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How to Avoid Mistakes When Training Cannabis Plants

Avoid problems when training cannabis plants

Plant training effectively increases the number of bud sites and the size of harvested cannabis. When properly trained, cannabis thrives. Cannabis may be trained to operate better in different indoor and outdoor environments.

Cannabis is, without a shadow of a doubt, a resilient plant. However, it is not so resilient that it can bounce back quickly from misdirected zeal. In most cases, plants will bounce back; however, they may be stunted, or their growth period may be prolonged. Cannabis can bounce back from even the harshest scrutiny without a set amount of time passing. But no one wants to wait extra weeks for subpar flowers.

If you want to attain the desired results within the time limit, you need to avoid these common blunders in cannabis plant training.

Not training

Cannabis plants must be trained for optimal output unless grown in a lush environment. Both high-stress and low-stress training methods may achieve this goal. You can avoid training only if cannabis plants are grown in a natural setting.

You may let cannabis plants develop and flower independently if you want. However, in retrospect, everyone who is careless in that regard quickly comes to regret it. Up to 40 percent more buds may be harvested from a trained cannabis plant than from an untrained one. Indoor cultivation places the onus of training squarely in the hands of the individual.

Avoiding scrogging fouls

The Screen of Green training method installs a metal or plastic screen over the vegetation. The new growth forms a flat, uniform layer subjected to the same light intensity level throughout. Emerging colas are spaced uniformly throughout the blooming stage to maximize exposure to light and ventilation. Only pick this strategy if you have the spare time to spend with your plants since it might be labor-intensive.

However, diseases are more likely to spread if you top your plants too soon or put the screen near the growth material. Plants need enough airflow both at the surface of the growth media and below the canopy.

The method is rendered useless if the screen is not used enough. The first two weeks of blooming are crucial for keeping all development at screen level. It is essential to have a solid understanding of how plants react to topping. If a screen is only put over plants without further adjustments being made, then all that exists is a growing area with an unnecessary barrier.

Accidentally breaking the main stem

Cannabis training techniques are fraught with potential disasters, and one of the worst is mistakenly severing the main stem. Usually, this happens when the person is bending the plant in the incorrect area or when the branches are becoming older and more firm. Stems may be bent more efficiently when the plant is young or working with recent growth.

Be extremely cautious and make sure you are picking flexible places before committing to anything, but if you shatter a stem, you can wrap it up, and the plants will mend in a few weeks.

Not topping on time

Successful topping requires intervention within a narrow window of the growth cycle. Growing difficulties may be avoided by not reaching for the pruners until after a critical development period instead of topping young seedlings, which can impede their development.

Cannabis plants are ready to be topped after establishing 3-5 nodes. Specimens are pliable because they have not yet found a rigid framework. As a result of your efforts, at least two significant stems will develop, increasing your yield and leading to denser, more consistent growth.

However, if you’re off by even a few weeks, your plants will begin to acquire the characteristic “Christmas tree” shape, in which a single massive cola grows in the center. If you want to top now, you can do so with a fair chance of messing up your yields, but if you wait much longer, the risk becomes unacceptable. There is no time to try topping a plant than when it is in full bloom. Instead of putting energy into growing big, resinous buds, your plants will be busy healing from the snip.

Applying HST Methods Too Late in the Flowering Process

High Stress Training methods are often only used during the vegetative stage. Your plants’ branches are less inflexible now, making them more amenable to being squeezed and reshaped in techniques like super cropping. Plants are given plenty of time to recuperate and adopt the new growth pattern after defoliation and fimming before they bloom. To do these tasks when the plant is in bloom is to hinder bud development, cause unnecessary stress, and increase the likelihood of broken branches. Therefore, you must be careful when tying down plants during flowering.

The blooming stage is the only time HST methods like defoliation are used, and even then, it’s often used to remove any remaining dead or dying branches before the buds form. In addition, these techniques are often used by the industry’s most seasoned cultivators.

