Marijuana Plant Training – Increase your Yield every Harvest

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Plant Training – LST, Topping, FMIing, Super cropping and more! thumbnail

Topping, FMIing, Low Stress Training, Super Cropping and more

Hey there and Welcome (back) to Free The Tree!
In this section we’re going to cover the 3 main types of plant training for weed, Bending and Securing the plant, Damaging or Removing Sections and Manipulating the cycle of Life of your plant
Here’s what we’re going to cover if you want to skip right to it:

Cannabis plant Training - Table of content

Bending and/or securing the plant

LST (Low Stress Training)

“No-Technique” training

Super Cropping

Branch Weaving for ScrOG


Damaging or pruning the plant



Pinching (coming soon)

Manifolding (coming soon)

Defoliation (coming soon)

Life cycle manipulation

12/12 Photo-period from the Seed (coming soon)

One Bud & Sea of Green

Bending and/or Securing your Marijuana

There are multiple ways to bend/weave/attach your plant in order increase your final yield. We’ll cover the most known and proven ones here

Low Stress Training (LST)

Low Stress Training is one of the most popular ways of training you marijuana plant, especially for new growers.
The main reason for this is the fact that there’s a very small risk of unintentionally breaking the stem. Furthermore, and as the name indicates, this form of Plant Training exposes the plant to very low levels of stress, reducing any possible negative side effects.


What is Low Stress Training?

Basically the idea behind LST is to tie your plants Apex to the side. This can be done in order to give direct access to light to the auxiliary branches, allowing them to become full Colas, but it can also be done for other reasons.

For example, like you can see on the right hand side, we used LST to improve the light penetration and give more room to each lateral branch. The final objective in this case being the preparation of the plant for a ScrOG.

Branches of the plant tied to the edges for LST
Side branches tied away from each other to improve light penetration

“No Technique” Training

The “No Technique” plant training is one that is perfectly adapted to new growers or people that have very little time to invest into the training of the plant.
Although this simple technique is very simple it can drastically improve your yield since it will allow your plant to develop multiple cola’s.


What is “No Technique” training

What people call “No Technique” Training refers to a very simple way of training your plant. Basically, all you do is bend the Apex about 90° during the early steps of vegetation and… that’s it!

Since your plant is bent, the auxiliary branches will have direct access to a source of light and air, allowing those side branches to become main colas.

This is really one of the easiest plant training styles that are available.

Image credit to grow weed easy

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Super Cropping

Super Cropping is a form of High-stress training. It is a good way to improve the yield of your plants! It’s a bit dangerous for new growers since you may break the outer layers of the stem pretty easily. The key here is to be gentle and to follow the steps thoroughly!

What are the advantages of super cropping cannabis?

The main advantage and use for super cropping is increasing the amount of nutrients that your plant can store within the stem. Since you’re breaking the internal vein of the stem, when the plant fixes that area she’ll create a “knot”. That knot can store much, much more nutrients than the other area’s of the stem. This extra storage will definitely show in the size of the buds. Super cropping weed is a great way to increase cannabis yield.

When to super crop your plant?

It is better to start super-cropping is during the vegetative stage, once the plant has grown many healthy branches that are strong enough to support the bending but that aren’t too rigid yet.

How to super crop cannabis plants?

The idea behind super cropping is to gently break the internal vain of the stem, without breaking the exterior skin, bend it at about 90° and then attach it in that position for a couple days and up to a week.

By breaking the stem you’re giving the opportunity to the plant to fix that area and create a “knot”. That knot will allow the plant to store much more nutrients within the stem, meaning that the flowers will have more energy available near by.

On our end we’ve tried this on a couple plants, it’s definitely an awesome tool to have, especially if your canopy isn’t even and some of those little one’s have grown much more than the others.

Apex of Cheese strain super cropped during the stretch
Apex of plant super cropped

Branch Weaving for Scrog

We’ve done a full guide on training your plant for a scrog if you want to know more, but the idea here is to weave the branches of the plant over and under a screen in order for the plant to be able to develop multiple strong Colas while growing horizontally on the screen.

