What is LST?
LST is one of the cultivation techniques most used by growers around the world. It consists of working the cannabis plant in the growth phase in order to stimulate its horizontal growth.
This consists of taking the tip of the cannabis plant and tying it down, generating a double in the central stem that places it horizontally to the pot. Also, this stretch is applied to the side arms so that they grow evenly. This technique allows breeders to have plants with stronger growth and flowering because they take better advantage of the light and the growing space.
How to perform LST on marijuana plants
Some farmers like to prune the tip of the plant to avoid apical dominance or upward growth. The above causes multiple arms to grow and at the tip, usually two tails grow that help control the horizontal growth of the marijuana plant.
In plants that are born from feminized cannabis seeds, it can be done from the third or 4th node with more LST pruning. By doing this, you ensure that the plant has enough side arms to harvest massive yields.
It should be noted that it is necessary to take the tip of the plant and bend it down carefully. In this process, you must be careful not to break the main stem of the plant. The objective is to leave the main stem as horizontal as possible with respect to the pot. With this, the cannabis plant begins to distribute its growth hormones in a more homogeneous way and enhances the growth of the lateral arms. If your cannabis plant suffers a break in the central stem, do not worry because you can make a splint with dry branches and some ties to maintain the plant. After 2 to 3 weeks of applying this repair technique, you will notice that your marijuana plant has developed a large knot in the area affected by the break.
Thirdly, it is necessary to emphasize that LST techniques can be applied to plants that are born from 99% feminized and high-quality seeds such as Blimburn Seeds genetics. We tell you this because autoflowering varieties generally do not tolerate the stress of LST, stalling their growth and becoming dwarfed.
Now, it should be noted that LST can be done for Fast Blooming strains. However, caution must be exercised when this is applied since it needs to be done quickly and follow the rhythm of the cannabis plant. We say that because this type of plant has a faster growth and flowering than feminized varieties, but is slower than an autoflowering one and can be affected by stress. Hence, we recommend doing LST without applying a lot of stress to the marijuana plant.
After 2 weeks of bending the central trunk of the plant, you will see how the lateral arms of the plant begin to extend, reaching a good size. Due to that, we advise you to tie these sidearms, leaving them all of a similar height in order to avoid some being higher than others, disordering the plant. Stretching the lateral branches to the same height, you promote a homogeneous growth of the ganja plant. This allows it to better receive light, promoting more explosive growth and a much more powerful flowering.
Once the plants are fully developed, you should look at the tails and you can apply defoliation in the lower part of the branches to remove those small leaves that did not reach a decent size and that only make the plant expend energy.
After that and the beginning of flowering, it is necessary to ensure that its branches have sufficient ventilation between them to avoid problems such as mold or humidity. In addition, this also allows the light to better penetrate the plant, promoting the development of its buds and production of massive yields.
As the last point, we are going to answer the question of many growers. Can Low-Stress Training be done in flowering? The answer is yes, but you must exercise caution. To perform LST at this stage, you should do it in the first two weeks of flowering. This allows the plant to have more energy when developing the first pistils and also allows the light to penetrate the cannabis plant in a better way, achieving bigger and heavier buds. If you stress in later weeks, it does not make much sense because the plant has already developed in flowering and it can only be stressed. Like all cultivation techniques, Low-Stress Training can have pros and cons. Now, we will tell you the main pros and cons of LST.
Pros of LST
1 – This cultivation technique allows the plants to receive light in a better way. This happens because when growing more horizontally, the lateral branches grow as if they were authentically central. So, for every gardener, it is beneficial because it maximizes the performance of lighting in their cultivation. On the other hand, if you grow outdoors, your plants will benefit doubly from the sunlight they receive.
2 – Increase the weight of your crops. This technique is perfect if you love heavy harvests delivered by plants that are born from feminized cannabis seeds. The above, because the middle and lower branches bloom with all the energy of the main ones. In addition, they do not suffer from the energy drain as in a normal crop because the plants grow more compact.
3 – It should be noted that the risk when doing LST is lower than other cultivation techniques such as SCROG. So, you can apply LST safely, always being careful not to break the central stem because the whole process depends on this area of your marijuana plant.
4 – Low-Stress Training is an easy way to grow crops. For this reason, it can be done by beginner to advanced farmers. Here, we recommend that you use easy-to-grow genetics if you are going to use this technique. Some of the easiest strains to grow with LST are Zombie Death Fuck, Sour Diesel, and Critical Daddy. You can find them in marijuana seed format for sale at Blimburn Seeds Bank.
