Low Stress Training (LST) Guide

obijohn

Well-Known Member
Haven't been here in a few years, but just started a few plants again (outdoors). Not sure if it's been mentioned, but I use pushpins in the upper part of the pot, and use pipe cleaners (the craft kind) to wrap around the part of the plant I want to pull down, and wrap the other end around the pushpin. It's gentle on the plant stem and can easilyu be adjusted on the fly as the plant grows or you want to tie down another part
 

JacFlasche

Member
Hey everyone. I have explained to many people about the method of Low Stress Training, and more than one have told me that I should start a guide. So, here it is.

To start, let me explain just what low stress training is. In the thread I will refer to it as (LST). All a training is, is making your plant do something you want.The best part about LST, is the key "Low Stress". It doesn't stress your plant nearly as bad as other training methods exe. Topping. All LST involves doing is the tieing or staking down of a plants top/uppermost growth shoots in order to get more top growths. This bends the plant over and spreads the light to the undermost parts of your plants. When you do this, it makes the undergrowth bush out as well. However, spreading the light isn't what makes your plant bush out.

Auxins
I can not stress enough the importance of this word. Auxins, as defined in the science world are a type of plant growth hormone. In marijuana, they are the most import hormone when it comes to vegetative growth. In an untrained, regular marijuana plant, the auxins are most heavily distributed to the top/uppermost growth. The plant identifies this growth as its top and strives to grow it up towards the light more than the other lower growths. This is where LST comes into play. When you bend a plants top growth over, the plant identifies that it's top growth is no longer growing up, and it works to gain a new top growth. In essence, the auxins spread throughout your whole plant and this creates new growth along your nodes that have the potential to be equal to a "top bud or cola". Here is an example on the growth a plant recieves from the auxins being redistributed via. LST.

View attachment 1171750View attachment 1171753View attachment 1171793View attachment 1171800View attachment 1171819
Please take note at the new growth between the nodes. This is the work of the auxins. Also, take a look in the last picture as to where the original "top growth" is, and where the new top growth is. The plant created new ones. When flowering, this will give you more top buds, but less smaller popcorn buds that formed along the bottom of a regular grown plant. This particular LST grow was done with a smaller plant, but you can do it with large plants.

Now, let's take a look at the reasons why we LST.

1. Space- Many of times growers do not have the space to allow their plant to grow through the vegetative and flowering phase straight up (PC grows, attic grows, box grows). This is where LST comes into play. By tieing/staking down your plant, instead of growing vertically your plant grows horizontally, allowing your plant to still develop to maturity without growing up against your lights..

2. Light- As a plant grows upward towards the light, you constantly have to move your lighting fixture up to keep from burning your plant. As your light gets higher up, it gets further away from your bottom nodes and leaves. This can cause for more scraggly buds and leaves on the bottom of your plant, and put a dent in your harvest. This is especially true when you have lower powered lights(t5, CFLs, etc.)However, if you LST your plant sort of grows horizontally, allowing all of your budsites that grow up to be more exposed to the light. You will still have upward growth, just not as much depending on how long you let your new growth shoots grow before flowering, or LSTing the new growth down.

3. Stealth- Many of times those outdoor plants you have growing by the fence in the backyard just get too tall. What to do? Instead of growing up, just grow horizontally. This can keep those pesky neighbors from knowing that you have more than tomatoes growing in the yard.

Last but not least, let's learn how to LST. LST can be done in many fashions. I will first explain how to do it the way I prefer (with a few pictures) and the others I will give a lowdown on how to do them, but no pictures so bare with me.


The Closehanger
For this method, all you need is a closehanger, wirecutters, some string or wire, and a piece of ducttape. This is for younger and smaller plants.

Step 1: Cut your closehanger into straight pieces (8-12 inches depending on how tall your plant is). You want the top of the closehanger to be anywhere from 4-6 inches below the top of your plant.

Step 2: Put a Crook or a bend in the end of the closehanger piece. This allows you to put the 2nd node down from the top of your plant under it.

