Low stress training is an important concept for marijuana growers to be familiar with. It’s something that helps cannabis plants to thrive. You can use it to get plants that are bushy and wide. That means more buds, higher yields, and even more THC out of every single plant you’re growing.
However, it needs to be applied carefully, otherwise, your plant won’t get the best results. It’s not something that you want to try on your own without knowing the details. So we’ve written this guide to tell you everything you need to know. We’ll cover:
- What low stress training is
- What it involves
- What tools you need for it
- How to do it step by step
- Some tips for you to keep in mind
- When to begin the training
We’ll also include links to some good cannabis seeds for this type of training so that you can get off to the best start possible.
What is Low Stress Training?
This is a type of training that unsurprisingly puts stress on your plants. This might sound negative, but it’s only mild stress. It’s like how you put pressure on your body when you’re exercising.
It’s not enough to cause you serious trouble but helps you build muscles. With marijuana plants, stress helps make them develop more branches. This is a handy way to get higher yields out of each of your plants.
It works through bending and tying stems that are taller so that they’re all on the same level. The act of bending also increases the levels of THC the plants are producing, and that means more potent marijuana when it comes to harvesting.
Because it’s simple, you don’t have to be concerned with accidentally damaging or harming your plants. You just have to understand the process, use the right tools, and follow some step-by-step instructions.
The 5 Key Elements of Low Stress Training
There are 5 key elements involved in low stress training weed, and we’re going to give you an overview of each one in this section. They are as follows:
- Distance between plants
- The sweet spot for your leaves
- Topping your plants
- Picking the right strain
- Getting the right materials and tools
The Distance Between Your Plants
Marijuana plants will grow straight upwards, with a central branch and a few on the side. But if you bend the branches in the right place, then more growth will emerge from your plants. This means that the distance between each of your stems needs to be wide enough.
If it’s not, then the leaves on those branches won’t receive enough light and won’t grow as well. If you’ve got a small indoor grow room, then you’ll have to think about how best to space out your plants. If you have quite a lot, then you might have to reduce your plant numbers.
The Sweet Spot For Your Leaves
When you’ve got an indoor grow room, the light will be distributed differently across each part of the room. Reflective foil for the walls can help make it more evenly spread, but there will be a sweet spot in the room. This sweet spot is where the light is most intense. With light that’s intense, the leaves on your plants will get more out of the photosynthesizing process.
Therefore, you need to position your plants so that as many leaves as possible are in this sweet spot. When you’re applying cannabis low stress training, and your branches are bent, you can ensure they’re in this spot.
Topping Your Plants
Topping is where you cut off the top of the central branch to encourage your plants to sprout more branches. This also means that lower stems can rise and give you additional buds. You don’t have to follow this process for LST, but it’s helpful and can make your yields even better.
However, auto-flowering marijuana strains shouldn’t have this applied to them. The reason why is that they grow very fast and can’t recover if there are any mistakes in the topping process. But if you think that you’ve got the experience, you can take the risk and see what happens.
Picking the Right Strains
If cannabis low stress training is done well, then you can get good results from any strain that you use, but there are some that growers prefer over others. These are generally indica strains. Indica strains allow you to boost bud counts on the smaller branches. You can also pick sativa strains if you have more space, as you’ll then get higher yields.
Sativa strains are great when it comes to dealing with high levels of heat and humidity, so are a great choice for growing indoors when it’s hot. We’ll give you some example strains later in the article.
Getting the Right Materials and Tools
When you’re low stress training weed, there are a few materials and tools that are required to get the job done right. These are:
- A sharp pair of scissors
- Plenty of twisty ties
- Plenty of soft wire tie
We’ll cover each one in more detail in the next section, so that you know why each one is important and what to do with it.
The Tools You Need for Low Stress Training Weed
First on our list is a sharp pair of scissors. You can use any pair that you think is suitable, but the general rule is that the sharper they are, the better they are. The reason for this is that using sharp scissors can minimize the infection risk that your plants will have when their stems are cut. That means the plant can focus on budding more.
The next item we mentioned was twisty ties. You can bend the stems by hand, but they won’t stay there by themselves. You’ll need something that keeps them there. Twisty ties are ideal for that. They’re not sharp, so they won’t break the stems, but they will hold them down. You can use other materials as well, but make sure they’re not too thin. A string is not a good idea as it can cut your plant.
Finally, we mentioned soft wire ties. These are ideal for plants that are older and have thicker branches. Smaller ties won’t be strong enough to restrain these branches, so you’ll need something tougher. The answer is soft wire ties. They’re thicker than twisty ties and will help you control big stems.
Low Stress Training Step By Step
There are three main steps to consider when you’re doing low stress training step by step. These are topping the plant, bending and tying the stems, and forcing the flowering. We’ll go through each one.
