
Avoid transplanting your autoflower plants
Before we go into discussing the ideal autoflower pot size, we need to point out that these plants cannot handle any degree of stress.
An autoflowering plant has a predetermined growing cycle. While regular cannabis strains have (what feels like) a never-ending period of vegetative growth before entering the flowering stage, autos don’t.
Why does this matter?
Any stress that a plant endures stunts its growth. The vegetative growth stage is the ideal time to recover from this stress. For photoperiod strains, you need only to extend this stage. With autoflowers, you can’t do this.
The best pot size for your autoflower plants
So what does this have to do with selecting the correct container size?
It’s simple, really. Each time you transplant your autoflower plant into a bigger pot, you’ll cause it stress to some degree. So we recommend selecting a pot size and using it from the beginning of your growing adventure.
What’s the best pot size for your plants then?
The answer depends on the plant count you’re aiming for in your growing space. Will you grow small plants or a massive plant?
If you’re growing your autoflowering plants indoors, it’s generally best to opt for a 3 gallon pot size. Should you wish to encourage compact growth, smaller pot sizes would be better. Of course, if you have ample room, then nothing is stopping you from using a larger pot.
When cultivating outdoors, you have a bit more wiggle room in selecting a pot size for autoflowers. Here, bigger is better. So we recommend using a 5-gallon pot.
Keep in mind that, when growing outdoors, you have less control over disease carrying pathogens that may impact your plant’s health. Remember that your autoflowering strains won’t have much time to recover. This means that the autoflower pot size you choose should promote healthy conditions for the root system.
Finding the best autoflower pot
When it comes to selecting the best autoflower pot for your crop, it all comes down to your personal preference and resources. If you have enough space to accommodate it, then a larger pot is ideal. If you want to encourage compact growth, then opt for smaller alternatives.
The autoflower pot size also depends on the autoflower plants you choose to grow. At The Seed Fair, we have an extensive collection of autoflower strains to choose from. We also share valuable insights about cannabis growth to help your crop thrive.
Frequently asked questions about autoflower pots
Finding the right pot size for autoflowers doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. We’ve compiled some common questions to help make life easier.
What is the best type of autoflower pot?
Based on grower ’ reviews, we recommend using fabric pots. just ensure that the chosen medium isn’t one that dries out easily.
Does a bigger pot mean a bigger yield?
While a larger pot could increase the potential yield of your plants, it doesn’t guarantee it. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the strain genetics.
What is the best pot size for autoflower plants?
We recommend you use a 3-gallon pot if growing indoors or 5-gallon for outdoor cultivation. Since autoflower plants don’t have enough time to recover from stress, we advise against transplanting. As a result, we suggest planting your auto seedling straight into the pot you plan to harvest from.
What should you look for in an autoflower pot?
When selecting the right pot for your crop, ensure that it has sufficient drainage holes and provides the plant with enough room to grow. The pot diameter should be up to 4 inches wider than the plant’s expected root mass.