Mainlining problems

A plant is topped many times, and its branches are undershucked so that only the main colas develop to achieve mainlining. Light and air circulation are improved by strategically tying the stems in place.

One prevalent flaw in mainlining cannabis is excessive topping, first too early and subsequently too often. If you prune too soon, the plants will take longer to recuperate, and the new growth will be crowded and susceptible to disease. Then, if you want 16 colas or more, you should wait until your branches have grown to a reasonable length before topping them again. If you continually cut off the tips of your plant’s new growth, your plant will develop slowly and be poorly constructed.

If you want your plant to stay evenly distributed, wait to top it again until it has the same number of nodes as your previous topping. Let two nodes develop before the next top after the first top, three before the next, and four before the following top. Thus, plants won’t have to compete for nutrients and water and will continue to thrive at each topping.


Defoliation may improve crop yields by removing just certain leaves from a plant at strategic times throughout its development. Vegetation occurs when plants are exposed to optimal light levels, promoting their overall development. Then, during the early budding stage, cutting down on leaves encourages the development of the plant’s floral parts.

When defoliating, be cautious only to remove the appropriate kind of leaves. Never take off sugar leaves; fan leaves. Sugar leaves are an integral element of the bud structure, while fan leaves are the vast leaves that grow at the end of a branch. If you choose the incorrect leaves to remove, you’ll go two steps back instead of one.

Too much pruning cannabis results in a protracted period of growth inactivity, so newcomers should proceed cautiously before becoming more daring as they gain experience. If given enough time, cannabis can bounce back from complete stripping and even force new growth through the skeletons of previously stripped trees and shrubs. However, it is time-consuming; thus, do not lose hope when things seem excessive.

To prevent shock to the plant, wait until it is fully vegetating before attempting to remove any leaves. Plants that are too young will suffer harm instead of growth. Leave the fan leaf attached as a general rule if the new development does not seem strong enough to survive without it. Removing fan leaves before the emerging branch is fully developed causes the plant to mistake the branch for failure, causing it to limit its growth in order to focus its resources on the areas closest to the light source. Consequently, a possible location for blossoming is lost.

Minimizing plant size

Keeping your cannabis plants too little is another specific training (and growth) faux pas. Since a plant with a weak trunk can’t sustain many blossoms, this creates a problem. For optimal plant density, wait until the plant is at least three weeks old before commencing the blooming cycle. Some growers like to wait as long as six weeks.

Cannabis plant training

The plants would benefit the most from being placed on a 12/12 light cycle right now. Growth inhibition is expected if the light cycle is initiated before the plant has reached the four-week mark.

Plants growing too big

However, if harvest is your primary concern, plant size might become a problem if you let it get too large. If plants are allowed to expand unchecked and get too big for their grow area during vegetation, resources will be squandered, and the space will become too congested. You must know when to stop last training.

Overcrowding increases the risk of problems including light burn, mildew, bud rot, and others, all of which may slow or stop bud growth. Plants typically double in height during blooming, so halfway through the intended growth period is a good time to switch to the 12/12 lighting cycle.

Most cannabis training techniques are not only helpful but also within reach of producers of varying experience levels. Using stress-training weed is an effective and rapid method for enhancing plant structure and productivity.

Before you pinch branches and snip off fan leaves, however, you may want to ask yourself a few questions. Will you be able to have your cars fixed in time? Can you expect your sickly plant to recover? Save your HST training for the plants you want to grow in the best circumstances possible. Applying supplemental nutrients after training can ensure that your plants have all they need to recover quickly and flourish.

Picture of Janice Bernstein

Janice Bernstein

Janice has been on the cannabis scene for many years now, though she tends to keep to herself and might fly under the radar for many, even those well-versed in cannabis growing. Her writings on different methods of watering cannabis helped bring the use of reverse osmosis water to the forefront of cannabis gardening. About this Author

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