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Smart Pots Vs Plastic Pots vs Air Pots – The Pros and Cons

Grow Better Marijuana Indoors with the Right Container

Smart Pots vs. Air Pots vs. Plastic Pots

Grow Marijuana Buds in a Smart Pot Unless you are growing cannabis in an outdoor garden or a guerrilla grow in the woods, you’ll need to choose a container to house your plants. Picking the right container is the first secret to growing large, healthy marijuana plants, as the characteristics container can influence yield, flavor and even THC content of your buds.

How a Growing Container Affects Marijuana Buds

Types of Containers for Growing Marijuana Indoors

- Comparison Chart: Characteristics of Plastic Pots vs. Air Pots vs. Smart Pots

Regular Plastic and Ceramic Containers for Growing Marijuana Indoors

Aerated Pots for Growing Cannabis Indoors

- Smart Pots

- Air Pots

Air Pots vs. Smart Pots for Growing Marijuana Indoors

A Secret Tip for Growing Great Cannabis in Aerated Pots

Smart Pots for Better Marijuana

How a Growing Container Affects Marijuana Buds

The amount and quality of your final product rely on healthy growth from germination through harvest. For example, the yield of a marijuana plant can be decreased by:

-Stunted seedling growth due to inconsistent moisture content in the growing medium.

- Over heating at any stage of growth. This can slow growth, decrease yield and affect the flavor or odor of the bud.

- Root bound plants cannot absorb enough nutrients and cannot stretch properly during flowering. They are stressed and will produce fewer buds.

The cannabinoid, terpene and flavonoid content of a bud can be affected by temperature, moisture and root health as well. While you enjoy the leafy green cannabis plant in your grow room, most of the important action is taking place down in the soil. With the right container you will facilitate healthy root growth and from healthy roots grow big, heavy, crystalline buds. Grow Better Marijuana Buds

Types of Containers for Growing Marijuana Indoors

There are several container options for growing marijuana indoors using soil. The most common choices are regular plastic pots with drainage holes, Smart Pots made from durable fabric and heavy duty plastic Air Pots. You can also use ceramic or Terra Cotta planters for growing marijuana in soil. While each type of container has its own pros and cons, Smart and Air pots do a better job of providing oxygen, drainage and promoting healthy root development than plastic pots. Air Pots vs. Regular Pots Marijuana
  Let’s take a look at the facts:
Characteristics of Common Marijuana Growing Containers
Plastic Pot Ceramic Smart Pot Air Pot
Drainage Variable Poor Excellent Excellent
O2 to Roots Poor Poor Excellent Excellent
Heat Release Poor Poor Excellent Good
Watering Frequency Occasional Rarely Daily Daily
Chance of Root Binding High High Low Low
  Now that you’ve seen the summary, we’ll look at each container option in greater detail.

Regular Containers are “Classic” for Growing Marijuana Indoors

There is nothing wrong with using a regular plastic or ceramic pot to grow cannabis indoors or out. Many growers have been doing just that for decades with great results. However, it is easier to overwater your plants with regular pots, and root binding can slow growth.

Beware of Overwatering Cannabis in Regular Containers

Growing any plant in a container can be difficult, especially indoors. In fact, overwatering is the number one killer of all house plants. With a little patience and practice you will learn how frequently your marijuana plants need water and nutrients. Many experienced growers actually prefer plastic containers over Smart or Air pots because they can water less frequently. For best results, water your marijuana plants by weight and dryness. Here’s how:
  • Weight – Pick up the container full of dry soil before planting. Then soak it thoroughly in several waterings throughout the day and pick it up again. With practice you will be able to tell if your plants need water based on weight alone.
  • Dryness – Get your hands a little dirty. Dig down a couple of inches and see how the soil is doing. Check in several places. Small pots should not be allowed to dry out more than an inch from the surface, while larger containers can be dry 2-3 inches deep before the next good watering.

