Balancing Small and Large Garden Pots

You've done the research, and now you're ready to try growing with an autoflower strain. It's an exciting journey to take on! Or, maybe you're not familiar with autoflower strains yet and want to learn more.
We have a few other helpful guides you might read in addition to this one to get you on the right track. Today, we want to get into the specifics of growing an autoflower cannabis plant. In this guide, we want to dive into autoflower pot size and the effect that size has on yield.

The basics of pot size

Before diving in-depth into choosing which pot to plant your germinated seed in, some basics should be considered. Firstly, all pots come in various styles, sizes, shapes, and materials. Deciding on which pot to choose from should be based on your desired height and the restrictions of your growing space if any.
Likewise, it doesn't matter the pot size or type if you aren't using suitable soil. Be sure to browse through our blog on the best soil for autoflowers so that you have that knowledge.
Regarding regular cannabis strains, it's typically easier to determine a pot size. With regular marijuana, there are simple guidelines to follow. Depending on the plant's life span, you can gauge how large it will grow.
Each strain is different, so research your specific strain and its typical range. For example, if your plant's growth cycle consists of 5 months, you will want to figure one gallon per foot of growth. So for a 5-month plant, a 5-gallon (18.5-liter) pot should suffice.
However, autoflowering strains are a bit trickier to navigate. Autoflowers require a bit more forethought, such as

  • growth time
  • life expectancy, as well as
  • how big you aspire them to be

Unlike regular cannabis plants, growers with limited growing space can still get the most from autoflowers.

Plant pots

Differences in regulars versus autoflowers

You're confined to their minimum and maximum capabilities regarding regular plants. With autoflowers, you can choose how small or big you want it to grow. Due to their fast growth cycles, though, this is when choosing a pot becomes more difficult.
A typical autoflower plant can grow from 15 cm (0.5 ft.) to 50 cm (1.5ft). Pot size affects the height of any plant; the smaller the pot, the smaller the plant.
Consider this because some growers have reported growing out of something as small as a Dixie cup. Issues that can occur with this are slow growth rates and not much yield. This is because the plant becomes root-bound too fast, causing stress.

Large plants vs small plants

We've covered how important choosing the right pot is and how much that choice can affect the growth of your plants. Growthautoflowering strains are known for their compact and discrete sizes; some grow substantially larger than others. Now it's time to decide on how large or small and the number of plants you want to grow.

Goldfish different sizes in different sized bowls

Large-scale plants

Some growers have chosen autoflowers because their plant count is low or their dedicated grow space is minimal. If that sounds like you, here's what we would like to recommend.
Growing 1-4 large plants would be best in cases like these. But again, the pot's size will determine your plant's height. So if you're looking to grow a few large-scale plants, your pot size should be between 10-15L (2.65-4 gallons).
Too large of a pot means the medium will not be fully exploited. Therefore, anything more significant than the suggested sizes will be wasteful and not cost-effective.

Small-scale plants

On the other hand, you might have height restrictions but an abundance of floor space. Growing around 6 -10 smaller plants may be the way to go, and here's why it could benefit you.
Growing an autoflowering strain closely with numerous plants can give a grower exceptional returns. This process is known as the Sea of Green setup and maximizes yield from homogenous strains.
The Sea of Green technique is unnecessary when growing multiple smaller plants. Suppose you're looking to grow various strains that are just smaller in size; that's reasonable. Pots that range from 6.5-8.5L (1.72-2.25 gallons) are acceptable for either situation.

Best pots for autoflowers

Plastic pots with draining holes are among the common choices for growers. And, of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with going for tried and true tactics. Over time, though, there have been some improvements made by certain manufacturers that could potentially enhance your plant's health.
The pots we're about to mention have refined their widespread use by improving their aeration and drainage. So, while the choice is entirely up to you, we highly recommend at least looking into these types of pots.

  • Terracotta pots

Terracotta pots are a more traditional option, and like in some cases, you just can't beat tradition. What makes these pots a more desirable choice than bare plastic potting is the science behind them.
Terracotta pots are absorbent. These pots soak up and reserve additional moisture to keep your plant cool and slowly administer nutrients. These methods have been proven to nurture healthy cannabis growth.

terracota pots

  • Fabric pots

While fabric containers are generally more expensive, the payout is immense! As a result, these pot types are considered some of the best available on the market. And for eco-friendly growers, these are a great option compared to their plastic counterparts.
What sets these guys apart is that their design allows the roots of your plant room to breathe. This, in turn, increases overall growth and produces higher yields. Not only that, but because of the extra room, the plant is likely to grow secondary roots to absorb even more nutrients.

  • Air Pots

Much like fabric pots, air pots have many of the same benefits. One of the most significant differences, though, is it's made from plastic and consists of numerous perforations that cover covering. However, they still have way more to offer than traditional plastic pots.
Their structure creates the same effect that comes with using a fabric pot. The perforations provide circulation and oxygen to the plant from all angles under the soil. This supplies the roots with the advantage of automatic pruning from the constant airflow. Thus, giving us healthier, more fruitful harvests.

What features make a pot ideal?

Alright, so you've decided on your pot and how many plants you will grow. But what features should you focus on to ensure your plants have the most optimal setup? Let's look at some of the most pressing features you should consider.

3 Cannabis younglings

Space for superlative development

You want to increase your plants' potential yields, so this is one to keep in mind. As we've learned today, the size of your pot is crucial to your auto flowers' overall potential.
Without the proper sized pot, you limit your cannabis' ability to flourish into a healthy and prosperous plant. Remember, you want to give your roots room to grow. The deeper they develop, the larger your result.

Keeping the pot clean

Whether new or reused, a pot should always be cleaned before potting. With reused pots, there is the potential to transfer disease-carrying pathogens to your new plant. This, in turn, can infect your plant and possibly cause premature death.
Since autoflowers proliferate, basic errors such as an unclean pot can result in disaster. Even if you don't lose the plant, stunted growth, and decreased yields are highly likely.



One of the top priorities to maintain with your pot is drainage. Drainage plays a vital role in maintaining the soil's quality -- and quality soil means efficient and healthy growth.
We've discussed the types of pots and how their structure provides airflow and helps with overall root production. Well, drainage plays a key role here, too. Proper drainage allows the soil or growing medium to dry correctly, which assists in the plant's growth rate.
If you don't supply your plant with the ability to drain correctly, it can become waterlogged. This diminishes the amount of oxygen taken in by the roots leading to stunted growth. Signs like brown or wilting leaves are good ways to tell if your pot has poor drainage.

drainage hole in terracotta pot

Wrapping up

As you can see, many factors go into choosing the right pot. It can affect your yields if you're not careful about picking the proper one for your setup. However, there's no such thing as a perfect pot.
Whether you're a beginner or experienced, there's always something to learn in this growing industry. With this guide by your side, we encourage you to take advantage of the knowledge you've learned today. Then, you can use it to get the most out of your setup effectively!