Basically, you’re training the plant to grow into the shape you desire, further creating your own cannabis bonsai tree. Always bend stems slowly and take care not to hurt you plant. You don’t want to snap off any of the branches, so never try to bend stiff branches; they’ll just break off.
These two plants produced nearly a pound and a half under a 600W grow light due to LST and other plant training methods
(view the full grow journal on this harvest)
LST In Flowering Stage
It is NOT recommended that you start LST while your marijuana plants are flowering. Proper LST must begin when the plant is in the vegetative stage, because by the time you get fully into the flowering stage, the majority of the plant structure has already been formed.
You can really get creative about this!
Be Gentle – Always bend very slowly and carefully. You can always bend more, but you can’t undo a broken stem
The little growth tips nestled in the V of each fan leaf will become your new colas, so be careful not to injure them!
Bending technique – try to bend only the flexible parts of stems, which are located near the tips
How Does Low Stress Training Work?
Low Stress Training is like bonsai for cannabis plants. Plants are trained to grow flat and wide, which forces them to produce many big buds instead of just one or two. As a result, LST gives you bigger yields without changing your setup!
Many cannabis growers pinch or cut off the tops of their plants before commencing low-stress training work. This is not strictly necessary but can be useful as doing so can break the apical dominance of the marijuana plant, dividing the main cola, and creating a more symmetrical base of the plant for easier training.
LST causes so little stress that it can, in principle, be used throughout the culture. You get the most out of low stress training by starting if your cannabis plant is just a seedling. LST more or less stops when a cannabis plant no longer stretches, about halfway through flowering. After this, you can still bend branches in different directions for light penetration, for example, but this will not result in new side branches etc.
LST works great throughout the cycle but will have a lot less effect at this stage than at the beginning. When a cannabis plant switches to the flowering stage, it can double in height within just the first few weeks. This is known as the flowering stretch. However, all that new growth needs to be controlled so you can maintain the amazing canopy you’ve been working on throughout the plant’s life!
As cannabis plants get older, their leaves become increasingly thick and bushy and resemble a Christmas tree with a pyramid shape, which is wider at the bottom and narrow at the top. Their inner node stacking may be pleasingly tight, but this also causes much-needed light from reaching the bottom of the canopy. The solution is low stress training and we’ll take you through how to do it in this step by step guide.
Low stress training (LST) is a method used by growers to increase their yields and manipulate the plants’ overall size and shape. It derives from the ancient practice of espalier; cultivating or pruning a plant to grow up and across a trellis or other type of flat 2D structure.
If you are an experienced cannabis grower, you may wish to combine low stress training with the SCROG method of cultivation. This involves maximizing the amount of light exposure by training young cannabis plants to grow with the help of SCROG nets -(you can also use chicken wire) and by focusing high-intensity discharge lamps on the crops.
A sea of equally large peaks will emerge during flowering. Once your cannabis plants start to flower, they will grow incredibly quickly. At this stage, pruning the lower branches that will never have any chance of reaching or getting any light is a good idea, it will encourage the plant to be more productive up top where it matters rather than wasting energy on stuff that will not actually affect the final yield of your plant. It also will allow better ventilation for your canopy. Take off doing the bottom two or three leaving the leaves on, The leaves get pruned a little later one the flowers are bursting.
Don’t worry about the initially mangled looking appearance of your plants when you first tie them. After a week or so, they will grow up and look great again.
Fig trees were trained in this way to grow along walls in ancient Egypt and similar methods have been used in various types of horticulture for centuries. In cannabis circles, however, low stress training is mainly used for growing weed indoors, however, many outdoor growers also adapt methods of low-stress training.
Growing a female strain or an autoflower? Increase your yield with Low Stress Training (LST)! Curious how and when to apply LST? Check it out!