Categories
BLOG

small cannabis plants

7 Unfortunate Plant Training Mistakes

Table of Contents

Did you know that “training” your cannabis plants to grow many main bud sites (instead of just one) is a simple and free way to get bigger yields indoors? Plant training can increase indoor yields by 40% or more (compared to letting plants grow naturally) by forcing plants to grow bigger, denser buds, without as many smaller or airy ones.

In the vegetative stage, marijuana plants are trained to grow wide and flat, like a table

In the flowering stage, this shape ensures that many bud sites develop into long, thick colas by taking advantage of the fact that cannabis plants put the most energy into buds that are both at the top of the plant and close to the grow light.

Although plant training can produce impressive results, sometimes marijuana growers aren’t given the right information, which can cause unfortunate mistakes that hurt their yields!

With that in mind, I will cover the 7 most common marijuana plant training mistakes, so you get the yields results you want every time, even if it’s your first time!

1.) Not Training at All

In our growing forum, when I asked what people’s biggest mistakes were when it came to training their cannabis plants, the most common answer was actually growers regretted not training their plants at all!

It’s true that you can get great results without any plant training, but training techniques can significantly improve your yields compared to letting the plant grow into its natural shape. Plant training can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, but even a little bit of effort in your plant’s early life can make a big difference to your final bud weight!

The trained plant on the right had many more main colas and produced far more bud than the untrained plant on the left, even though it took up less space

2.) Breaking a Main Stem by Accident

It’s important to use bending techniques from the beginning of a plant’s life because stems start getting stiff as they get older. Starting while the plant is still young makes the whole process go much more easily!

However, even if you’re careful, it can be easy to snap a stem by accident. This most often happens when trying to forcefully bend an older stem that has become thick and unyielding.

Nothing is better than bending when stems are flexible to get your plants to grow exactly how you want, but there are a few techniques that can help you bend over stems after they’ve already hardened!

Prevent broken stems by bending at the newest growth if possible, where stems are more flexible.

Supercropping (Advanced) – If a stem feels too stiff but it must be bent, don’t force it! Use a technique called “supercropping” to soften up the inside first, so the skin doesn’t break.

  1. Pinch the stem tightly between your fingers at the place you want it to bend
  2. Start gently wiggling the stem back and forth while also trying to crush the new joint in between your fingers.
  3. Wiggle back and forth for 10+ seconds, or until the stem has greatly loosened up at the place you want to bend.
  4. Once the stem feels loose and flexible at the joint, you’re safe to bend it over and secure it in place. This can even work with thicker stems if you’re patient enough to wiggle for a while!

If you do end up breaking a main stem, you can often tape up the injury like a cast and the plant will heal itself over the next week or two.

Remember: If you do break off a main stem early in a plant’s life, it’s no big deal because there are usually dozens more growth tips to take its place! And even if you break off a main stem/cola during the flowering stage and can’t tape it up in time, it can help to remember that most growers lose a cola at some point!

3.) Mistakenly Keeping Plants Too Small

A very small plant just can’t make as much bud as a bigger plant, so keeping plants smaller than needed can reduce your yields. You will get the best yields by growing your plants so that they fill up your grow space.

Since this plant was kept so small before it started flowering, it just doesn’t have the size or infrastructure to support a lot of buds. There’s nothing a grower can do at this point to get a plant like this to yield a lot of bud. It’s important to avoid mistakenly keeping plants too small before they start making buds!

It’s important to wait until a plant is at least 3-4 weeks old before initiating the flowering stage (putting cannabis plants on a 12/12 light schedule), even if you’re trying to get to harvest as fast as possible.

This is because a plant won’t start flowering before about week 3-4 anyway, so giving plants a 12/12 light schedule before that time just reduces the total amount of light they get each day, and they won’t get as big as plants under 18/6 or a 24/0 schedule from seed.

3-4 Week Old Plant – Never switch to 12/12 earlier than this or plants will stay tiny, and waiting a few more weeks is probably better!

This plant was switched to flowering when it was 4 weeks old, and yielded about an ounce in one big cola.

Some growers recommend you wait until 6 weeks to start flowering. One reason is that cannabis plants tend to mature the fastest if they have already started showing “pre-flowers” (tiny versions of adult flowers) before initiating the flowering stage.

But the main reason is that letting the plants go just a little bit longer – to about week 6 – will give you plants that are significantly bigger and which can support bigger buds.

6-Week Old Plant That’s Been Trained to Grow Flat

After being switched to 12/12 immediately after the above picture, the plant turned into this, yielding about 6 ounces on the single plant. Two extra weeks in the vegetative stage can make a huge difference in plant size!