Root Bound Cannabis in Regular Containers

When the roots of any plant hit a solid object they turn. In a regular plastic or ceramic container roots encounter the walls and turn, growing in circles. As the plant grows the roots can actually choke the plant. As large roots grow in circles there are not enough small root ends to absorb water and nutrients. Root Bound Marijuana Plant A root bound plant slows or stops growing, looks wilted or nutrient deficient despite good feeding practices and may even die. The only way to fix root binding is to transplant into a larger container, which is often not possible when a marijuana plant is already flowering. While many growers use conventional containers for growing marijuana with great success, there are risks that can decrease yield or even kill your entire crop. An aerated container like a Smart Pot or an Air Pot eliminates these risks.

Aerated Pots for Growing Cannabis Indoors

Both Smart Pots and Air Pots are aerated. They offer three distinct advantages over traditional plastic or ceramic pots:

1. Air Pruning

In traditional containers, plant roots hit the side of the pot and turn, growing in circles and getting larger and larger. Eventually these roots can strangle the plant and limit growth. In an aerated pot the roots hit the edge of the container and encounter air. This stimulates branching and the formation of smaller, fibrous roots. These spread, absorbing extra nutrients, water and oxygen, leading to improved growth and higher yields. Flowering Marijuana in an Air Pot

2. Drainage

Remember how overwatering is the leading cause of indoor plant death? If the soil is constantly saturated the roots cannot breathe and the plant will drown. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of overwatering resemble those of under watering: drooping, wilting leaves, even leaves turning yellow. Aerated pots offer superb drainage. Yes, you may have to water more frequently, but your plants will stay healthy and produce bigger, more resinous buds. RELATED: Marijuana Plant Watering Guide

3. Heat Release

A container can be a stifling, stressful environment for plant roots. Excess heat in a container can cause stunted growth and poor yields. Aerated pots offer excellent heat release, both indoors under grow lights or outside in the sunshine. They stay cool and ventilated, reducing costs related to climate control and ensuring consistent healthy growth of your marijuana plants. Healthy Marijuana Plant Smart Pot

4. Sturdy Growth

Gardeners have observed that plants grown in aerated pots tend to be shorter and stockier than those grown in traditional plastic containers. The stems are heavier and thicker and flowering marijuana plants don’t stretch as much as they normally do. Some novice growers have mistaken this tendency to mean that the plants are unhealthy because they appear smaller than their counterparts grown in regular containers. However, just the opposite is true. By oxygenating the roots an aerated pot helps the plant absorb more nutrients and water, producing stronger, healthier growth. A plant that doesn’t receive enough nutrients becomes stressed and stretches, trying to absorb more light to compensate. A stocky, sturdy plant is a healthy plant with a solid root system.

Smart Pots

Smart Pots are made of heavy duty fabric that breathes. They are re-useable and can be machine washed between grow cycles.

Pros of Smart Pots:

  • Great for Growing Large Plants – Smart Pots have a wide base that makes them exceptionally stable. For this reason they come in huge sizes (you can get ones that hold 600+ gallons).
  • Roots are Oxygenated – One of the benefits of growing in a hydroponic medium instead of soil is increased oxygen to the roots. A Smart Pot provides this oxygen boost in a soil medium.
  • Prevents Root Binding – Many container grown cannabis plants develop a few large roots that grow in circles. The Smart Pot promotes fibrous branching roots that won’t choke the plant.
Healthy Cannabis Roots Smart Pot

Cons of Smart Pots:

  • They Require Space – Most Smart Pots are wider than regular pots or planting containers, taking up more floor space.
  • No Drip Tray – Since Smart Pots don’t come with their own drip tray you’ll need to place them in a place where drainage doesn’t do any damage or put a saucer or tray of your own underneath.
  • Difficult to Move/Transplant – The fabric can make transplanting marijuana difficult, and when you move the pots cracks may form in the soil around the edges. It is best to use Smart Pots as final containers.
  • Frequent Watering – These containers dry out more quickly than other types of cannabis pots, so plan to use a larger container and water frequently.

