I have been growing three plants under lights indoors. They are currently in 8 inch pots and their final homes will be 25 gallon cloth pots outdoors. All feminized photoperiod plants. I am using notill soil. Topped with worm castings and straw mulch (same as the 25 gallon pots).
Over the past week I have followed this schedule to harden them off before I transplant them to the 25s outside permanently:
Day 1: Early morning, shady location. 2 hours, back inside.
Day 2: Early morning, shady location, 4 hours, back inside.
Day 3: Split 3/3 hours morning/evening, partial sun, back inside.
Day 4: Repeat, 4/4 hour split
Day 5: Repeat, 5/5 hour split
Day 6: Out in morning, all day full sun, back inside in the evening (after 12hrs)
Day 7: Repeat, but out earlier and back inside later.
Day 8: Out early as possible, leave out overnight, transplant in the morning to final homes outdoor. <----I am on this day currently.
But my plants don’t look super happy. They don’t look incredibly bad, but I can tell something isn’t right.
Here are some photos:
Sorry for the bad blackout photoshop in some parts
The leaves are somewhat drooping down, and the newest leaves at the top are sort of “boaty”. The stems are pretty red/purple, not sure if that is normal or not.
Only things I can think of are:
- They are simply too big for the 8 inch pots and need to be transplanted (can’t see roots coming out the bottom, though)
- The hardening off plan I followed (just got it from googling) was not good and has done something negative?
I have no idea though. They were thriving inside under the T5. No sign of any issues at all until the hardening off phase this week.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Should I go ahead and transplant them into their final 25gal smart pot homes tomorrow? Should I hold off?