Note: These rules don’t apply to auto-flowering plants, which will automatically start flowering on their own without any input from you. If you want a very small plant that yields a lot, consider auto-flowering strains: they’re ready to harvest about 3 months from germination and stay small on their own! Overall, it’s much better than doing 12/12 from seed.

4.) Letting Plants Get Too Big

As we just covered, if you have the space/height for it, you’ll get better yields for your electricity by giving the plant time to get to a decent size before switching to the flowering stage.

However, if you let a plant get too big during the vegetative stage, it may completely overgrow your space!

Look at how this plant has already grown into the grow lights in the vegetative stage! This is a problem because the lights can’t be lifted up any higher in this particular grow space, and the plant is going to double in height after the switch to 12/12! This kind of crazy overgrowth can happen before you know it if you have a fast-growing plant, so stay aware of how big your plant is getting!

If plants are allowed to get too big during the vegetative stage, you’ll not only end up wasting time and electricity, you’ll also find yourself with an overcrowded grow space. Plants being too close to each other and the grow lights can cause light burn, white powdery mildew, bud rot, and other unwanted problems.

Flowering Stretch: It’s important to remember that plants often double in height (known as the “flowering stretch”) after the switch to the flowering stage, so it’s important to change to 12/12 around the time the plants have reached half the final desired height.

Pre-Stretch – Right before the switch to 12/12

Post-Stretch – 4 weeks after the switch to 12/12. Notice how much taller they got!

If you have a plant that’s been growing incredibly tall and lanky, with a lot of upward growth without as much side branching, consider that a plant like that may stretch up to three times its height after the switch to 12/12. A plant that tends to grow short and bushy its whole life may not stretch much at all.

Different strains will stretch a different amount after the switch to 12/12. The main clue is what the breeder says about the strain, as well as how the plant tended to grow in the vegetative stage (lanky vegetative plants often become lanky adults).

5.) Topping Plant Early or Incorrectly

Removing the top of the main stem (“topping” the plant) before it has grown at least 3-4 nodes often wastes more time than it saves.

In fact, removing any part of the plant when it’s very young can stunt the plant, meaning it may grow slowly or stop growing altogether for days or even weeks.

However, if you wait until a plant is healthy and growing fast with a good root system, it won’t even slow down after being topped! Waiting until the plant is the right size often improves your overall results from topping.

These young cannabis plants are ready to be topped

If you cut off just the very tip of your plant, there’s very little chance of stunting, even if it only has 3 or 4 nodes in total.

Many growers top down to the 3rd node/pair of leaves (like in the following picture) in order to form a short manifold. If you plan on any kind of extensive training like building a manifold, wait until the young plant has grown at least 6 nodes before starting; this ensures it has established a good root system. The more of the plant you remove at a time, the more it stresses the plant, so you want to make sure your plant is mature/strong enough to handle it!

Be careful not to damage the growth tips during topping. These tiny stems will become your new main colas, and the base of every growth tip is where buds form.

Always leave a little extra stem when topping a marijuana plant – this helps prevent the main stalk from splitting!

6.) Not Securing Your Plant Properly!

Don’t use string or anything “sharp” to secure plants, as it can start cutting into their skin over time! Also, it’s important to make sure that you can easily access all your plants after training.

Never use string to hold down your plants!

Notice how this plant can’t be moved from its location because it’s attached to a nearby wall? Don’t do this! Always attach your plant directly to the pot so you can pick it up and move it. Also, avoid using something sharp like string or chicken wire to hold down the plants, because it will slowly cut into the plant’s “skin” over time and cause damage.

Plant twist ties are perfect for securing plants! They bend into the shape you want, and are soft enough they won’t hurt plants.

Or get creative! Any type of soft flexible wire works well

Make sure to attach any twisty ties directly to the plant container; this lets you pick up and move the plant freely!

As the plant grows, whenever some of the colas are getting taller than the others…

Bend the tallest ones over until they’re all the same height as each other. Following just that one principle will produce the shape you’re looking for!

7.) Excessive Training on Sick or Slow-Growing Plants

When a cannabis plant is slow-growing or suffering from deficiencies, it is much more sensitive to stress from training. Things like topping, supercropping and extreme defoliation can all aggravate a sick plant and make it take longer to recover.

If you have a sick or slow-growing plant it’s good to give them a few days of TLC before you commence training 🙂

Always let sick plants recover before extensive training. This plant suffered from a grower accidentally giving 3x the correct amount of nutrients. It’s important to wait until it’s healthy and growing new leaves every day before doing anything else to this poor plant!

