Low-stress Training Vs High-stress Training Of Cannabis Plants
Cannabis growers are always looking for the best and most efficient ways to grow their plants. One of the significant aspects that can affect plant growth is training. Training a cannabis plant means manipulating its shape or direction, which usually involves damaging or bending it somehow. There are two methods commonly used to train cannabis plants: low-stress training (LST) and high-stress training (HST).
What is the Low-Stress Technique (LST)?
LST involves bending lower growing branches down and tying them to a support structure. This forces the plant to grow more side branches along the horizontal plane, resulting in a bushy plant shape.
Bending plants down also reduces light exposure for lower parts of the plant and encourages new growth at the top, increasing overall yield. This method is called low stress because of the minimal damage to plant tissue and preventing shock from being moved manually.
Applying this technique can be helpful when a grower is trying to control the height, shape, or size of his plants. Additionally, it can also keep your plants shorter and bushier if you have an issue with tall branches that get in the way of other plants.
You can apply Low-stress training to all stages of growth and before flowering.
What is the High-Stress Technique (HST)?
In contrast to the low-stress technique, HST involves directly damaging, breaking, or removing plant tissue. By doing so, the plant will respond by making new growth in response to the damage, resulting in a much more bushy and leafy plant.
The benefit of using HST is that it increases overall yield by forcing more growth into one area where you want it. The downside of this method is that you risk stunting your plants or damaging them if you do not apply them correctly.
This method can be applied to all stages of growth but will only work well in young plants before they have set their branches because older plants are already growing in a particular direction that cannot be easily manipulated.
So, which is better?
Many growers tend to choose HST over LST because it requires less time. It also gives the grower more control and can get you the shape or height you are looking for. The only disadvantage is that it can stress your plant if overdone.
Topping is a form of HST. It involves cutting the main top and top two new shoots off a plant, effectively damaging the apical meristem, which causes lateral growth to start at the other nodes. This method results in more branches along the horizontal plane and a bushier shape overall.
Low-stress training (LST) is a great way to train your cannabis plant early on in its life cycle and keep it short and bushy for your indoor grow space. However, if you need to decrease the height or increase yields later on in flowering, high-stress training may be a better option.
Note that you can use a combination of both techniques for the best results.
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