Keep grow lights as close as possible – Make sure your grow light is as close as possible without stressing plants. “Top” your plants – Cut off the top tip of the plant when it’s just a few weeks old. This technique is known as “topping” and causes plants to grow bushy and spread out as opposed to tall like a Christmas tree. Plant training – Learn how to get any plant to stay the exact height and shape you want via “plant training” techniques.
Even if your plants are already too big, this can help. Especially techniques such as LST (low stress training) and supercropping (extreme bending) can come in handy if you need to change your overall plant shape or reduce the height. Don’t wait too long to initiate flowering – This doesn’t apply to auto-flowering strains, but if you’re growing a photoperiod (regular) plant, initiate the flowering stage when the plant is half the final desired size. Plants typically double in size after receiving a 12/12 light schedule. Plant height can get out of control if you wait too long. Bending and tying down stems can be used to keep a cannabis plant almost totally flat.
Some cannabis strains tend to grow really big and tall no matter what you do. However, some strains stay super small without you having to do much of anything. Auto-flowering strains start making buds in about 3-4 weeks from germination and are typically ready to harvest in 2-3 months. Due to this quick life cycle, nearly all auto-flowering strains stay on the smaller size. However, look for autoflowering strains listed as being short if you want the smallest possible plants. Amnesia Auto by MSNL – I’ve harvested 3 of these plants and highly recommend the strain. They stayed small, grew sparkly buds with cerebral strong effects, and produced good-to-great yields Berry Auto by G13 Labs – Fruity strain that stays short, grows easily, and is ready to harvest quickly Black Jack Auto by Sweet Seeds – These plants naturally stay small while still producing great yields. If any branches get tall, they respond well to training. It reminds me of a sativa/haze with more of a body stone. Blue Critical Auto by Dinafem – The Blue Critical I grew stayed small, bushed out on its own, responded extremely well to training, and buds came out fat and super potent! Cinderella Jack Auto by Dutch Passion – When I grew this strain, the plant stayed small and produced solid, dense buds. The buds ended up being popular because the effects were curiously strong and long-lasting. Cream Cookies Auto by FastBuds Seeds – The bud quality is out of this world. Each plant stays short, is easy to grow, and yields well. Cream Mandarin Auto by Sweet Seeds – This strain tends to stay very small, sometimes almost runty. Although the citrus-smelling buds aren’t the biggest, they’re ready to harvest quickly and produce captivating effects. Pineapple Express Auto by G13 Labs – An extremely popular autoflowering strain; plants stay short, are quick-to-harvest even for an auto, and the sparkle-encrusted buds smell like heaven. Pink Kush CBD 30:1 by Seedsman – Medicinal strain with under 0.5% THC, beautiful buds, quick-to-harvest Red Poison Auto by Sweet Seeds – This breeder has created several epic autoflowering strains, but the Red Poison Auto may be my favorite. I love the crazy red/purple color (which shows up on most plants, especially if the plant gets cool nights close to harvest), good yields, and dreamy bud effects. Tangerine Dream Auto by Barney’s Farm – The intoxicating smell of citrus on a tiny, high yielding plant. THC Bomb Auto by Bomb Seeds – I’ve grown 5 different plants of this strain over multiple grows in different setups, and every one came out excellent. Easy to grow, great yields, beautiful sparkly buds, and potent. Wedding Cheesecake Auto by FastBuds Seeds – Stays pretty small, quick to harvest, and buds produce powerful effects. This Amnesia Auto by MSNL stayed small but produced a surprising amount of bud! THC Bomb Auto grows thick buds without needing a lot of height, and buds are POTENT. You can also choose photoperiod plants listed as “short” strains. Strains listed as “FAST” or “Express” may be candidates for a short grow space because they have a quick flowering period, but it’s good to read the description to learn more about what height to expect. Photoperiod plants typically get bigger than autoflowering plants, but they can be a great choice for a small space as long as you get a suitable strain and make sure to initiate the flowering stage when plants are 3-4 weeks old. Don’t let them get too big before you initiate 12/12 or they’ll overgrow your garden!
Aurora Indica by Nirvana – Plants are fast-growing with dense, potent buds, yet they stay short and are ready to harvest quickly. Candy Kush Express FAST by Royal Queen Seeds – Easy to grow and quick to harvest. Buds smell divine and effects are extremely relaxing. Cream Caramel FAST by Sweet Seeds – Great yields on such a fast-flowering plant, tantalizing bud smell, and lovely effects.
Original Amnesia by Dinafem – This strain isn’t particularly quick to harvest but doesn’t get very tall. Plants respond positively to plant training including manifolding. Buds are big and beautiful, with effects that live up to the name “amnesia” Peyote Critical by Barney’s Farm – Trippy effects on this strain.