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Growing Gardens Low Stress Training (LST)

Low Stress Training (LST)

Low Stress Training (LST)

A highly successful way of training your marijuana plants to grow shorter, bushier and produce a higher yield is known as LST. LST stands for Low Stress Training and is thought to be a better alternative to topping, FIM'ing, or supercropping.

Many growers are hesitant to actually cut parts of their perfectly healthy plants off, and this is fine, because topping, FIM’ing and super cropping are all high-stress methods of training. Low Stress Training does not slow down growth rate, and you don’t lose your main cola, as with topping.

To LST a marijuana plant, the best time to do it is when it has grown between 3 and 5 sets of nodes, although it can be done at any time (even during flowering) depending on how thick the stem is. The process is done by bending the top of the plant down, between 90 and 180 degrees (without snapping the inner cell walls) and tying it down so that it remains in that shape. You can do this either with metal hooks or drill holes in your medium and tie it to that. You will also want a counter tie at the base of the stem, tied to the medium or something similar. This creates much more light exposure for the lower branches and future bud sites. It also causes the next tallest colas to be “tricked” into thinking that they are the top cola.

Unlike topping/FIM’ing, there is no limit to how many times you can LST a plant. Once you tie down the top cola, all the shoots that are now pointing sideways will turn upright, reaching for the light (usually between 8 and 12 hours) and thus maximizing your yield. The top that you tied down will also keep growing, and you can keep training it as it grows, to corkscrew around the medium, go in an “S” shape, or nearly an shape that fits your specific needs/desires. Since this is a low stress technique, that plant hardly notices and doesn’t have to spend crucial energy repairing damage done by cutting away tops.

You should leave the ties/stakes in place, although the plant will likely stay true to form after 7 - 14 days of being tied down. Using this method, you will be maximizing your yield, keeping your plant(s) short and bushy, and not creating undue stress for these precious ladies.

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CannaConnoisseur | Apr 22, 2011
 
This is an often underrated/overlooked method of training, which has come to be my preferred way of training cannabis. It creates much large buds (namely on the lower bud sites) and you can even LST the top of a flowering plant to create more light reaching the lower branches. The results are amazing and simply speak for themselves. Even if you're steadfastly hooked on topping, you should give this method a try at least once.
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sbsdewb | Apr 23, 2011
 
I have to say I prefer the old fashion topping. I find it simple easy and works wonders every single time.
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lindzzz | Apr 24, 2011
 
This is definitely a good method for people who don't want to actually snap their plant. I have to admit that thee idea of snapping one freaks me out a little. Isn't that a method you are using with one of your plants canna?
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CannaConnoisseur | Apr 24, 2011
 
Yeah I topped one of the Chem-4 ladies and LST'd the other one and also the Purple Urkle. Although I will also probably LST the one that I topped.
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SkillitHits247 | Apr 25, 2011
 
Another awesome read! This is what I want to try to do with the Screen of Green method. The only method I have been using to try to keep my plants short is bending the tallest branch to create an elbow in the branch which the plant will act like the branch was cut but will eventually gain strength in the branch; but my plants seem to keep getting taller.
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CannaConnoisseur | Apr 25, 2011
 
I also find that vegetating under 24 hours of light keeps them having tightly spaced internodes, thus creating a shorter plant. Although I don't have any height issues when I LST. I'll post some better pics of my LST'd plants tonight for you SkillitHits if you want.
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SkillitHits247 | Apr 27, 2011
 
Thanks, CannaConnoisseur, that would be greatly appreciated; at your convenience... I just transferred six clones and that will be arranged where I can keep them on 24hr period then once grown a couple of inches I will begin the LST method the the babies. Gonna be fun to try and see results! (Beginner grower here)
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i have an arei plant(low grade marijuana plant).and u know what....i just might try that technique on it
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| Jun 22, 2011
 
this looks like an interesting technique to try . i will be sure to try this in the near furture. Has anybody done this and had a good experience.
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CannaConnoisseur | Jun 30, 2011
 
I do this on almost ll my plants gbennett1 and I've even done experiments with the same strain in the same medium with everything the same, except I'll top one and LST the other and the LST'd one always gives me a higher yield. I also have recently begun to combine the two training methods by topping first and then LST'ing.
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Guest | Aug 15, 2011
 
I've done this for years outside. Between tying them down and pinching them so they split you can come up with a real bushy bonsaid plant. Later on if your plant starts to get too tall, you can tie weights to the branches which will also bend them over. Which ever method you use, you end up getting the equivilant of a lot of top colas. TC
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Guest | Aug 29, 2011
 
i've been low stress training my grape ape and just getting to totally control the way it grows is great. you can also do the jungle of green method which is going in a circular motion with stem around the pot.
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lindzzz | Sep 13, 2011
 
I haven't heard of the jungle of green method, but it seems like a great way to maximize a shorter area of space.
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Guest | Sep 18, 2011
 
Gotta love the Quick flower time of the Grape ape!!!!! and LST does work on the plants that love to stretch out and get to tall...
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Guest | Nov 4, 2011
 
Anyone ever think of harvesting cannabis like any other crop?.? My name's Herb. No kidding. And I harvest from mid Oct until Feb. each plant. This is done by harvesting only the ripe, buds. I inspect them every couple of days, then when they are Clowdy turning Amber, I harvest only those ripe tops, trim and hang them to dry using paper clips. By harvesting the ripe buds you increase your yield. Also by spreading the branches, tying them down, yield is increased.
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Guest | Feb 11, 2012
 
LST-ing flat out works...everytime...I never move my lites...have 4 to 5 plants per 1000w hps ...all the buds get the same amt if lite...and all are competing for the biggest/bestes cola...great proccess...great artical, thanks
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Guest | Feb 23, 2013
 
ok