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Boost Your Harvest: 5 Key Techniques for Maximizing Yield with Plant Training

Maximizing Yield

Introduction Maximizing Yield

Cannabis cultivation has become increasingly popular, especially with the rise of legalisation in many parts of the world. For those looking to grow their own cannabis at home, maximising yield is often a top priority. One way to achieve this is through plant training methods. These techniques involve shaping and manipulating the plant to promote better light distribution, airflow, and ultimately, higher yields.

In this article, we will explore various plant training methods that can be used in home cannabis cultivation, their benefits, and how to implement them effectively. To support our discussion, we will reference a study published in the International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, which compared different plant training methods and their impact on yield in cannabis cultivation. This study found that plant training significantly increased yield, with certain methods proving to be more effective than others. Let’s dive into the different training techniques and their potential benefits.

Key Takeaways:

Explore different plant training methods to maximise yield in home cannabis cultivation. Plant training can improve yield, increase bud size, and promote even growth. Low-stress training, high-stress training, and LST techniques are popular methods for training cannabis plants.

Benefits of Plant Training

Training plants in home cannabis cultivation offers numerous benefits. Firstly, plant training enhances light exposure to lower bud sites, promoting even bud development and maximising yield. Additionally, it helps control the height of the plants, making them more manageable in indoor settings. By utilising techniques such as topping and LST (Low Stress Training), growers can create a more uniform canopy, leading to better light penetration and air circulation, which are vital for plant health. Moreover, plant training allows for better space utilisation, especially in small grow areas. Finally, it enables growers to achieve higher yields with limited resources and space, making it a cost-effective and efficient cultivation method.

Types of Plant Training

As any experienced cannabis grower knows, proper plant training is an essential aspect of maximizing yield in home cultivation. There are various methods of training plants, but the two main categories are low stress training (LST) and high stress training (HST). In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of plant training, including the popular LST technique. By understanding the benefits and techniques of each method, you can determine which approach is best for your specific grow setup and goals.

Low Stress Training

Prepare the plant:

  1. Identify the main stem and gently bend it, training it to grow horizontally.

Secure the stems:

  • Use soft ties or plant clips to support the bent stems and keep them in place.

Monitor growth:

  • Regularly check the plant and adjust the ties as necessary to accommodate growth.

Continue training:

  • As new growth occurs, repeat the bending and tying process to maintain an even canopy.

Avoid damage:

  • Be gentle to prevent stress or damage to the plant during low stress training.

High Stress Training

Assess Plant Health: Before initiating high stress training, make sure the cannabis plant is healthy and strong enough to withstand the stress.

Timing: Start high stress training during the vegetative stage when the plants are more resilient.

Techniques: Use methods like FIM (F*ck, I Missed) or defoliation to stress the plant for increased bud production.

Recovery Time: Allow the plant to recover for a few days after the high stress training to minimise potential negative impact on growth.

Monitor Progress: Regularly observe the plant’s response to the high stress training to ensure it’s effectively boosting yields.

In a similar tone of voice, in the 1970s, high stress training techniques began to gain popularity among cannabis cultivators seeking to maximise yields within indoor cultivation setups.

LST Technique

The LST (Low Stress Training) technique involves gently bending and securing the stems and branches of cannabis plants to encourage lateral growth and create a more even canopy, resulting in increased light exposure and improved overall yield. Begin LST during the vegetative stage when the plant is young and flexible. Gently bend the main stem and larger branches to encourage horizontal growth. Use soft ties to secure the bent stems, avoiding any damage to the plant. Regularly monitor and adjust the tied branches as the plant grows to maintain an even canopy. Continue LST until the desired shape and size of the plant canopy are achieved.

Main Pros and Cons of Plant Training Methods

Low Stress Training (LST): Pros – promotes an even canopy, increases light exposure, and enhances air circulation. Cons – time-consuming, requires frequent adjustments.

High Stress Training (HST): Pros – quick and effective, suitable for limited space. Cons – risks plant damage and shock.

Screen of Green (SCROG): Pros – maximises light usage, increases yield. Cons – demands meticulous maintenance, challenges for beginners.

Pro-tip: Whichever method you choose, consistent monitoring and adjusting are key to successful plant training. Experiment to find the best technique for your specific cultivation setup.

How to Train Cannabis Plants

When it comes to maximising the yield of cannabis plants in home cultivation, proper training techniques are essential. While there are various methods available, they can be broadly categorised into two types: techniques for autoflowering cultivars and techniques for photoperiod strains. In this section, we will delve into the different approaches for training these two types of cannabis plants, and how they can result in increased yields for your homegrown crop.

Techniques for Autoflowering Cultivars

Start training early: Begin training autoflowering cultivars during the vegetative stage, usually within the first few weeks from seedling. This allows for better manipulation of the plant while avoiding damage to the delicate flowering process.

Use low-stress techniques: Opt for low-stress training methods like LST (Low Stress Training) to gently bend and secure the stems, promoting multiple bud sites and an even canopy.

Avoid high-stress methods: Refrain from high-stress techniques such as topping or super cropping, as these can shock autoflowering plants and potentially reduce yield.

Minimalist approach: Keep training to a minimum as excessive stress can significantly impact the short life cycle of autoflowering cultivars.

Monitor closely: Regularly monitor the plants’ response to training to ensure they remain healthy and vigorous throughout their growth cycle.