Step 3: This is called the countertie, and is probably one of the most important steps. Take your string or wire and make you a piece long enough to reach from the base of your plant to the edge of your pot. Tie your string or wrap your wire about 3 inches up the base of your plant and run it to the edge of the pot. Don't pull on the plant, just make sure it isn't loose. Tape the other end of the wire/string to your pot. This gives a counter resistance to your LST so that your plant doesn't get uprooted on the stake down.

Step 4: Place your closehanger in the dirt of your pot, with the crooked end up.

Step 5: GENTLY bend your plants top over and place it under the closehanger.

View attachment 1171859
Step 6: As your original top growth, and new top shoots begin to grow up, you can continue to stake them down and get lots of new growth. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the bushiness and amount of top shoots that are on your plant. At this point you may let your plant grow as tall as you want or just switch to 12/12. I reccomend for indoor growers with limited space, as soon as you have the amount of top shoots you want that you switch to 12/12 as the plant will bush out incredibly if you continue to veg.

That is just the way I do LST. I'm not saying it's the best way, or it's the most effective. It's all a matter of personal preference. There are many other ways to do this including.

1. Screw and string Method- This simply involves screwing screws into the lip of your pot all the way around (8-12 of them). You then tie your plants top down to the screw nearest it with string. As new top growths emerge, keep tieing them down to screws around the pot.

2. Weighting- All you need to do here, is get some sort of a weight (Fishing weights, clips, or anything your plant can't lift). You then tie a string to this weight, and tie it to your top node. It pulls it down, and as new top growths appear tie them down with more weights until you have the desired amount of new upper growths.

3.Object Tieing- For bigger outdoor or indoor plants, you can find some sort of an object that the plant can't move, and tie your shoots down to it. I have a friend who uses a ladder that he uses as his weight and just ties plants down onto it. They are huge plants though.

As you can see, there are tons of ways to LST. When it comes to Low Stress Training, there really is no wrong way. Just tie your plant down, spread the auxins, and watch the new growth.

I really hope this helps people better understand LST and get a better feel of what to do when it comes to training their plant.

Thanks a ton for reading my thread.
:peace:Rollbluntz:peace:
Yep, been doing this for twenty years. Outdoors in humid climates it can aggravate some forms of bud rot in the final days with the wrong weather. But if you keep a close eye on things, like especially the underside of colas that have been horizontalized it can be dealt with. Presently using a tight net made of fishing line to spread 19 plants that are growing by aero in a 75 gal tote out to fill up a 4x4 SOG indoors. The only one problem I have has is that my fastest growing plant (malangi hybrid) is pretty resistent to just being tucked down under the net. The net is very tight almost like a cheese cutter. I broke it once but it didn't even loose a step.
 

Madmike79

Active Member
Thank you for your knowledge will be doing this on next grow as have just crossed to females Louis 8th and a French macaron I believe the seeds are feminised fingers crossed we will see
 

Lockedin

Well-Known Member
I'm attempting LST on this grow and have a couple questions about mine (selfish, I know!)
Strawberry Kush - 5 gal FFOF - 3.5 weeks into Veg - 4x4, appx 500w (true) of burples, started feeding Dr Earth Flower Girl 1/2 strength (oops, thought I had All Purpose 4-4-4 in my hand). Perlite on surface treating fungus gnat issue.

I'm using 3 bamboo skewers - 2 in the soil and 1 as a guide rod to tie to.
20201103_055038.jpg
20201103_055050.jpg
I have a ton of tightly-spaced nodes - 12 on this example. The main stalk is about 14" total length.
These seem extremely compact - node spacing is about 1/2"?
20201103_055023.jpg
My current plan is to let them grow to the edge of the pot, top them, and flip after they recover - BUT:
The base-side branches are already being trained, but it seems like all the other branches are still really small.

Questions:
Will topping accelerate lateral growth?

I want to start removing large fans (and probably fans creating too much shade) before circulation becomes an issue, but I don't want to slow down my micro-branches any more than I already might have. Opinions wanted.

Seems like I either chose the best, or the worst candidate for LST; but I'm really enjoying growing this way.
 
