Your plants will have a more challenging time maintaining their erect position while remaining fully saturated to grow light brightness as they get higher and enter the flowering period. 

Particularly with cannabis plants, few bud sites protect other plant canopies from exposure to lighting, limiting your ability to produce larger harvests. This is when shaping your plants and directing a horizontal growth route with the help of training methods like low stress training come into play.

You should consider doing low stress training even if you don’t have much experience with autoflower growing. It is an easy and systematic approach to enhancing produce through managing plant form and height. 

Continue reading this post ahead to learn what low stress training is, as it will serve as the ultimate guide you need to master this technique. 

What is Low Stress Training?

LST, short for low stress training, is similar to bonsai for cannabis plants. To significantly alter the plant’s shape, it is a practice to bend the stems and secure them in place gently. 

This is done to increase the number of bud sites, level up the canopy, and generally make better use of light. LST can enhance marijuana yields without modifying your setup, and it’s also quite enjoyable.

LST can be applied to indoor and outdoor plants to maximize bud production and available space. It can be beneficial for outdoor growers to keep a crop unnoticed.

What Does Low Stress Training Do?

The primary idea behind LST is that exposing your plant to more light can make it more comprehensive and let more light enter the canopy. More enormous colas across the entire plant and fewer popcorn buds will boost productivity. As a result, the yield rises overall.

Making the most of your grow room or tent is another advantage, especially for those who grow indoors in smaller, more constrained settings. Let’s do some science for a moment. 

In our plants, apical dominance, in which one cola absorbs most energy and nutrients to rule the plant, is the natural propensity for growth.

Auxin, the hormone that causes this apical dominance, is redistributed throughout the plant when it is subjected to autoflower low stress training. The opportunity for lateral branches to develop into substantial colas increases yield.

When to Start Low Stress Training?

By tying down branches away from one another, cannabis cultivators practice autoflower low-stress training to keep plants small and produce a larger canopy. It also makes effective use of the autoflower growing space in indoor gardening.

You may generate a level canopy with side branches that can grow toward the light if you start cannabis LST during vegetative growth. LST can be used in cannabis plants either inside or outside. It is a tool for outdoor cannabis cultivators to manage vertical development. This can also make a cannabis plant easier to conceal than cannabis that hasn’t received any training.

At this stage, gently bending your plant allows for a longer window of horizontal growth, which multiplies the number of bud sites and boosts yields.

When to Stop Low Stress Training?

Around a month into your plants’ flowering season, autoflower low stress training often ends. Cannabis experiences an initial growth spurt that lasts for many weeks as it begins to blossom.

Stretching comes to an end after about a month, and the cannabis plants start to concentrate their energy on producing flowers. Vegetative growth considerably slows down at this point. Therefore, more training is typically unneeded.

Low-stress training should be discontinued during flowering to minimize harm to the autoflower growing buds. Even touching the tender buds can damage quality by rupturing the resin glands.

Low Stress Training Tools

  • Some soft plant ties or rubber-coated plant wire. The plant stem tries to force its way into vertical growth but is protected from injury or cutting by the wire thanks to the soft (rubber) coating.
  • Support poles. There are numerous approaches to growing LST cannabis; there is no one optimum approach. However, many find that having a few vertical support poles nearby helps tie plants. 
  • A little drill. Making holes in the upper rim of your plant container by using this is helpful. Once the cannabis plant has been bent, you can use these holes to tie the rubber-coated plant wire into place.
  • Duct tape if the main stem or any other branch were to divide unexpectedly.

Low Stress Training Step-by-Step

Topping 

Any cannabis trimming method aims to undermine a cannabis plant’s apical dominance. Cannabis plants tend to branch out when the “trunk,” or main stem, is severed, allowing reduced growth tips to shoot up and develop into colas.

Given a more balanced “platform” to construct your base rather than having to rely solely on one main stem, topping a cannabis plant makes LST easier. Using the topping training approach, your plants will grow wider and bushy.

Prepare Your Container 

Drill a few holes around the edge of your autoflower growing container. The shoots can now be firmly held by looping the ties around the branches and through the holes.

Thin wooden or bamboo stakes with a range of around 30 cm work excellently to hold everything in place and provide even more possibilities for support. Get some duct tape so you can repair any snaps or breaks because accidents do happen while we are bending branches.

Tie Down Growth Tips

Even though topping the main cola will improve the performance of every bud site on the plant, there is still more we can do to make them bigger. We will tie down the highest growth tips to expose lower areas to more light and air.

To secure the plant’s branches, use light gauge garden wire that has been plastic coated. Without a plastic coating, the wire will probably sever the plant.

As new bud sites rise into the air, tie them down, so they are level with or lower than the canopy height. By securing the tallest growth, you’ll be able to expose new development to air and light, further encouraging it to distribute energy evenly over the sites.

Prune Lower Growth

Although this step is optional, it will help your yield overall. Lower bud sites generate loose cotton-like buds with little THC because they receive little air or light. The plant can direct its energy to the bud sites at the top of the canopy by removing the little bud sites from the bottom of the plant.

Although cutting off bud sites to increase output may seem counterintuitive, these sites typically don’t produce high-quality buds and are thrown away or placed in the shake bucket at harvest. Removing those areas as soon as possible is preferable so that the plant may focus on producing energy in the areas that receive plenty of light and air. 

Flowering 

Within just the first two weeks after being transferred to the blooming stage, a cannabis plant can double in height. The blossoming stretch in this area. But to keep up the incredible canopy you’ve been working on throughout the plant’s life, all that new growth needs to be regulated.

As a result, after your plant begins to flower, you should keep an eye on it and employ LST if necessary for the first few weeks as it experiences its final development spurt.

Low-stress training requires practice, just like everything else about indoor auto flower seeds growing. Before completely grasping the procedure, you might need to run a few cycles, but the outcome is well worth the effort. 

Along the road, you can develop methods to help other growers by cultivating the various cannabis seeds available at United Cannabis Seeds.

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