LST involves gently bending and tying strategic branches and stems. The technique decreases the risk of over-stressing the plant, allowing it to adjust to the training measures and adapt more rapidly. For those unwilling to try or unfamiliar with high-stress training techniques, low-stress training is a low-risk practice to which plants generally respond favorably.
LST can be initiated when the plant’s stem and shoots become long enough to be tied down. Make sure you use stretchy plant tape, pipe cleaners, or rubber-coated wire as they are more gentle on shoots and stems. Regular wire or string should be avoided as it may cut into the stems as they grow, causing damage.
How is low-stress training performed on cannabis plants?
The ScrOG low-stress method encourages horizontal growth as it forces plants to grow through a suspended screen. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
LST is usually carried out during the vegetative phase while the stem and shoots are still pliable. The cannabis plant begins to grow in a circular pattern rather than straight up. When the plant enters its flowering stage, healthy colas will sprout upwards from the sideways-growing plant.
Cannabis plants tend to grow into a formation known as apical dominance, where the plant is bushier at the bottom and narrows to a single elongated cola at the apex. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
3. Tie the other end of the garden tie to the base of the stalk , pulling it up slightly, like in the picture below.
5. Tie the other end of the garden tie between the 3rd and 4th nodes of the seedling, and pull it down until it is roughly sideways, like in the picture below.
BudTrainer tip #2: if you break any branches while doing this, don’t worry – we’ve broken countless branches in the past, and we assure you that your plants will recover in no time. Just keep some grafting tape or duct tape with you in case you have to glue a branch back together. It works 90% of the time and is as simple as the diagram below ( you don’t even need the pencil – just tape will do).
DISCLAIMER: Here at BudTrainer we have trained countless plants and broken more branches than we can count. We’ve also researched everything there is to be researched on the topic, and even got a college degree in commercial cannabis production to learn a bit more. To help you, we have gathered all of our knowledge and put it together in a way that is clear for you to understand, and easy for you to apply.
BudTrainer tip #1: do not use thin strings or wires to tie your plants since they will cut through the epidermis (the outer skin), which will limit the ability of your plants to transport sugars and thus to grow. Instead, use rubber-covered ties that are soft and won’t hurt your plants, like the extra thin and soft
BudTrainer tip #5: We personally don’t like to defoliate like crazy , but we understand that some people do. When in doubt, just remember that you can always cut another leaf or branch , but you can never put them back. However, if you are having pest issues, then it is important to remove all affected leaves in order to help reduce the spread.
Low-Stress Trained (LST) cannabis plant during week 8 of flower