The purpose of LST is to encourage the plant to flatten at the canopy, thus providing more even access to light, and multiple thriving bud sites. This constriction allows sugars and the growth hormone auxin to distribute more evenly . By flattening out the canopy, the entire plant also receives more light, promoting the growth of more buds and larger yields.
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
It’s a good idea to begin low-stress training as soon as the plant is in the vegetative state and has established several robust nodes . When the shoots and main stem reach a length where they can be bent and fixed, LST can be easily carried out and will yield the best results. Waiting until later in the vegetative or flowering cycle can become problematic as the stems and shoots can become too rigid to bend.
How is low-stress training performed on cannabis plants?
Low-stress training enables growers to fully exploit the available space and light by manipulating the growth pattern of plants. 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. This natural formation tends to result in a single dominant bud at the top of the plant, which monopolizes nutrients and hormones, leaving smaller buds on the lateral branches.
To carry out LST, growers simply tie plants down when they are young, forcing them to grow outwards instead of upwards. It can be considered a form of plant trellising.
Low-stress training, or LST, is a method of training plants, usually cannabis, to grow horizontally, rather than vertically. Horizontal growth can allow for stronger overall growth, and when done correctly, allows you to maximize your growing area and yields.
Maximum Yield Explains Low Stress Training (LST)
Typing plants down using the LST method ensures better light dispersion across the entire plant for improved health and more efficient use of the grow lights. Tying down can be done to the edge of the containers or grow beds, to a surrounding wall, or even to the irrigation system if necessary.
Low-stress training begins when plants are young and more flexible. Simply bend them to the side, and then tie them down using anything from twine to plastic zip-ties. It's important not to damage the stem in any way, as this can lead to unhappy plants.