Topping Your Plants
Some growers don’t do this because they don’t want to risk damaging their plants, but if you do it, you’ll get better results. The plant can grow wider and give you a better yield because it has more buds.
To do this, take a clean pair of scissors and cut your plant down to the third node. That keeps it symmetrical. You’ll then see two tips on the stem, and be sure to leave them. They’ll create more nodes, and then you can top them again to get more branches.
Bending and Tying The Stems
Whether you’ve chosen to top your plant or not, the next crucial step is to bend the stems in whichever direction is suitable. This direction must result in the stems being of equal distance from the light. That’s because of the sweet spot I mentioned earlier.
Because the plant will continue growing, you’ll need to repeat the bending repeatedly, and then secure them using one of the ties. To do this, you can drill holes into the container of your plants and wrap the ties around them. You can also put sticks in the ground and use those to anchor your ties.
Forcing the Flowering
Once your plant is horizontal due to following the steps we listed above, then that’s the sign it’s ready for flowering. At this point, it will be only half as high as you want it to be, but that’s no problem because it can still double in size across the following weeks as it buds.
As your plants begin to flower, you need to continue LST so that the canopy of the plant is controlled. This should carry on for around a month, and then it should be fine. But if there are issues with light distribution on the leaves, you can use LST again.
Crucial Tips for Cannabis Low Stress Training
There is a wide range of tips that you can keep in mind at every stage of the LST process. We’ll cover them in brief so that you’ve got as much information as possible before starting LST.
Firstly, you should know when to start low stress training. That means not topping at the wrong times. The ideal time is when the plant has grown 4-6 nodes. Less than 4, and the plant will be too young. More than 6, and you might not be able to take advantage of the growth.
You should also leave a small section of the stem you’ve made the first cut into. This allows the V-shape of the main branch to retain its shape as it gets thicker. Plus, when you’re bending stems, you should do it to the younger ones because they’re softer. Older stems might snap.
Regardless of the stems, you’re bending, the pressure you apply should be soft. If you use too much force, then you’ll break the stems. If this happens, you should just tape over it so that they can heal.
When you’re tying stems, you should make sure the ties don’t rub up against any of the stems. That might mean you need to use several ties. But when you do, you’ll want to ensure that the stems still have some flexibility so they can move around as they grow. You should also check your plants every couple of days so that stems can be bent as needed.
Finally, if you’re considering when to start low stress training, make sure you avoid doing it once the flowering has already started as this will be too late and can disrupt THC production.
Best Cannabis Seeds for Low Stress Training
Amnesia Haze Feminized
Amnesia Haze is a popular 80% sativa strain that you can get 5 seeds for at a cost of only $79. THC levels are up to 21%, it takes 9 weeks to flower, and you can expect a yield of 21-25 ounces. It will also produce tall marijuana plants.
Amnesia Haze Seed Properties
|Plant Type||20% Indica 80% Sativa|
|Climate||Indoors | Mediterranean|
|Flowering Time||9 weeks|
|Yields||21 to 25 oz per 3x3ft|
Durban Poison is a 100% sativa strain with THC levels of up to 20%. It has an average size and will flower after 8 weeks. The yields are between 18-21 ounces. It grows best indoors with a Mediterranean climate.
Durban Poison Seed Properties
|Plant Type||100% Sativa|
|Climate||Indoors | Steppe | Mediterranean|
|Flowering Time||8 weeks|
|Yields||18 to 21 oz per 3x3ft|
G13 is a 70% indica strain, with THC levels of up to 24%. This is very high for a cannabis strain, and not many have higher levels than this strain. The ideal climate for this strain is continental, it will take 11 weeks to flower, and you can expect a yield of 21 ounces.
G13 Feminized Seed Properties
|Plant Type||70% Indica 30% Sativa|
|Climate||Indoors | Continental | Steppe|
|Flowering Time||11 weeks|
|Yields||21 oz per 3x3ft|
Sunset Sherbet Feminized
Sunset Sherbet is a less well-known 85% indica strain, but it’s worth a look because it has over a dozen 5-star reviews. It also has THC levels of up to 21%, and takes 8 weeks to flower, while giving a yield of 16-21 ounces.
Sunset Sherbet Seed Properties
|Plant Type||85% Indica 15% Sativa|
|Climate||Indoors | Mediterranean|
|Flowering Time||8 weeks|
|Yields||16 to 21 oz per 3x3ft|
Now that you’ve reached the end of our guide to cannabis low stress training, you should be equipped with all the knowledge you need to get started, as well as a range of strains that you can buy to start practicing with.
If you’d like to find out more about marijuana or any particular strains of it, then there is one place you can go.
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