Cons of LST
1 – It requires time and effort because when bending the central stem of the plant, you have to pay attention to the lateral branches, both in growth and in flowering.
2 – It is better to use this technique in medium or small gardens. If you have a very large garden, you may never finish the LST of your plants. This happens because of the work and time required.
3 – It is not recommended for impatient breeders because you must know how to wait for the lateral arms of the plant to acquire enough strength to grow and then flourish. Therefore, if you want something as quickly as possible, it is best for your plant to develop apically.
Do you want to learn more about LST?
Here, we leave you some quick tips so that you can do the best Low Stress Training for your weed plants.
1- To tie the plant and do the stretching, we do not recommend using metal wires because these can cause damage to the plant, breaking the central stem or the side branches. It is better if you use plastic-coated wires because they do not harm the plant and promote better stretching.
2- You can make holes in the edges of the pot carefully and at a reasonable distance. The distance between the holes is essential since these will help determine the distance between the tails that are filled with flowers and also contribute to the optimal development of the marijuana plant.
3- To support the stretched branches, it is possible to use stakes with which the branches can be affirmed. The stakes can be a maximum of 30cm long to ensure that the branch is firm and has a certain depth in the substrate. If the branch has support, it does not waste energy trying to support itself. That is why it grows and blooms with more force. This causes the tails to be filled with flowers from top to the bottom.
4- It is possible to combine the LST with techniques like SCROG, resulting in great growth and in flowering, multiplying their harvests. The SCROG, when combined with Low-Stress Training, enhances the plants and reduces vertical growth, promoting a more vertical development.
Three great strains for Low-Stress training
If you are looking for some suitable choices to carry out Low Stress Training, we recommend these 4 strains. Why do we recommend these feminized cannabis seeds? Because these are the best beginner seeds for novice and expert gardeners.
Zombie Death Fuck
This is a mostly sativa strain that comes from the cross between Girl Scout Cookies x OG Kush L.A. When growing, it is large in size, measuring up to 2m outdoors. Despite that, it is a recreational marijuana strain that is easy for novice growers to cultivate. Its lateral arms are long and strong, perfect for Low Stress Training.
Indoors, Zombie Death Fuck adapts very well to small spaces and its hybrid-sativa phenotype allows it to be manipulated in a great way, tolerating the stress of stretching and pruning. In the following images, you can see this strain in action.
As explained in the first part of this article, cannabis plants can be pruned, cutting their main tip, before starting Low Stress Training in order to grow a horizontal plant and avoid apical dominance.
Also, we have already pointed out that it is possible to combine LST with other cultivation techniques such as SCROG. Due to its ease of cultivation, Zombie Death Fuck can be stretched and also grown under a scrog mesh.
By combining these two cultivation techniques, more powerful growth and heavy yields are promoted. In the image, you can see how the gardener maximizes the growing space as well as the lighting, allowing the plant to reach its maximum performance point.
Clearly you can see how the plant adapted to the LST and the pruning that was carried. The growth of both arms after pruning is noticeable. This is why we recommend Critical Daddy to novice growers because it is easy to grow anywhere and if you don’t have a large space, this weed plant is a great fit.
This cross of Critical Mass x Granddaddy Purple delivers high-quality feminized seeds. In addition, the specimens of this strain produce massive yields of 500gr – 600plant outdoors and 400gr / m2 indoors.
In the previous points, we talked about the uniformity of the plant and how important this is. In this image, we can see how Critical Daddy Purple, thanks to the LST technique, grew up with fairly uniform arms of a good size.
This pic corresponds to a Sour Diesel monoculture in its 15th week of flowering. It is necessary to highlight how this variety, mostly sativa, developed very well indoors, making the most of all the growing space.
Some colas stretched almost touching the led lighting panel. This is what we mean when we talk about apical dominance, that is, the vertical growth that plants naturally have and that can be controlled with LST.
We have already commented that sativa strains are ideal for LST due to their phenotypes that tend to be large and spaced out. With Sour Diesel, we can definitely appreciate these qualities.
This marijuana plant stretches in a great way and supports Low Stress Training. In addition, being covered with a SCROG mesh, it tends to occupy every space. That shows the strength of this variety, its great adaptability, and how easy it is to grow.
Do not forget to visit our blog where you can find details of the different cultivation techniques as well as of each of the varieties of Blimburn Seeds Bank. See you on the next blog – don’t miss it!