Techniques for Photoperiod Strains

Consider topping: This involves removing the top growth of the plant to promote lateral growth. For photoperiod strains, timing is crucial, typically conducted during the vegetative stage.

Implement super cropping: Gently squeeze and bend stems to create more bud sites. This technique helps control the height and shape of the plant, suitable for photoperiod strains with longer growth cycles.

Apply LST (Low Stress Training) method: This involves tying down branches to create a more even canopy and increase light exposure. It is ideal for photoperiod strains during the early vegetative stage.

Popular Plant Training Techniques

When it comes to maximising yield in home cannabis cultivation, plant training is a crucial technique that every grower should consider. There are several popular methods of plant training that can help increase your yield and promote healthy growth. In this section, we will explore three of the most commonly used techniques: topping, super cropping, and the tie down method. Each method has its own unique benefits and can be used in combination for even greater results.


Carefully select the right time for topping, usually around the 4th or 5th node development, ensuring the plant has several sets of leaves.

Use sharp, sterilized scissors to make a clean cut just above the node, removing the newest growth shoot.

Monitor the plant after topping to ensure successful recovery, as the plant redirects energy to the lower branches, promoting bushier growth.

Consider implementing topping in conjunction with other training methods to achieve desired plant structure and maximize yield.

Super Cropping

Identify the targeted branch or stem for super cropping. Typically, young, flexible branches are chosen for this technique. Using your fingers, gently squeeze the targeted area of the branch, gradually applying pressure until you feel the inside fibers and tissues start to break. Avoid completely snapping the branch; rather, aim to cause enough damage to allow the branch to bend without breaking. After applying pressure, gently bend the branch in the desired direction, ensuring it stays intact but has a slight kink. Secure the bent branch in place if necessary, using soft ties or twist ties, to maintain the desired position. Monitor the super cropped branch closely for the next several days to ensure it heals and continues to grow in the intended direction.

Tie Down Method

  1. Prepare the plant: Identify the main stem or stems for tying down. Ensure the plant is healthy and strong enough to withstand the tie-down method.
  2. Fasten the plant: Gently bend the selected stem(s) down and secure them in place using soft plant ties or gardening clips. Be cautious not to cause damage to the stems or restrict the plant’s growth.
  3. Monitor growth: Regularly check the tied-down stems to ensure they are not being overly stressed or showing signs of damage. Make adjustments to the ties if necessary.
  4. Allow growth: As the plant continues to grow, adjust the ties to accommodate the increasing size of the stems, ensuring they remain secured but not constricted.
  5. Train lateral growth: The tie-down method helps stimulate lateral growth, leading to a bushier plant with increased potential for multiple budding sites.

Training Techniques for Different Stages of Growth

Early Stage: Utilise Low-Stress Training (LST) techniques such as bending and securing stems to encourage horizontal growth. This aids light distribution and promotes multiple budding sites.

Vegetative Stage: Employ High-Stress Training (HST) methods like topping or FIMing to encourage bushier growth. Lollipopping can also remove lower growth to focus energy on top colas.

Transition to Flowering: Continue LST and HST techniques if necessary. Scrogging or trellising can help manage canopy height and light penetration.

Flowering Stage: Support heavy colas with stakes or nets. Defoliation can improve airflow and light exposure to lower buds, enhancing overall yield.

Training Techniques for Different Grow Setups

Low-Stress Training (LST) for Indoor Setups: Utilise techniques like tying down or bending stems to create a more horizontal canopy, maximising light exposure and promoting even bud development.

Screen of Green (SCRoG) for Limited Vertical Space: Implement a screen or net to train plants to grow horizontally, optimising light distribution and increasing bud sites.

High-Stress Training (HST) for Outdoor Grows: Utilise topping, fimming, or super cropping to manage plant height and promote lateral growth, ideal for open-air cultivation.

Adapt Training to Space and Strain: Tailor training methods based on the available space, growth characteristics of the strain, and desired yield outcomes for each specific grow setup.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some low-stress training methods that can improve yields in home cannabis cultivation?

The Tie-Down Method is a gentle technique that involves bending and tying down branches to create multiple bud sites and improve light efficiency. Other low-stress training methods include bending and securing parts of the plant and manipulating timelines through techniques like topping or changing light cycles.

2. Is the Tie-Down Method suitable for all types of cannabis plants?

The Tie-Down Method is particularly beneficial for growing autoflowering strains, as they are more sensitive to stress and damage. However, it can also be used for non-autoflowering cultivars to create a more uniform canopy and improve aeration.

3. Can plant training techniques help with limited grow space?

Yes, plant training techniques like the Tie-Down Method can be especially useful for outdoor and indoor growers with limited space. By manipulating the plant’s growth and improving light efficiency, growers can maximize their yields in cramped environments.

4. What are some high-stress plant training techniques that can increase yields?

Techniques like topping, supercropping, and using light cycles to manipulate timelines can be considered high-stress methods. While they can result in increased yields, they can also cause physical stress and damage to the plant if not done properly.

5. Can plant training methods be used to create a more desirable plant shape?

Yes, by bending and securing or strategically damaging or removing parts of the plant, growers can shape their plants to have multiple top colas and a more desirable rectangular shape. This can lead to more efficient growth and improved yields.

6. Is plant training a free and easy way to increase yields in home cannabis cultivation?

Yes, plant training does not require any expensive equipment and can be done by manipulating the plant with techniques like the Tie-Down Method. With proper understanding and utilization of plant training, growers can achieve bigger and better harvests without any additional cost.


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