What can you do to help a cannabis plant relax for a few days?

Help plants recover quickly by moving the grow light a few inches away, and leaving the plant alone on an 18/6 light schedule (if it’s in the vegetative stage, of course, if you have a plant on a 12/12 light schedule you don’t want to change it!).

Providing relatively low levels of light in a comfortable, temperate environment without any disturbance can help a stressed plant regain its strength and start growing fast again in just a day or two. Once your plant is healthy and growing again, put the lights back on at full strength!

After extensive wilting from a heat spell, the grower of the plant below thought his baby was a goner. He tossed the dying plant in a bucket at the edge of his grow room, with the plan of throwing it in the garbage later that day. He somehow forgot, and a few days later he came back to find out that the comfortable temperature outside the grow tent and filtered light levels from a nearby window had been just the thing to bring the plant back to life! Even with just an inch of water at the bottom of the bucket, the plant was thriving!

At a recent growing convention in San Diego I heard from another grower who’d noticed that lowering the light levels just a tiny bit can help a sick plant recover more quickly. The worst thing you can do for a sick plant is turn up the light, because it makes the plant work harder to keep up with all that photosynthesis!

I thought a cannabis plant could come back from anything?

When people say, “It grows like a weed” and explain how cannabis plants can recover from anything, they’re talking about a healthy, fast-growing plant. You really can do almost anything to a vibrant cannabis plant in the vegetative stage and it’ll bounce right back!

For growers who always have healthy plants, it can seem like plants simply can’t get stunted. But if you take the same approach with a sick, sparse or slow-growing plant, it can dramatically slow down the plant’s growth for days or even weeks in rare cases!

Now is not the time to train this plant (or try anything new really). Wait until it has recovered first, then start training!

Whenever you’re thinking about training or removing parts of the plant, always consider the plant’s overall health first. You’ll know when you would be better served by waiting a few days to start training.

Now that you know how to prevent the 7 most common plant training problems that hurt yields…

Training your plant to grow many big buds (instead of just one) can increase your yields dramatically! Learn how to avoid the most common mistakes…

How to Grow Small Cannabis Plants in Tiny Spaces

Do you want to grow tiny cannabis plants? Would you like to build a “microgrowery” for your marijuana garden? This tiny plant tutorial will teach you how to grow cannabis plants that stay small yet still produce an abundance of weed! I’ve grown a lot of cannabis plants of all sizes, and I’ll share the most helpful tips and tricks to make cannabis plants grow in the exact shape and size you want.

Small plants are easy to hide, yet can still produce a surprising amount of weed. Here are some short cannabis plants I’ve grown:

LEDs are probably your best choice in a small space. This tent is only 3 feet (90 cm) tall.

Here is that tent just before harvest. Notice the size of the slinky compared to the plants. This tutorial will show you how to create short plants with rows of buds in a small space like this.

This autoflowering plant grew into a tiny bud ball as a result of blue-spectrum LEDs and being topped after buds started forming (typically a no-no because it stunts autoflowering plants, but can be a good technique if you want to keep plants tiny)

I grew these plants in the same waist-high grow tent, but this time using a T5 fluorescent light. A T5 is another great choice for small spaces since they can be kept just inches away from plants. The downside is they produce more heat than LEDs. If you’re struggling with cold (for example growing a tiny garden in a garage or basement), fluorescent lights can help keep plants warm. If you want to minimize heat, LEDs are the way to go.

Then there’s the incredible world of solo cup plants. Restricted roots keep plants small. This autoflowering plant I’m growing now is just over a foot (30 cm) tall and buds are getting bigger every day.

Quick Summary (how to keep plants small without sacrificing yields)

Here’s a quick overview of the tutorial, then I’ll go into the detailed instructions below.

1.) Genetics

  • Choose a strain that naturally stays small – Today you have access to almost any genetics, almost anywhere in the world. Quick-to-harvest autoflowering strains are often the best choice for producing small plants, though short stature photoperiod strains can work, too. This tutorial shares several strains that have performed great for me in short spaces, and then I’ll share instructions on how to grow your plants so they stay as small as possible.

Certain strains like this Black Jack Auto naturally stay small, while still producing great yields!

