What are the Best Grow Pots for Cannabis Growing?
Howdy my esteemed Skunkers! The best grow pots can really be categorized fairly easily; the best for any container growing, cannabis, or whatever. It comes down to a several basic factors regarding the design of your grow pots. Aeration is prime! The growing container should have many “drain” holes, including those that rise up a bit on the sides. Those pots with the net-pot style cone on the inside are awesome. These holes are also your aeration holes, along with being drainage holes. Check out the video for deets regarding this more in depth.
A word regarding Air-Pots here. Those pots made of breathable fabric. These are excellent pots regarding aeration, excellent! However, in hot and dry growing room environments they will dry out uber fast, needing hyper-regular watering. If you choose to use these type pots, just choose slightly larger sizes than you normally would for whatever (size) stage your cannabis plants are in. I don’t use these myself, but I have in the past.
THREE HARD AND FAST RULES FOR CONTAINER GROWING CANNABIS:
- Rule #1: Massive aeration is good! Drain holes up on the sides a bit is primo, along with drain holes on the bottom. The bottom holes should have some holes in contact with the catch tray, and others raised above ground level.
- Rule #2: Never, ever, compact your soil mix in your containers. Additionally, if you lift your grow pots to see if they need water, set them back down GENTLY.
- Rule #3: Always use catch trays, otherwise you are boned, basically. Most of your nutrient value will flow right out of your grow pots with the runoff water. Your catch trays must be of the proper size as well—see below.
When Cannabis Growing, Container Sizes Matter
You always want to increase your grow pot sizes as your plants get larger in small steps. This has two main bennies, and your yields are the biggest bennie of them all. Stepping up in smaller grow pot sizes keeps your root-balls very dense along the way. Greater root-ball density/size equates to larger yields, period. The other thing is, that when you place a smaller plant into a larger container that is much larger—like say, going from a 3 inch grow pot into a 3 gallon grow pot—you can overwater these plants super easily, often to the point of death—ugly death.
When flowering, your basic rule of thumb for grow pot size is about: 1 gallon of grow pot size for every foot of plant growth vertically, plus 1 gallon. If you are flowering plants that will end up between 2 feet and 3 feet, you will want to end up in at least 3- or 4-gallon sized grow pots. This is all assuming your plants are not topped, your growing skills, and your dynamic using living soil, are all on point.
If I were just using quality bagged soil, I would use the cannabis grow pot sizing formula above, with an additional 1 gallon added to grow pot size. If you top your plants to 4 or 6 main branches, add an additional 2 gallons to the original formula. Topped plants almost always have the ability to yield much greater, as long as they have the additional resources to do so, ya follow?
Super Important – Cannabis Grow Pot Catch Tray Dynamics
Really quickly here I just want to impress upon any of you that don’t think catch trays are necessary, just do a side by side and you will see all too well what the difference is. You can have water in the catch trays for up to a couple hours or so in just about any container, and in certain containers with advanced design qualities you can have water in the tray for a couple of days, literally.
Let’s say I am using 3-gallon growing containers. I would use between 1600 and 2000 mL (about a ½ gallon) of water on these pots to thoroughly water them when dry. My catch trays hold all the runoff, allowing the plants to “drink” it back up. The runoff water is FULL of nutrients. Over time the bottom layer of soil in your containers will get “thick” with nutrient value from sucking the high PPM runoff water back up. This is all fine; don’t sweat it. It’s like how clay forms in the ground, and the plants are well equipped to deal.
Can You Grow Cannabis in Small Growing Pots?
Square pots hold more soil than round pots of the same size, so there’s that little (counterintuitive) fact for ya. I always prefer square pots, but I use some round ones as well and they are all fine. If your soil mix is custom and powerful you can grow plants that seem way too big for their containers size, and still are healthy as all hell. There are also things you can do to keep larger cannabis plants longer in smaller grow pots, like skilled top dressings, as one example of many. Your watering skills must also be on point; smaller cannabis grow pots with larger plants can need daily, or even multi-daily watering sometimes.
The cannabis grow pot in the photo above is my very favorite for flowering under 300- or 400-watt lights. Unfortunately, they discontinued these but the design is primo for cannabis grow pots. Like I said above, there are things you can do, even if you are using quality bagged soil, to keep larger plants happy in smaller container sizes. Skilled top dressings, along with good water that has some PPM value, including calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg). See my article about these very things in one of my recent articles about top dressing.
LINK TO REV’S RECENT TOP-DRESSING ARTICLE
Afterword with Rev
I hope this article will help you guys out when choosing your cannabis grow pots. I have done many side by sides, with clones using different grow pots of the same size/volume and seen huge differences in health, happiness, growth rates, quality, and yields! Avoid using those stupid kegger cups for cannabis containers, they suck, bad! Get yourself some decent cannabis grow pots using the guidelines laid out here and you will be one happy-ass camper man.
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I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.