The pots, containers, whatever you call them that you’re planting marijuana in have big impact on your grow op success.
Not only do they shield roots from light and provide an environment where marijuana roots absorb water, oxygen, and hydroponics nutrients, they can shape, prune, or harm your roots.
Before deep water culture and other pure hydroponics systems, when most people still grew marijuana in soil, pots for planting marijuana were the same as pots for other plants.
They were clay or plastic with a few holes in the bottom and came in various sizes.
Today, there are many more kinds of pots and containers for planting marijuana in.
Let’s take a look:
One type of container are reservoir bucket pots made specifically for deep water culture (DWC).
These days, you can get a four-bucket deep water culture (DWC) system for less than $200.
The pots have cutouts for tubing that supplies aerated water, and for placing a net bucket with a built-in lid that covers the top of the reservoir pot underneath.
Containers used in aeroponics and nutrients film technique (NFT) marijuana growing are often tubular or linear troughs with cutouts on top to allow net buckets and collars that holds your plants.
Growers using flood and drain or ebb and flow tables or rockwool systems have their plants in large, shallow containers or in troughs, both of which facilitate filling and draining.
For growers who grow individual marijuana plants in solid root zone media including soil, soilless mix, rockwool, grow rocks, and coco coir, the choices of container are diverse.
There are plastic “grow bags,” often white on the outside, that are little more than heavy-duty plastic sleeves with holes in the bottom.
If I’m doing an outdoor marijuana grow or a mixed indoor-outdoor grow, I prefer white containers because white reflects sun and keeps your root zone cooler and healthier than darker-colored pots.
You see traditional hardened-plastic pots with holes in the bottom, usually black-colored.
There are also pots made from mesh or organic materials.
These are said to be superior to plastic pots because they allow more oxygenation in the root zone, better water drainage, and because they’re often round rather than square.
The round versus square debate centers on claims that because square pots have hard angles on the four sides and the bottom, they create crimps in roots.
The claim is that round pots, and especially round pots made from opaque mesh and/or natural materials, allow rounded roots rather than hard-corner roots… which leads combats the problem of roots being rootbound and of blocking root hydraulics.
You also see other creative designs, such as the Gro Pro “Plant Warrior,” a round plastic pot that has special features on the bottom to allow more oxygen to be drawn into the pot.
The Geopot is a mesh container with handles.
The Geopot design creates air pruning, which means the breathable potting material shapes and limits the root perimeter for more natural and denser growth, while also providing more oxygenation and better drainage.
Especially for outdoor marijuana growers, a big favorite is Smart Pots.
These mesh fabric pots with handles provide air pruning, increased drainage and oxygenation, a tan-colored option, and they go up to 20 gallons in size.
Here’s what the Smart Pots manufacturer says about why Smart Pots are good for indoor hydroponics gardens:
“The hydroponics industry for a long time has done a great job in providing the hydroponic hobbyist a nice selection of good quality lighting, nutrients, additives, pH testers and balancers. But it has had a limited selection of containers. This meant that the gardener was forced to place their plant in a system that provides the best light, the best food, and an environment for optimal performance. However, the container they had available for use was limited.
Not anymore. The Smart Pot is the perfect complement to any hydroponic enthusiast’s system.
The Smart Pot provides an environment for the root system to allow it to do what the lights and nutrients are asking it to do. Most other containers don’t do this. The fact is the Smart Pot is the best container for gardening in a hydroponic system.
The Smart Pot is made of a porous fabric which allows water to flow freely while keeping medium inside – no more clogged hoses.
The Smart Pot air prunes the roots which creates more roots through branching; more roots means more root tips and more opportunity for the plant to feed.
The Smart Pot stimulates beneficial bacteria because of the aeration – beneficials need oxygen.
The Smart Pot allows the plant to use all the space inside the container for root growth, thereby letting the plant grow bigger than traditional hydroponic containers allow.
The Smart Pot doesn’t allow roots to circle, making it the ideal container for a mother plant.
The Smart Pot releases heat, keeping the plant free from stress.
Give your plants what they want: room to grow, air to breathe, and an environment to thrive.”
If you want to grow monster marijuana plants, consider the Smart Pot 700-gallon container!
Another favorite for planting marijuana comes from the manufacturer Rootmakers.
Because Rootmakers creates products for the commercial nursery industry, you can get truly huge container sizes and grow monster outdoor marijuana plants.
I tried to use the Rootmakers system for planting marijuana, and found it rather complicated.
There are problems with mesh pots, fiber pots, and plastic grow bags compared to hardened plastic pots.
Mesh pots, natural fiber pots, and plastic grow bags can fall apart or not hold their shape very well.
They allow lots of drainage and aeration, which isn’t good if you’re in a climate with low humidity or a situation in which you can’t do frequent watering.
I’ve had situations outdoors in California cannabis growing in mesh or fiber pots that dried out so quickly that my roots fried.
You’re almost forced to use low-ppm continuous irrigation in those circumstances.
I also note that some soft-material pots allow roots to grow through the bottom of the pot and into or onto whatever is below it.
This can be good or bad, depending on whether the container is sitting on safe ground, or on a cold, concrete basement floor.
Regardless of whether you’re planting marijuana in hardened plastic, grow bags, mesh bags, or other containers for individual marijuana plants, be advised that a ten-gallon container filled with watered soil or other root zone media can weigh a lot, and a 20-gallon container might weigh too much for you to move without a dolly.
The pots you use for planting marijuana in need to be matched to your style of growing, and they do make a big difference in how healthy your plants are, how fast they grow, and how big and potent your buds are!