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Madmike79

Active Member
Hi everyone not been on site very long but to those that have given me some value info thank you.
I remember scrolling through the forums and someone said it would be good if you could plait plants as I have just reported today thought I would try.IMG_20201109_133856.jpgIMG_20201109_134406.jpgIMG_20201109_140107.jpg
 

Tht_Blk_Guy27

Well-Known Member
I'm attempting LST on this grow and have a couple questions about mine (selfish, I know!)
Strawberry Kush - 5 gal FFOF - 3.5 weeks into Veg - 4x4, appx 500w (true) of burples, started feeding Dr Earth Flower Girl 1/2 strength (oops, thought I had All Purpose 4-4-4 in my hand). Perlite on surface treating fungus gnat issue.

I'm using 3 bamboo skewers - 2 in the soil and 1 as a guide rod to tie to.
View attachment 4733667
View attachment 4733675
I have a ton of tightly-spaced nodes - 12 on this example. The main stalk is about 14" total length.
These seem extremely compact - node spacing is about 1/2"?
View attachment 4733668
My current plan is to let them grow to the edge of the pot, top them, and flip after they recover - BUT:
The base-side branches are already being trained, but it seems like all the other branches are still really small.

Questions:
Will topping accelerate lateral growth?

I want to start removing large fans (and probably fans creating too much shade) before circulation becomes an issue, but I don't want to slow down my micro-branches any more than I already might have. Opinions wanted.

Seems like I either chose the best, or the worst candidate for LST; but I'm really enjoying growing this way.
topping sends a chemical auxin (chem responsible for growth), from the tips of stalks into the branches below, increasing growth laterally by quite a bit in my experience. i'd also recommend supercropping in conjunction with these methods to increase yields
 

Lockedin

Well-Known Member
topping sends a chemical auxin (chem responsible for growth), from the tips of stalks into the branches below, increasing growth laterally by quite a bit in my experience. i'd also recommend supercropping in conjunction with these methods to increase yields
Exactly the plan - I did quite a bit of supercropping and LST --- the skeletons are going to look like a Dr Suess forest! Twisted and bent all over the place to keep an even canopy and maximize light exposure! :bigjoint:

I took most of the restraints off during stretch - I don't think it was necessary and I probably could have trained them a node or two wider.
My first try at LST - I had some idea how it would go; I REALLY like this method - I'm very curious what (if any) impact this will have on the harvest.
The pictured plant has 13 branches,
the highest branch count is 19 - flowers everywhere, but I managed her poorly
The middle plant - 17 branches - looks to be in the lead production-wise, but there's a lot of time left.

Here's pics of the 13 branch girl. I defol'd her more than the others - you can see her structure better.
20201129_125346.jpg20201129_163809.jpg20201129_163827.jpg
 

Tht_Blk_Guy27

Well-Known Member
Exactly the plan - I did quite a bit of supercropping and LST --- the skeletons are going to look like a Dr Suess forest! Twisted and bent all over the place to keep an even canopy and maximize light exposure! :bigjoint:

I took most of the restraints off during stretch - I don't think it was necessary and I probably could have trained them a node or two wider.
My first try at LST - I had some idea how it would go; I REALLY like this method - I'm very curious what (if any) impact this will have on the harvest.
The pictured plant has 13 branches,
the highest branch count is 19 - flowers everywhere, but I managed her poorly
The middle plant - 17 branches - looks to be in the lead production-wise, but there's a lot of time left.

Here's pics of the 13 branch girl. I defol'd her more than the others - you can see her structure better.
View attachment 4758361View attachment 4758362View attachment 4758363
you were much smarter than I was at the time. my outdoor grow required copious amounts of tying with garden ties and I forgot to take much of it off and i lucked out not having any issues except on my afghan Kush it literally caused a molybdenum deficiency and almost cost me the whole plant in the middle of flower. it's going to pay huge dividends ass your basically told the plant to create nothing bud evenly sized main colas if you train them appropriately. your killing it man you can only learn better by trying and i commend your grow
 
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