Training marijuana plants for bigger, better plants

Training marijuana plants indoors and outdoors

Training marijuana plants, also known as cannabis plants, can take some time but in the end can yield a great crop. Training will not only make for a better crop but also a great quality of plant. There are many different ways to grow this plant. It all depends on the time you want to put into the plant. While there is not much you need to grow, it takes a good amount of training. There are many names that these types of training go by. The most popular ones are high stress training (HST), low stress training (LST), and screen-of-green (SCROG). Any of these training styles are great ways to grow a marijuana plant. 

Training marijuana plants
The most used method to train the marijuana plant is using the SCROG mesh.


Supplies you will need for this planting project

Some of the basic things you need for training marijuana plants are: a small cannabis plant, pots with soil (if you are planting indoors), plant twist ties (specifically for LST), and screen-of-green netting or hemp netting. Optional materials you might need: grow lights or plant lights (specifically for indoor use) and a drip line system. LED’s are the brightest and best grow lights to use. Not only are they brighter but LED bulbs last longer than regular bulbs. Make sure you have really good soil for your plant. In addition you want to feed the soil with good nutrients and food. A few examples of these would be fish or blood meal, worm castings, or bat guano. Some of these items are specific depending on where you want to grow your plants. 

Espalier mesh and marijuana plant
It is recommended to use LED lights because they are very bright and help grow plants.


Low stress training (LST)

There are some benefits to low stress training for training marijuana plants. The main benefits are control over the plant and how it produces buds. With control over the plant you can make sure the plant stays at the height you want. You can also make it a specific shape. Training this way also allows the plant to produce more buds. They may also end up bigger. Low stress training is perfect for indoor planting.

Once you have your cannabis plant in its pot you need to set up your grow light if you plant inside. If not, clearly this step is not necessary. This would be the point where you would set up your screen-of-green netting or hemp netting. These nets are used to help control the height of the plant. Training marijuana plants in this manner is rather easy once you have it set up the way you want. Once the plant begins to grow you use the plant twist ties to help you move the buds in the direction that you want. To make them grow the direction you want, you bend them and use the twist ties to keep them in that particular direction. Once the bud is growing in the direction that you want, you can remove the twist tie. Training marijuana plants with the screen-of-green netting or hemp netting is a little different. Once the plant begins to grow through the top of the net, you push it back under the net. This will make buds grow lower on the plant. This makes for a better plant. It also allows for the buds to make a canopy shape. This makes certain all the buds are getting optimal sunlight. Sunlight is great for the cannabis plant, so this will make for great growth. This plant is best when it gets a steady drip of water. Setting up a drip system is a great way to ensure that the plant is getting the right amount of water. If you do not have a drip system set up, ensure you water the plant when the soil feels dry or if your plant looks as if it is drooping. 

Marijuana trellis
The advantages of training the marijuana plants are that the plants produce shoots and grow healthily.


High stress training (HST)

High stress training is a better method for when the plant is being grown outside in big crops. This is essentially damaging the plant while it is young to grow it how you want. While training marijuana plants you tear off the new growth on the tops of the plant. You can also use scissors and cut off the tops of the plants. Much like pushing them under the net, tearing off the new growth makes the plant want to grow new buds lower on the plant. This gives you some control over how the plant grows. However, you still have more control with the nets and twist ties than this method. This method is also called topping. Defoliation is another high stress method to help the plant grow bigger. You do this during the first month of growth. Training marijuana plants with these methods are, as they are named, highly stressful to the plant. But in the end, they yield bigger and better plants. 

Marijuana plant and tutoring mesh
Training marijuana plants with a high level of stress is one of the best methods to obtain great benefits.

Pests that can kill your plant

Training marijuana plants can be enjoyable once you get them set up. But be cautious of pests. Caterpillars are a very invasive species that can decimate the plant. They are drawn to it and multiply. The great thing is that they are big enough to see. Although you can see the bugs themselves, it can be hard to spot the eggs on the plant. Be sure to look for holes in your plant with brown around the edges. If you do find them on your plant the best way to get them off is to pick them off by hand. There are many ways to try and keep the pest off of your plant in a natural way. There are oils, like neem oil, that you can spray on your plant to keep them off. Putting a praying mantis in your garden would be another natural way to get rid of caterpillars.

Training marijuana plants is a labor intensive project. But in the end it can produce a beautiful, big plant. You need some materials in order to pull off this crop. You will need more materials to grow indoors than you would to grow them outside. With the use of training you mold the plant into what you want it to be. 

Trellis netting giving support to marijuana plan
You have to be careful with the pests especially with the caterpillars since they are attracted to the marijuana plant and they can spoil it.

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