What People are Saying about Smart Pots

“Fabicpots, or "Smartpots" are worth the money FOR SURE!I put all my fabric pots in the wash under "knits and delicates" and brought the all back to almost the original state!” Mr. Greeeeeeen marijuanagrowing.com “Great product....... keeps the roots happy for longer than plastic and gave me a better yield as a result. They store easy and are tuff enough to re-use many many times. My favorite thing is they keep things clean. They don't leak soil out the drain holes leaving a muddy mess in the pans.” Fred thcfarmer.com

Air Pots

Air Pots are made of tough plastic and have a unique look. Instead of smooth sides like most plastic pots they have a series of inward and outward pointing cones. The roots of the plant never encounter a smooth surface. Instead they are directed out the many holes in the sides of the container, where they dry out and are naturally air pruned. Growing Cannabis in Air Pots

Pros of Air Pots:

  • Oxygenated Roots – In an Air Pot your cannabis plants will have well oxygenated roots, improving growth at all stages and resulting in bigger yields.
  • Prevents Root Binding – Thanks to the natural air pruning that occurs, a plant in an Air Pot will never become root bound.
  • Good for Small Spaces – Air Pots are shaped taller and more narrow than regular plastic pots, so you can fit more plants into a small space.
  • Fit Normal Drip Trays – You can use any drip tray or base from a regular plastic or ceramic pot with an Air Pot.
  • Rigid –It is easy to move Air Pots because of the stiff, heavy plastic that doesn’t shift when you pick it up.

Cons of Air Pots:

  • Less Stable for Large Plants – Because of their tall, narrow shape Air Pots can tip over if plants grow especially tall or heavy.
  • Require Frequent Watering –Air Pots dry out quickly, requiring frequent watering. To prevent over-drying, use a larger Air Pot. For example if you were going to use a 2 gallon regular pot try a 5 gallon Air Pot instead.

What People are Saying about Air Pots

“I am a firm believer in air pots. My yield is better and growth is quicker and the plants just look better than they ever have. I think it also helps to keep the temps down in the growing medium being used.” Grovemaster 1234 marijuanagrowing.com “I have gotten some of THE largest yields ever using air pots.. I am sold to the core.” Dr. Green Genes THCfarmer.com “This pot will make a "green thumb" out of anyone. My plants actually grow faster, bigger and healthier than with my hydroponic setup. I am amazed.” Amazon Customer

Air Pots vs. Smart Pots for Growing Marijuana Indoors

Both Air Pots and Smart Pots have advantages over growing marijuana in plastic or ceramic containers. They oxygenate the roots, prevent root binding, keep plants cool and encourage short, sturdy, healthy growth. But which is the very best for indoor marijuana growers? The truth is that both have wonderful qualities, and the right choice is often a matter of personal preference and the requirements of your grow room. The single biggest difference between Air Pots and Smart Pots is their shape. Air Pots are tall and narrow while Smart Pots are wide and squat.
Air Pot Smart Pot
Stability Low High
Space Required Little Lots
If you have a small growing space Air Pots may work better for you, while if you have lots of room and plan to grow 2 meter Sativa trees use a large Smart Pot. The other big difference is material: fabric vs. plastic. Some people prefer fabric simply because of the environmental impacts of plastic, while others feel that the plastic Air Pots have a longer life than the fabric Smart Pots. Additionally, Smart Pots can be difficult to move around, as the soil shifts within the soft fabric. Air Pots are rigid and don’t create cracks in the soil when you move them. However, if you have a gnat problem Air Pots make perfect breeding grounds. It is very difficult to get rid of gnats when you are growing in Air Pots. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Both types of aerated containers will help you grow healthier plants with higher yields and more flavorful buds when compared with regular containers.

A Secret Tip for Growing Great Cannabis in Aerated Pots

The one complaint that many marijuana growers have with Smart and Air Pots is that some of the water, and valuable nutrients, runs down the sides of the pot and immediately drains away.

Try this simple technique to avoid rapid side-drainage in an aerated pot:

Use a chopstick, fork or other small hoe-like object to break up the soil. Poke several deep holes with the chopstick, or use the fork to gently till the soil around the base of your plants. This will direct the water down into the soil, reducing the side run-off considerably and conserving nutrients.

Grow More Marijuana with Less Work Using Aerated Containers

Starting Tomatoes in Smart Pots Smart Pots and Air Pots come in all sizes, from less than 2 gallons to over 600. They are reusable, easy to clean and even 100% made in America. Whether you are caring for hundreds of young cannabis clones or growing a few of your favorite seeds for personal use, aerated pots will boost your yields while reducing pest and mold issues. Save