31 Oct Low Stress Training Cannabis Plants
If left in their natural environment, cannabis plants would grow straight toward their light source, which leaves many lower branches shaded by the upper ones. This reduces the light that the lower branches receive and results in smaller underdeveloped buds on these branches. This tendency to grow straight up is called apical dominance.
With low Stress Training the Cannabis plant is bent over with either LST clips or tied down with string to prevent the plant from reverting to its normal tendency. If you choose to tie the plant down, it is recommended that you use rubber coated garden wire or soft garden cord to prevent cutting into the plant and damaging it. LST clips come in a variety of styles. I personally prefer the 120 degree angle to the 90 degree angle as I have less chance breaking the stem at the bend. It is very important to gently bed and stretch the stem before trying to place it in the clip.
Once you have placed the clips on the stems or tied the limbs down, your side branches are now exposed to the direct light from above. This allows for significant growth and the side blooms will grow larger as a result. Initially it will look like you are stressing the plant, but it takes less than 24 hours, and the stems will be growing back toward the light. You will find that you may need to place more clips or ties within days of doing the first ones. I generally start low stress training on the plants when they are about 12″ tall, so that the main stem is still flexible and bends easily. If you choose to tie down your plant, you may need to make use of bamboo poles or drill holes in your containers. Another very useful tool for LST is trellis netting. As the plant continues to grow you can spread the branches out under a net, and as the try to grow upward spread them again over to the next square in the net. If you accidentally split a stem or branch you can use duct tape to repair the split. The main benefit of LST is larger cannabis yield.
I am adding pictures of my most recent LST on my indoor grow.