2.) Grow Setup

  • Use the right grow light – Fluorescent lights (like CFLs or T5s) and certain LEDs are great choices for small grow spaces. I’ll break down the pros and cons of each and share the specific models that have kept plants short for me.
  • Light spectrum – Grow lights with more blue in the spectrum tend to keep plants short, while grow lights with more red can encourage stretching.
  • Restrict root space – Plants in big pots can become the size of trees! Keeping plants in smaller pots tends to keep them from getting as big (like a bonsai tree with restricted roots), but buds will still get fat as long as the plant is receiving plenty of light and nutrients.
  • Pick a “short” grow style – Short plants are often created through one of these grow styles: “Sea of Green” (many small plants in small pots), “Screen of Green” (using a screen), Manifolding (massively manipulate plant shape at a very young age), or other types of plant training (more on that below).

Restricting root size also restricts overall plant size

3.) Growing Practices

  • Keep grow lights as close as possible – Make sure your grow light is as close as possible without stressing plants. Strong light helps keep plants shorter.
  • “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. As a bonus, you create extra bud sites for free.
  • 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. I learned this one from experience!

Bending and tying down stems can be used to keep a cannabis plant almost totally flat

1.) Genetics

Choose a strain that naturally stays small

Some cannabis strains tend to grow really big and tall no matter what you do. If a strain is labeled as “XL”, stay away! 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.

Recommended short auto-flowering strains

  • 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. I really enjoyed the bud effects of this strain. They’re strong yet kind of unique. 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! A joy to grow.
  • 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. And look beautiful in pictures! 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. What more could you want?
  • 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. Highly recommended!
  • 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!

Decent sized buds for the compact size

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!

Recommended short photoperiod strains

  • 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. Plants stay short with training. Try to initiate the flowering stage before 4 weeks from germination and it shouldn’t get too big.
  • Romulan – This strain is extra popular where I live right now. Romulan plants stay short and buds are high in THC. Although it doesn’t have the best yields, the bud quality is worth it.
  • Royal Cookies by Royal Queen Seeds – Created from the extremely popular Girl Scout Cookies Forum Cut, this strain delivers beautiful American genetics with a punch, and plants stay small enough for a stealthy garden.
  • Speedy Chile FAST by Royal Queen Seeds – Grow ultra sparkly buds on a tiny plant. The effects are relaxing and may help with anxiety.
  • Sweet Russian by Garden of Green – Nice looking buds, stays small, yields well, good effects.
  • Sweet Tooth by Barney’s Farm – I’ve grown this strain a few times over the years, and it always stays short with good effects. However, BF seems to be improving and refining this classic strain for potency because when I grew this strain again last year, the buds felt more powerful than ever. Highly recommended!
  • THC Bomb by Bomb Seeds – Stays small, yields big, with excellent potency and sparkly buds. Can’t go wrong with this one.

Aurora Indica stays short and produces tons of buds

Original Amnesia responds well to plant training such as being manifolded

2.) Grow Setup

Use the right grow light – CFLs, T5s, and certain LEDs are great choices for small grow spaces. I’ll break down the pros and cons of each and share the specific models that have kept plants short for me.

CFLs give a lot of flexibility in tiny spaces because they’re small and can be kept just inches from plants. How to grow with CFLs.

This is my very first short plant, grown under a few big CFLs.

The plant was less than 1′ tall at harvest yet produced 1.5 ounces of bud. CFLs can produce good yields with small plants, but CFL bulbs that are big (or a lot of small CFLs) get hot and expensive. If you have space, I recommend upgrading to more efficient grow lights than CFLs.

T5 fluorescent lights are low profile, can be kept close to plants, and produce surprisingly good yields if you train plants to grow wide and flat like the plants here. The downside is they get much hotter than LEDs for the same electricity, and the yields aren’t as good per watt. How to grow with a T5 grow light.

LEDs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so they can fit almost any setup. LEDs tend to be low on heat and electricity usage, which makes them great for small stealthy gardens. LED yields are excellent, too. On average, LEDs produce about twice the amount of dried flower as fluorescent lights like CFLs and T5s for the same electricity. The newer models of LEDs can yield even more. How to grow with LEDs in a mini tent.

These plants were grown in a 2’x2’x3′ tent under a 100W Quantum Board LED like this MarsHydro TS 600 (which is “600W equivalent” but actually only uses 100W)

Here is an example of the buds produced! (This was Auto Amnesia by MSNL)

Light spectrum – Grow lights with more blue in the spectrum tend to keep plants short, while grow lights with more red can encourage stretching. LEDs or bulbs labeled with a spectrum of 4000k, 5000k, and 6500k are great choices with plenty of blue to keep plants short.

This graphic represents the colors in visible light. Blue light encourages plants to stay short and bushy. Red light tends to cause marijuana plants to stretch and grow tall.

