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How To Transplant Cannabis From Outdoors To Indoors

The northern hemisphere summer is but a memory, so unless you live in a spot with an exceptionally long growing season, you will have to say goodbye to outdoor cannabis cultivation for the time being.

However, if you’ve been caught short and your outdoor plants haven’t quite reached the end of their flowering period, you may need to consider moving your cannabis plants indoors.

Why Move Cannabis Plants From Outdoors To Indoors

Most growers avoid moving their outdoor marijuana plants into a grow room unless they absolutely have to. After all, natural sunlight is the best (and cheapest) source of photons a plant could ask for, so it doesn’t make sense to downgrade to indoor light.

However, there are a few scenarios where converting your outdoor grow to an indoor grow becomes necessary.

Bad Weather on the Way

If a sudden unseasonable change in temperature has been forecast, growers may feel the need to protect their cannabis plants by moving them inside for a while. Similarly, extreme weather events like heavy rain or strong winds can damage outdoor plants, so bringing the ladies inside may be wise if there’s a storm brewing.

Winter is Coming

Growers may also choose to move their cannabis from outdoors to indoors if they notice that days are getting shorter and colder. As the outdoor growing season draws to a close and the winter solstice approaches, plants receive fewer hours of daylight and transition from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage.

Things To Consider When Moving Cannabis From Outdoors To Indoors

Before getting into the finer details of cannabis growing, there are a few basic points that we need to mention.

Get Your Pots Right

First, outdoor cannabis plants can only be moved around if they are in pots. Digging up a plant from the ground is not smart and can cause serious damage to the root system, so it makes sense to grow your weed in containers if you think you may need to change its location during the grow.

Is Your Tent Big Enough?

Secondly, remember that outdoor plants can become massive during the vegetative phase and may not fit in your grow tent once they’ve had their growth spurt. Growers may therefore need to plan ahead by either choosing a relatively small cultivar or moving their plants inside before they reach their full size. Generally, sativa varieties are taller than indicas, while autoflowering strains are more petite than photoperiod cannabis.

Be Careful of Plant Shock

Moving cannabis plants from outdoors to indoors may sound simple, but there’s more to it than just picking up a pot and relocating it. As all experienced growers know, changing an environmental parameter can cause plant shock, leading to stunted growth, poorer plant health or smaller yields if not addressed properly.

While this is normal for an outdoor grow, plants that aren’t quite done with veg may need to come inside to continue their vegetative growth. Similarly, growers living in cold climates may need to bring their plants indoors during the final weeks of bloom if the temperature outside drops too low.

When it comes to the move itself, it’s essential to minimise plant shock’s effects.

Transplant Cannabis From Outdoors To Indoors

Plant shock generally occurs when there is a sudden change in light, temperature or humidity, all of which is a risk when moving outdoor plants into an indoor grow room. Minimising the effects of shock is therefore the name of the game, and while there are things growers can do to make their cannabis plants feel more at home, the best strategy is to plan ahead and choose a resilient cultivar to withstand such a change.

Strains like Green Crack, Critical Purple Kush and Gelat. OG are all famed for their versatility and are among the best cannabis cultivars to choose from if you’re planning on switching the environment mid-way through your grow. Well-suited to all growing mediums and settings, these highly forgiving strains are perfect for beginners and experienced growers alike.

Starting your grow with the right cannabis seeds is probably the single most significant factor in determining how well your plants react to the sudden switch to an indoor grow space, so choose wisely.

Helping Plants Settle In

Remember that as plants are brought indoors, they’ll inevitably experience some degree of disruption as they say goodbye to natural sunlight and come into contact with artificial light for the first time. Unlike indoor cannabis plants, those that have grown in the open air since they were a seedling will never have experienced a fixed photoperiod but will instead have seen natural variations in the number of daylight hours as the season progresses. Outdoor growers who decide to move their plants inside should try to mimic these conditions as best they can.

In other words, growers should give their plants the same number of hours of light indoors as they received outside. To do this, you may need to note exactly what time the sun rises and sets on the days before bringing your plants inside. By setting your indoor grow lights to match this schedule, you can minimise the disruption to your plants’ life cycle.

Transplant Cannabis From Outdoors To Indoors

The type of light you give your plants will also impact their health and, ultimately, their ability to produce terpenes and cannabinoids like THC. If a plant has been exposed to direct sunlight since germination, suddenly switching to a narrower range of wavelengths as they enter bloom could have a detrimental effect. Therefore, LED lights emitting the full spectrum of visible light is advisable and can lead to higher yields than HPS lights.

Dealing With Pests

The biggest problem most growers face when moving their plants from outdoors to indoors is pests. Outside, bugs are part of a balanced ecosystem and are kept in check by natural predators. However, when plants are brought inside, any insects lurking on the foliage are suddenly released from the threat of predation and given free rein. Without the help of mother nature, cannabis plants can quickly become overrun with nasty pests.

To avoid an infestation, it’s vital to check your plants thoroughly before moving them indoors. If any aphids, leafhoppers, thrips or other bugs are present on the leaves, treat them with neem oil or apply another pest control measure immediately.

Transplant Cannabis From Outdoors To Indoors

Eliminating a pest population early is essential when moving cannabis plants from outdoors to indoors. Growers should therefore keep a close eye on their plants after relocating them and act fast if they spot any unwanted visitors. Allowing pests to get the upper hand can destroy an indoor grow, so even if you ignore everything else we’ve said, make sure you take our advice about insect control.

Transplant Cannabis From Outdoors To Indoors – Worth the Work?

Ideally, you want your plant to start and end its lifecycle in one place, but Mother Nature often has other plans. Moving your cannabis plant inside doesn’t have to be difficult; just be patient, observant, and adjust if needed. They’ll be just fine!

Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.

Ben Taub