Can I plant the seedlings deeper

Can I plant the seedlings deeper in the soil when transplanting to their permanent container? I do this with tomatoes and it works great, but I’m not sure with cannabis. I have White Widow Autos.

I would advise against iit. Planting deeper than the soil line can cause the stem to rot. Hope this helps.

Well, no and yes. As latewood said, it could lead to stem rot. But it could also lead to stem rot in tomatoes as well. Tomatoes however are much more resistant to some of the things that will cause stem rot in cannabis. In both plants the tissue above the soil, as it is exposed to light, develops a sort of tough skin that is kinda like bark on a tree, if you will. This “bark” like skin is not designed to handle lots of moisture. And this is where diseases could take advantage.

If in your situation you really feel being able to do this could give you certain advantages and you really wish to attempt this, I would recommend a technique called “Layering”.

Layering is a very useful technique. It can be used to guarantee clone success without humidity domes or bubble cloners and where other cloning techniques are not possible.

The technique of layering involves developing roots on a branch while it is still attached to the parent plant. This gives you a couple of advantages as the branch is continuously – water and nutritionally – supported by the parent plant and is only removed after some healthy roots are already grown. This is also good if you don’t have any fresh green stalked branches to cut from your parent plant and all you have is “old woody” branches with nodes.

There are quite a few ways to do this.

Serpentine Soil Layering

Now keep in mind in this first technique, the small top at the end of a long skinny branch is being supported by a large healthy adult plant which can also increase it resistance to disease – this branch is then, not unlike as is often done with grape or tomato vines, is trained and kinda weaved in and out of the soil so that the end top and some of the smaller branching nodes of this main branch are now all new tops poking out of the soil. In this way you could create a sort of super/monster cropped plant with many many tops spread out in a web from the mother plant. After these new tops have been rooted they can easily be cut away from the parent plant and carefully re-potted separately. A lot of work and very time consuming, lol.

Air Layering

Now the easier way and better way if you plan on cutting them away from the parent as individual clones or to “shorten” a plant – that was too tall or stretched too much from not intense enough light – by burying it deeper, would be to wrap the “bark” section that is to be rooted and buried with rooting material (fine shredded coco is really good for this) and a sheet of breathable material. The problem with this setup is drying out too much and too fast, if it totally dries out it will kill your new delicate roots. You could be sure to mist these sections very often but that is time consuming. Some use a black canvas wrap which will certainly block the light, but the coco will do that on its own and the canvas will probably dry out a little too soon for most people. The best wrap is made from polyethylene plastic which allows oxygen in and retains moisture as well. This should all be done inside in a controlled environment for best results. In a few weeks the wrap can be removed and you should notice roots weaved throughout the coco. Now this section is ready to be cut from the parent or in the case of a plant that is taller than desired or a young small plant that stretched too much, can now be buried to the desired level.

Of course the roots will come faster and easier if you use some gel rooting hormone and kinda scuff the skin of the section to be wrapped and then coat it with hormone. It is very important to block out all the light with the coco wrap. It is the interruption of photosynthesis and photosynthates that lead to the hormonal changes that encourages roots in this new dark area.


I’m assuming you have not heard of layering before latewood? I bet Robert probably has.

No. I know what layering is;
but since you asked. I don’t see what it has to do with this simple question.

I think it’s pretty self explanatory. By the question and the pictures shown previously. It sounds like she may want to compensate for the excessive stretch she may have from not having intense enough light, On a brand new seedling, when transplanted, sure you don’t want to completely re-bury the whole thing, but in certain circumstances bringing the soil level higher will not hurt. Preparing the “trunk” in this fashion, especially with an older plant that has already developed some of the kinda “woody skin” before transferring to a larger container will likely prevent any stem rot. In fact I have done something similar numerous times with plants that have grown a little too tall while waiting to go into the flowering room in DWC. I strip the extra leaves off the lower part of the plant’s “trunk”, and place the plant in the deep 10" net pot and cover with hydroton, after a few weeks a ton of new roots start coming out of the buried “trunk”. And I have a shorter plant at the surface. It is a bit of extra work and is certainly not necessary if other precautions have been taken in the grow. It is a bit of an advanced technique and should not always be the first thing you decide to do but it is a handy tool to have available to you for various applications.

Of course this won’t help in extreme cases and a little common sense needs to be used, you are not going to get away with burying a 3 foot tall plant two feet deeper in the ground to get a one foot tall plant. As I stated in another thread, cannabis roots don’t like to grow very deep at all, and in most cases no deeper than about a foot as the roots love oxygen.

Oh, anyway, the point is, if for some reason she really needed to do what she is asking, I’ve illustrated some ways that would help avoid stem rot. And I’ve added enough extra information that someone else reading this might also find useful info and applicable techniques to other situations they may have encountered.

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All advice is welcomed. I realize it is ultimately up to me what I do. It’s ok if I get conflicting advice.

I am very familiar with the second method of air layering, and have done it often with house plants. It’s very easy with some. Never even thought of it with cannabis. We’ve done trees like that.

I don’t absolutely need to do it with these youngsters, but thought it might help root development. I was reaching for some more-expert than me advice, and received.

Last year I had an accidental seed sprout, and I did transplant it about an inch deeper. It was fine, but it was younger than these are.

I have never grown anything like these autoflowering plants. I’ll probably have many more questions.

It’s all good, latewood and are I are teammates. We were just answering the question from different perspectives, I was going a little more towards the experimental and he was just concerned about making sure your plants stay the healthiest possible.

Looks like maybe an old thread, but I had the same question, and an observation to share: Total newbie here, in the middle of my first grow. Wondering the same thing, with all of the other similarities to tomato plants. When I had first set out my first plants, autoflowers outside in pots, and had something dig most of them up. One of the plants broke off completely at the soil line - no root left. I stuck it back in the ground, deep, so that the first leaves were almost flat on the ground. It rooted, and has become one of the strongest plants. In this one case, it looks like the answer to the question could be yes, you could plant deep, especially when the plants were very new and tender. Could be complete luck. Won’t personally know for sure until I have a LOT more experience. Thought I’d share, for what it’s worth.


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