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Training marijuana plants refers to the physical manipulation of the plant to produce more buds, and it can nearly double yields without a huge investment.
If you're growing your cannabis plants indoors, your plants’ normal Christmas tree growth and stationary lighting produces big buds on top and larfy buds on the bottom. In our plant training guide, you'll learn seven ways to produce multiple bud sites with dense bud growth.
Low-Stress Methods of Training Marijuana Plants
Low-stress training (LST) is one of the easiest and most common ways to improve your indoor cannabis yields. Generally, LST involves bending the plant stems and securing them to expose the middle of the plant to light and create an even canopy.
Growers can use a variety of securing devices such as pipe cleaners or soft-coated wire to keep the stems in place. Avoid using any sharp devices that can cut into the plant and damage its stems.
The no-technique plant training method is ideal for beginner growers who want a quick and easy way to improve their yields. In this easy method, growers can bend the main stem 90 degrees when the plant is in its vegetative stage and its stems are easier to bend.
Essentially, moving the main stem out of the way allows the lower branches to receive a sufficient amount of light and develop main colas. And, that's really it. It's a super simple technique that can yield incredible results.
2. Super Cropping
Super cropping is a slightly more aggressive form of plant training that involves bending the vegetative stems horizontally to expose the lower buds to more lights. Technically, this can be considered a high-stress training technique.
In this technique, growers gently crush the plant stem making it easier to bend. Keep in mind, you aren't trying to completely snap or break the exterior plant tissue. You are simply crushing the inside making it easier to bend and you can also tie it down.
Don't worry. The plant can recover with new tissue growth and begin growing in this horizontal direction.
3. Screen of Green (SCROG)
SCROG is a technique where growers install a screen on top of the plants. Then, they gently weave be stems through the screen throughout the growth process to create a more even canopy where all bud sites are exposed to light and air.
High-Stress Methods of Training Marijuana Plants
High-stress training (HST) is a more aggressive approach to using the plant’s natural growth pattern to your advantage. With these techniques, growers must prune the plants to encourage new growth and improve yields as a result.
Topping refers to the technique in which growers literally remove the top of the main stem in vegetative plants. By cutting off the top, you are breaking the apical dominance that causes the plant to grow like a Christmas tree with a single main cola on top.
When topped, the plant begins to grow two main stems instead of one.
FIMing is a very similar technique to topping. FIM stands for “f*ck, I missed!” Instead of completely removing the top of the plant, this technique removes the growth tip at the top of the stem or branch.
By cutting most of the tip, the rest of the buds can get more light. This technique does not stress the plant as much as topping, but it may also not as effectively break apical dominance.
Manifolding, also known as mainlining, refers to the process of topping a plant twice while it is young so that it can form a wide canopy at the base of the plant. Many growers consider this one of the best ways to grow bigger buds.
Defoliation refers to the removal of plant leaves, particularly the large fan leaves during the vegetative stage. Some growers choose to defoliate during the first month of the flowering stage to encourage bud growth.
Cannabis plants can be defoliated right before growers switch their plants to the flowering stage and then a few times during the transitional phase where the flowering plant nearly doubles in height.
By defoliating the flowering plants, the forming buds sites can receive sufficient air and light to develop into large and dense buds.
Learn Training Marijuana Plants Techniques Used By the Pros
Do you want to learn the training techniques used by the world's best cannabis growers? Enroll in Cannabis Training University’s cannabis growing school to learn the ins and outs of improving your yields indoors and outdoors.
Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.