In addition to distance between the source and the plant, the kind of light being used also holds influence over the amount your crop will stretch. Orange and red light encourages stretching and results in thinner, taller stems. Conversely, blue light stimulates thicker stem growth and a shorter height therein. When a strain is ready to enter the vegetative stage and undergo its most drastic period of stretching, metal halide lamps can be used to discourage extra-long stems.
Crops that are not spaced far away enough from one another are likely to stretch as a result of competition for resources. Due to extreme proximity, plants will fight each other to reach the light, forcing growth throughout the crop.
Flowering stretch, you guessed it, takes place when you switch your plants over from veg to bloom. This is a completely normal response as your plants prepare themselves to support the weight of their buds.
There are several reasons why plants stretch, one of which has to do with the strains themselves. Genetics plays a pivotal role in determining the eventual height of sativas, indicas and hybrids. Whereas most indica strains are bred to grow shorter and bushier, sativas often experience significant stretching, sometimes growing six feet or higher in some breeds.
Stretching is a natural growth-spurt for cannabis plants, but is known to adversely affect the outcome of a crop. We delve into what causes stretching in the first place and how to prevent it from taking over your grow room.
There are numerous variables that can lead to plants stretching beyond what is normally expected from the strain. Significant environmental stressors resulting from transplant may cause the plant to go into shock. This will then trigger a reaction, causing it to stretch. Cannabis plants that are not properly cultivated under decent conditions or aren’t receiving satisfactory nutrition will respond in a number of adverse forms, including stretching.
Topping is a form of manual intervention on cannabis to affect its yield, shape or size. In essence, topping is the process of cutting of a new, actively growing node from your plant in order to reduce its size and create a “v” shape that will then form two colas. Topping can be an effective measure for combating stretching, but it’s important not to top once the flowering stage begins.
Unfortunately, stretching is a common perpetrator of low yields and lanky plants, resulting in teetering, physically unstable crops. Despite the threat it poses, stretching can be controlled by first examining the factors influencing its growth, then creating protocol to sidestep these issues. Controlling cannabis stretching requires an understanding of how plants interact with both their internal and external environments.
In response to this issue, be sure to provide enough light to quell stem growth. At the same time, you don’t want to position your lights too close to your plants, as this will also result in overstretched stems and in some cases, lost yield.
Cannabis stretching is a growth spurt experienced in the vegetative phase. Here is how to control it.