Autoflowering cannabis plants have a very short life cycle and they use all their power to develop buds and grow them as fast as possible.

Some of these small marijuana plants can be ready to harvest in just 60 days so there is no room for any stress that would stunt them. Basically, autoflower plants are best to start in their final pots and not to stress them and slow down their development in any way.

Transplanting autoflowering plants can stress them and stunt their growth by 1 to 7 days and if the plant only lives for 60 days then that means you can cut almost 10 % of its lifetime by just transplanting it.

Some autoflower growers transplant their plants and still get decent yields. But if you would plant two exact seeds side by side and start one of these plants in a 2 gallon (7.4 liter) pot, while the other plant in a solo party cup and then transplant it later to the real pot then you could see that the transplanted plant would be smaller and would yield less.

If you have started your plant in a small container there is always a possibility of it getting root bound. That can also stress that plant. So in the situation, when you have started your grow in a small container and then are thinking about transplanting it don’t hesitate and transplant it to its final pot as soon as possible and hope it will recover quickly from that movement.

But before planting any seeds in the soil you should always research autoflower pot sizes and what would be the best soils for autoflowers.

In general, transplanting is bad but if you are growing day-neutral cannabis in a micro-grow environment or have started them in smaller pots for sexing then you most defiantly can transplant them.

But you have to be careful!

If you must transplant your autoflower plant then do it before the dark period (if you have one) and let the plant rest, gather strength, and recover.

Transplant your cannabis plant when the soil is dry and you can easily get it out of the pot. Dig a hole in the larger pot and put the plant gently in that hole and cover it up with soil. It is best not to dig it deeper than it was because it can develop some steam rot if the steam that was above the ground level is now in the moist soil.

You also need to use the same exact soil/soilless growing medium and pre-soak it before transplanting. If you do these steps right then the stress can be minimal and the plant can recover fast and continue growing at its full potential.

How to transplant your autoflower plants

So this is how you need to transplant them:

  • Wait for the soil to dry out a bit  so it will be easier to remove the plant from its current container.
  • If you have a dark period in your light cycle then transplant it just before it.
  • Take the new pot and fill it halfway with the same growing medium what you used in the first pot.
  • If  your autoflower plant grows in plastic container press the sides of the pot so that the soil detaches from the inner pot walls.
  • Turn the pot upside down holding the soil with your palm, then juggling the pot slowly slide it off the growing medium.
  • Then gently put the root mass inside the new pot and be careful not to touch the roots because it can harm your autoflower plant.
  • Then fill rest of the container with your growing medium and do it by gently pressing the old root mass so all the root are in contact with the new growing medium.
  • After the transplanting heavily water the new pot so every inch of your new growing medium is moist and roots can easily penetrate it.
  • After the water has drained put the plant back in its growing environment and let it rest in the dark period if you have one, and if you don’t just let it grow!


  1. Love the modern design. I was pleased with this article. Thanks a lot for the fine blog.

  2. How can I tell if my auto assassin is root bound.I started 2 of them togather and one has been flowering for 2 weeks now and one seems to still be vegin.The one that’s still in veg stem is 2 times as big as the one that’s flowering.

    • What size pots do you use? I can suggest lifting the root ball out of the pot when it is dry and checking if there are visible roots that have grown around the edge of that ball. If you can spot them then probably that plant is root bound! That auto that is not flowering maybe has some genetic problems, I can suggest jump starting that flowering with 24 hours of dark period or switch to 12:12 for a while!

      • I’m useing 3gal pots,I made a mistake by not filling the pots to the top with soil.I transplanted the plant and saw roots all around the sides of the soil. Beings how this is only the 2nd time I’ve tryed to grow I’m thinking that having one plant that’s doing what it should and one that something is not just right is ok I’m still learing and that’s the fun in learing.My next grow will be better,my one plant that is flowering all ready is bigger than the last 2 plants I grew.I’m thinking about useing 5gal pots the next grow,I will be trying the same seeds there are 3 left in the pack.

        • Good to hear that!
          Pots are an excellent way to increase or decrease plant size and yield but experience also helps.
          Hope you get your desired yield!

  3. Hi all
    I decided to grow for the first time and basically at the last minute decided to use auto flowering seeds as oposed to regular feminised ones. It was only once I planted the sprouted seed that someone told me that it’s less harm than good to start them in small pots initially. My question is, it’s only been afew days and the seeds haven’t actually sprouted out the soil should I try and move them now before they become root bound or it it too late..

    • It is not too late, it is better to transplant earlier when those roots haven’t yet reached that container walls.

  4. Dam! My G14 (Fast buds) was transplanted on week 3 and the little darling seems to be budding already (4 days into week 3). She’s tiny!! Im guessing she got stressed out, hopefully she gets bigger!

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