The art of training cannabis plants to grow in a particular manner is an old trick many indoor growers use to capitalize on production. By spreading branches out in favourable directions, marijuana growers train plants advantageously to maximize grow space while increasing yields.
Some cultivators implement high-stress training (HST) such as topping, FIM practices, super cropping, and pruning techniques to sculpt plants for the desired outcome. While these tactics, performed in the right manner, increase growth development, they also create a stressful situation for marijuana plants to overcome.
Low-Stress Training (LST) techniques, on the other hand, simply bend branches out and away from the base of the plant. This strategy opens up bottom stalks, allowing more light consumption and airflow throughout the plant. While leaves may look a bit forlorn when first bending them down, a quick rebound occurs as they reach toward the light source in a short time.
In this Low-Stress Training Tutorial, we’ll show you how to maximize the potential from a marijuana plant, ultimately increasing yield in your cannabis cultivation.
How Plants Respond to Low-Stress Training Techniques
When a cannabis seed is planted, its natural tendency is to grow up towards the light. The young plant generally has one large main stem, shooting side branches out as it matures through its life cycle. If left unattended, the plant will grow up and out, resembling the shape of a Christmas tree. Botanists call this type of growth “apical dominance”.
Low-stress training procedures disrupt apical dominance as the top of the plant is bent sideways to encourage lateral growth. Bending the main stem down in early vegetative growth stimulates the cannabis plant to produce inter-nodal lateral shoots. These tiny stems eventually become branches that will support the massive bud weight that occurs in flower time. As the cannabis plant begins developing longer limbs, bending them in strategic directions defines the shape for future growth.
Continually bending branches as the marijuana plant matures in veg begins to paint a picture of how to shape the plant for peak performance. As the pre-flower stage emerges, growth skyrockets. Training techniques continue for the next couple of weeks to complete the canvas. With LST practices administered, a cannabis grower can create a masterpiece in the flowering stage as the plant supports a plethora of THC infused, resinous buds.
Spreading limbs and branches out and away from the base increases light penetration and airflow throughout the cannabis plant. Young, tender shoots popping up along bent down branches will eventually become thick stalks supporting dense, juicy buds. Creating multiple bud sites by implementing low-stress training techniques results in bigger yields.