What is branch weaving?

What people mean when they say “weaving branches” is the action of tying the plant over and under the the wires of the screen.
Doing this will give your side branches (aka auxiliary branches) direct access to light and air allow them to develop as main colas.

The main downside to this is the longer vegetation stage, but you’ll have so many nice and fat cola’s that this should put to sleep that issue.

branches weaved on the screen
Stems weaving on Screen

Bending and/or Securing your Marijuana

This might side a little counter-intuitive, how could damaging or removing sections of the plant help create fatter buds? Well actually, there are multiple answers to this, from Internal Nutrient Distribution to forcing the plant to develop multiple Apex’s, these techniques are known to have very positive effects on yields.

Topping your plant

Basically the idea behind topping a plant is to retrain it to focus on multiple Colas. As you may know, Marijuana plants have a stronger focus for its Apex than the auxiliary branches, and that’s the case even if those auxiliary branches have a direct access to light.

When you top the plant you remove that possibility, thus allowing her to better distribute her nutrients across all the Colas.

Generally this is done when preparing for a ScrOG.

What is topping a cannabis plant?

The term “topping” refers to the action of removing the top portion of a Cola in order to let the auxiliary branches that are growing at that spot to take over.

This can be done to the Apex, but also on the Auxiliary branches.
By doing this, the plant will concentrate her energy on the 2 auxiliary stems that are growing in the place of that main stem.

If you wish to do so, don’t cut the main Cola too close to the knot, you want to leave a little bit of the stem in order to push the 2 new stems away from each other.

Showing how to top a marijuana plant during the early vegetative stage
Topping the apex

FMIing Cannabis

FMIing is pretty similar to Topping but a bit less radical since you don’t fully remove the Apex.
Since you’re just damaging it, it will recover and keep growing. The useful part is that while the Apex is recovering the growth will focus on the auxiliary branches, making a bushy plant with multiple strong Colas.

What is FMIing a plant?

FMIing a Marijuana plants means that you remove the top half of the top leaf of the Apex or targeted Auxiliary branch.
To the opposite of Topping your plant the Apex will not be fully removed, its growth will just be slowed since the plant needs to recover.

While recovering, the vegetative growth energy that would have been mainly sent to the Apex will be diverted to the other auxiliary branches, creating a bushy plant with multiple side Colas.

FMIing is a good compromise if you want to keep the Apex but still want to develop the side branches and pinching hasn’t done the job.

Image credit to 420 magazine

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Life cycle manipulation

Another very famous way to increase the yield of grow is to manipulate the life cycle of your plant.
Whether this is by one-budding the plants or starting the photo periods at 12/12 from the seed, many techniques exists, although these are a bit more for advanced level growers.
Let’s get into it

One Budding cannabis

One Budding is a very famous way of Plant training. The main advantage here is the ability to grow short and dense flowers while reducing the vegetative stage to a very short time frame.
As the name suggests, the objective of this technique is to have one massive bud, meaning that you won’t have side branches.

What is a one bud?

“One Bud” is the term used in order to define a Marijuana Training Technique that aims at growing buds solely along the Apex’s stem.
The term “One Bud” comes from the visual aspect since at the end of the flowering stage the plants will look like she’s composed of one massive bud. In reality, of course, this is not one massive bud growing but multiple bud sites at different levels of the stem that have grown enough to merge together.

This visual aspect  is done by keeping the vegetative stage very short, removing the side branches that grow and let the plant focus her efforts on the Apex.

Below we’ve linked to our tutorial that going into each step necessary in detail if you want to know more about one budding!

Weed plants trained using one bud technique
Topping the apex
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Alright folks, that’s it for now! We’ll be adding the missing sections in the upcoming days so if you didn’t find your answer don’t hesitate to come back 😉
Until next time, be safe and grow easy

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