Cannabis Plant Training 101 – A Complete Guide For Cannabis Farmers
Welcome to the exciting world of cannabis plant training! Whether you’re a seasoned grower or just getting started, plant training can help you optimize your yield and increase the overall health of your cannabis plants. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of cannabis plant training, including the different techniques you can use and how to implement them.
What is Cannabis Plant Training?
Cannabis plant training is the practice of altering the shape and structure of your plants to achieve the desired outcome. This can include manipulating the height and width of your plants and encouraging the development of specific growth patterns.
There are a few different techniques you can use to train your cannabis plants, including:
- Low Stress Training (LST)
- High Stress Training (HST)
Each of these techniques has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and we’ll delve into each one in more detail later on.
Why Train Your Plants?
There are a few key reasons why you might want to consider training your cannabis plants:
- Improved Yields: By carefully manipulating the growth of your plants, you can create a more efficient and productive grow space. This can lead to larger, more abundant harvests.
- Increased Light Exposure: By training your plants to grow in a specific direction, you can ensure that all parts of the plant receive an equal amount of light. This can help prevent light starvation, leading to smaller, lower-quality buds.
- Improved Airflow: Training your plants can also help to improve airflow within your grow space. This is especially important in indoor grows where proper ventilation is critical to the health and success of your plants.
- Enhanced Plant Health: In general, training your cannabis plants can help to strengthen their structure and improve their overall health. This can be especially important in outdoor grows where plants may be subjected to harsh weather conditions.
Low Stress Training (LST)
Low Stress training (LST) is a technique that involves gently bending and manipulating the branches of your cannabis plants to encourage a desired growth pattern. This is typically done using a combination of string, wire, or other flexible materials.
One of the main benefits of LST is that it is relatively easy to do and can be accomplished with minimal stress to the plant. This makes it a popular choice for novice growers or those who are looking for a more gentle training method.
To perform LST, you’ll need to:
- Choose a main stem or branch that you want to train as the central leader. This will be the main vertical growth point of your plant.
- Use string or wire to gently bend and tie down the side branches of your plant, directing them away from the central leader. You can do this in a spiral pattern around the plant or in a more linear fashion, depending on your preference.
- Continue to tie down the branches as your plant grows, adjusting the tension as needed to maintain a consistent, even shape.
- As your plant grows, you may need to remove some of the lower branches to allow for better airflow and light exposure.
SCROG (Screen of Green)
SCROG, or Screen of Green, is another popular cannabis plant training technique that focuses on optimizing the canopy space to ensure even light distribution and maximize yield. The primary goal of SCROG is to produce a flat, even canopy where all the buds receive the same amount of light, ensuring consistent growth and bud development.
How Does SCROG Work?
SCROG involves placing a horizontal screen or netting above the growing medium and weaving the branches of the cannabis plants through it as they grow. This screen acts as a guide, ensuring that the plants grow horizontally rather than vertically. As the branches grow, they are gently tucked and woven into the screen, creating a flat canopy.
Benefits of SCROG
- Maximized Light Exposure: With an even canopy, all buds receive consistent light, eliminating the problem of lower buds getting less light than the top ones.
- Efficient Space Utilization: SCROG is particularly beneficial for growers with limited vertical space, as it encourages horizontal growth.
- Higher Yields: By ensuring that all buds get equal light, SCROG can lead to a more consistent and potentially larger harvest.
- Reduced Risk of Mold and Mildew: An even canopy can improve airflow, reducing the chances of mold and mildew formation.
- Set Up the Screen: Place a screen or netting about 20-25 inches above the growing medium. The squares in the screen should be about 2 inches wide.
- Weave the Branches: As your cannabis plants grow, gently weave the branches into the screen. Avoid forcing or breaking the branches.
- Maintain the Canopy: Regularly check the canopy and continue to tuck and weave new growth into the screen. This ensures that the canopy remains flat and even.
- Prune Underneath: Once the screen is mostly filled, consider pruning the lower branches and leaves that receive little to no light. This redirects the plant’s energy to the buds on the canopy.
High Stress Training (HST)
High Stress Training (HST) involves using more aggressive techniques to manipulate the growth of your cannabis plants. This can include techniques such as Topping, FIMing, and Supercropping.
HST is typically more effective at producing dense, compact plants with a high number of flowering sites. However, it can also be more stressful for the plant, so it’s important to be careful when using these techniques.
Topping is a technique that involves removing the growing tip of the plant, either by cutting or pinching. This forces the plant to create new growth points, which can lead to a more even canopy and increased yields.
To perform topping, you’ll need to:
- Identify the main stem or leader of your plant. This is typically the tallest and most dominant growth point.
- Using sharp, sterilized scissors or shears, carefully cut off the top of the main stem, just above a set of leaves.
- Remove any additional growth points that may emerge from the main stem. These are called “suckers” and can compete with the main stem for resources.
- Once the plant has recovered from the topping, it should begin to produce new growth points from the side branches.
FIMing is a technique that is similar to topping, but instead of removing the entire growing tip, you only remove a small portion of it. This can help to reduce the amount of stress on the plant while still promoting new growth.
To perform FIMing, you’ll need to:
- Identify the main stem or leader of your plant.
- Using sharp, sterilized scissors or shears, carefully cut off the top few inches of the main stem, just above a set of leaves.
- Remove any additional growth points that may emerge from the main stem.
- As the plant recovers, it should begin to produce new growth points from the side branches.
Supercropping is a technique that involves gently crushing or damaging the internal tissue of the plant to promote new growth. This can be done by bending the stem until it cracks or by using a tool to gently apply pressure to the stem.
To perform Supercropping, you’ll need to:
- Identify a healthy stem that you want to train.
- Gently bend the stem until it cracks, or use a tool to apply pressure to the stem.
- Once the stem has been damaged, it will begin to produce new growth points as it recovers.
As with any plant training technique, it’s essential to be careful not to damage the plant beyond its ability to recover. Always use caution and be sure to sterilize your tools to prevent the spread of disease.
Implementing Plant Training
Now that you have a basic understanding of the different cannabis plant training techniques let’s talk about how to implement them in your grow.
The first thing to consider is the stage of growth that your plants are in. Plant training is typically most effective during the vegetative stage when the plant is actively growing and has not yet begun to flower. However, some growers may also choose to train their plants during the flowering stage, depending on their goals.
It’s also important to consider the size and layout of your grow space. If you have a large, spacious grow room, you may be able to use multiple training techniques to create a more complex and varied canopy. On the other hand, if you have a smaller grow space or are working with limited resources, you may need to be more selective in the techniques you use.
Finally, be sure to monitor the health and growth of your plants closely as you implement your training regimen. Pay attention to any changes in growth patterns, leaf development, and overall health. If you notice any issues, make adjustments as needed to ensure that your plants continue to thrive.
Cannabis plant training is a powerful tool for optimizing your grow and increasing the overall health and productivity of your cannabis plants. By carefully manipulating the shape and structure of your plants, you can create a more efficient and productive grow space, leading to larger, more abundant harvests.
We hope this guide has been helpful in introducing you to the world of cannabis plant training. If you’re looking to get started or expand your knowledge, be sure to check out the wide selection of strains and resources available at Hypno Seeds. With a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, Hypno Seeds is your go-to source for all things cannabis. Thank you for reading, and happy growing!