Restrict root space – Plants in big pots can become the size of trees! Keeping plants in smaller pots tends to keep them from getting as big (like a bonsai tree with restricted roots), though buds will still get huge as long as the plant is receiving plenty of light and nutrients.

Keeping plants in a small container causes them to stay smaller on average by restricting root size. This autoflowering plant grown in a solo cup barely grew to a foot tall.

These autoflowering plants were all germinated at the same time and even share 4 of the same strains. The little tent had 1-gallon pots, while the bigger tent used 3-gallon pots. The smaller pot size is a big part of why the plants in the mini tent stayed so much shorter and smaller.

Here’s another example showing how pot size makes a difference to plant size. These plants were all germinated at the same time in Rapid Rooters. Right before this picture I planted some of the seedlings in 3-gallon pots, and the others in solo cups. They were all about the same size at this point.

Within a week, the plants in bigger pots overtook the plants in solo cups. Most actually had an extra set of leaves compared to their solo cup siblings. The size difference would only have kept getting more vast if these plants were allowed to continue growing together. Small pots make small plants! Here’s a timelapse of that week if you want to check it out.

Pick a “short” grow style – Short plants are often created through one of these grow styles…

  • Sea of Green (SoG) keeps many small plants in small pots
  • Screen of Green (ScrOG) trains plants to grow along a screen or net, which forces them to stay about the same height
  • Manifolding is a process that massively manipulates plant shape at a very young age for a bushy, symmetrical plant
  • Other types of plant training such as Low Stress Training (LST) and Supercropping (extreme bending) can also be helpful to keep plants short

Sea of Green (SoG) – Many small plants

Screen of Green (ScrOG) uses a screen or net

Here’s another example of a net being used to help keep plants short and flat

Manifolding creates a solid main trunk with several symmetrical branches. This allows you to achieve monstrous yields on a relatively small plant.

Other types of pruning and manipulation such as Low Stress Training (LST) and Supercropping (extreme bending) can be used to create almost any size or shape plant

3.) Growing Practices

Keep grow lights as close as possible – Make sure your grow light is as close as possible without stressing plants. Strong light helps keep plants shorter. How far should I keep my grow lights?

“Top” your plants – Cut off the top of the plant when it’s just a few weeks old. This technique is known as “topping” and causes plants to grow more spread out as opposed to tall. You want a short bush, not a tall Christmas tree. Learn all about topping.

“Top” your plants when they’re 3-4 weeks old

A good time to top a plant is when it has about 6 sets of leaves

To top a plant, you cut off the top by clipping through the main stem

Topping makes plants grow more wide and bushy instead of tall. As a bonus, it increases the total number of main bud sites and improves yields!

Autoflowering Tip: Top an autoflowering plant after it’s already started making buds to keep it shorter. Topping in the flowering stage is normally considered a bad idea because it stunts most autoflowering plants, but can be a good tactic if you want to stunt the plant on purpose.

Topping after buds had already started forming caused this plant to stay extra small.

Here’s another example of a plant that was topped after it had already started making buds

Plant training – “Plant training” techniques give you ultimate power to create plants of nearly any size or shape.

Training techniques such as LST (low stress training) and supercropping (extreme bending) are especially handy if you need to change your overall plant form or reduce the height.

The grower wants to keep plants as short as possible

As the plants grew, she regularly bent all the top branches over and tied them down

That’s how these tiny plants were made!

Use bending to reduce the height of tall branches. Don’t forget to tie the branches down or they’ll turn back up! (I like plant twist tie for hooking around stems)

The arrow points to the twist tie that was used to hold down the branches as this plant grew

Use supercropping to bend at right angles without breaking your stems. This can be especially helpful if you’re plants are already too tall for your space.

Some growers take plant training to extreme levels

Check out the “skeleton” of the above plant after harvest. The grower basically trained the main stem to grow in a flat spiral around the base. So much bud in such a small area!

You can produce impressive buds on a small plant with a powerful grow light and high-yielding genetics

It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a little bending and tying down as your plant grows!

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, so plant height can get out of control if you wait too long.

Initiate 12/12 when your plant is about half the final desired size

Plant about double in height before harvest, though some strains “stretch” more or less (notice how the back left plant from the above tent got taller than the rest). Genetics make a huge difference! Learn more about the flowering stretch.

You should now have a solid understanding of what it takes to grow marijuana plants in any size or shape you want!

How to Grow Small Cannabis Plants in Tiny Spaces Do you want to grow tiny cannabis plants? Would you like to build a “microgrowery” for your marijuana garden? This tiny plant tutorial will teach