More powerful grow lights can cover a wider area with more plants, but the more powerful the light, generally the further it needs to be kept from your plants. Keeping grow lights too close causes light burn, which bleaches your upper leaves and buds, and can possibly cause seeds to form (plants may “herm” as a result of stress which causes seedy buds). Light burn can also possibly affect the potency of the buds.
Vegetative and early flowering plants are harder to light burn, but it’s much easier to do it in the second half of the flowering stage when the plant is no longer making any new leaves, especially with higher wattage lights. Less Powerful Grow Lights – Grow lights like CFLs and fluorescent lights have a “sweet spot” that is only a few inches away. The further you get, the less light your plants get. These types of lights can grow cannabis plants, and may be a good choice for some growers, but with less powerful lights, it becomes even more important that you learn how to train your plants to grow short and wide with many colas. Little weed plants are the best way to take advantage of CFL grow lights! Luckily the methods on this page like topping, FIMing, SoG, ScrOG, main-lining and more will give you the tools you need to get the most from your grow lights. By using plant training techniques, it becomes possible to harvest ounces of bud even from relatively small grow lights.
In the diagram below, you can see that the natural plant (left – completely untrained) has less parts of the plant in the area with the best light level. As a result, this plant only has one main cola, and the rest of the colas are much smaller because they are further from the grow lights. Leaves in the “Sweet Spot” of Your Indoor Grow Light Make the Most Energy, Producing Faster Growth and Bigger Buds. Why settle with just one big cola when you could have many big colas? The trained plant (right – which has been topped and trained with LST) has many colas that are directly in the sweet spot. In fact, almost the whole plant is getting bathed in just the right amount of light from the grow lights. This means the plant has many big colas and none of them are getting burned by the lights. Generally, the top of the grow light sweet spot is where the biggest buds form. Cannabis plants love a lot of light, much more than your average house plant. As long as you stay away from the “too bright” zone for your particular indoor grow light (which can cause light burn, even if air is cool), you want to get as many colas in the top of the sweet spot as possible. Colas in the Top of the Sweet Spot Grow Biggest, So Maximize Yields by Training Cannabis Plants To Grow Many Colas On the Same Level! Each type of grow light has a sweet spot, and whenever grow lights are positioned above the plants, there are likely benefits to training your cannabis plants to grow short and wide. By having more of your plant at the best distance from your grow light, your cannabis leaves and buds will be exposed to more light and give your plant more energy to grow. When your grow lights are positioned above your cannabis plants…. Plants with a flat canopy will produce more energy than tall & thin plants. As an indoor cannabis grower, you don’t have to just accept the way cannabis grows naturally. You actually have a lot of control over how your cannabis plants grow. So train your plants to efficiently fill up your grow space, giving you the best yields possible with your grow lights. This article on plant training shares several ways to train your plant to achieve this shape! Now that you have mastered the art of cannabis plant training, what do you want to learn how to improve next? Introduction to Low Stress Training (LST) Low Stress Training or LST is like bonsai for cannabis plants.
It’s the practice of gently bending stems and tying them in place to drastically change the shape of the plant. This is done to create multiple bud sites, even out the canopy, and overall help you use light more efficiently. Using LST can increase marijuana yields without changing your setup, and it's also surprisingly fun!
Example: All this bud is growing on a single 18" tall weed plant in someone's homemade grow box. LST forced the plant to stay short and grow multiple colas. Low stress training can be used to grow marijuana plants in any size or shape.