Top 4 Training Techniques to Maximize Autoflowering Cannabis Yields

Top 4 Training Techniques to Maximize Autoflowering Cannabis Yields

Created: 07.11.2018

Many cannabis growers hesitate to train their autoflowering cannabis plants. This is because they worry about stunted growth. Typically, an autoflowering plant does well even without training. It is possible to get great yields even if you leave the plant alone. However, you can increase the yields if you employ certain techniques at the right time.

1) LST

Image source: ohmycannabis.com

LST is nothing but Low-Stress With this method, you’re stressing the plants very minimally to induce more buds. It also helps if you have plants like Pineapple Express that tend to grow very tall. In a way, you’re not only making the plant yield more, but you’re also reducing the vertical space.

LST is better than other techniques because it doesn’t stress the plant too much. With autoflowers, it’s a good idea to train less since you might stunt the plant if you overdo anything. Since autoflowers have a preset cycle, it may not have a lot of time to recover if you stress them a lot. So, take fewer risks and stick to the plan.

Many growers perform LST even when they don’t understand what it entails. I recommend that you first understand what the method is, rather than simply trying it. Basically, cannabis plants perform in such a way that it produces as many leaves as possible. As the flowering starts, the main goal of the plant is to create a lot of flowers.

Typically, autoflowers have one main stem or cola that has the maximum amount of flowers. As the plant grows, all the energy is diverted to that cola. Since the artificial light or sunlight is focused mainly on that cola, it produces a lot of flowers and grows into a sturdy stem. This cola also has the potential to produce maximum amounts of seeds.

This entire process happens due to hormones known as auxins produced by the plant. The rest of the plant also contains auxins but since the main cola stretches and goes close to the light, it becomes a primary source of auxins. Now, auxins help the plant grow vigorously and you can expect excellent growth wherever the auxins are present.

In other words, the areas that get more light grow more. Most flowers are at the top and the lower parts of the plant don’t get too much light. Since the lower parts are light-deficient, they obviously produce fewer flowers. LST attempts to rectify this problem. The basic premise of this technique is to help the plants get more light.

LST is performed by bending the main cola to the side of the plant. Using a wire or cable tie, the stem is pulled and tied to the container. You can LST other colas as well. This ensures that all the colas are at the same height and thus receive the same amount of light. Due to this, the auxins are also produced in a uniform manner and all the stems that are close to light will produce a lot of buds.

The lower parts get more exposure to light once the main stem is pushed to the side. This way, all the parts get enough light and thus produce more flowers.

In simple terms, you’re tricking the plant into thinking that all the secondary stems are main colas or stems. Once this happens, the plant will grow other stems more in an attempt to survive. In nature, the tall and powerful plants are more likely to receive or catch pollen. And the plant will do everything in its capacity to train other shoots to grow upwards.

LST can be done both indoors and outdoors. However, plants growing indoors will appreciate it more. Outdoors plants have ample space and will grow no matter what you do. But growers usually face space constraints indoors and since LST helps you conserve space by reducing the vertical growth, you will benefit more.

2) Topping

Generally, topping an autoflowering plant isn’t encouraged because many growers believe that it can reduce the growth of the plants. However, this is not true. Autoflowers aren’t actually as fragile as you imagine them to be. Unless you’re a new grower with absolutely no experience, you can top your plants and increase the buds.

So, what exactly is topping? Well, as you can probably guess, topping is a method that involves cutting the very tip of the main stem. This is done to create more colas. Once you identify the main stem, cut the tip using clean scissors.

Now, using clean scissors is very important since you don’t want to infect the plant with diseases. It’s also a good idea to sterilize the scissors or blade to ensure that you’re not infecting the plant. You don’t want a healthy plant to die because of your mistakes, do you?

Unlike LST, Topping is actually a High-Stress Training technique. It induces a little more stress than LST and that’s perhaps why growers avoid it entirely. However, topping produces more buds than you can imagine. When you cut off the tip, the lower parts of the plant get more light. When the leaves get more light, they produce more buds and your yields increase automatically.

You can also top the remaining colas to make sure that the plant produces more. When cannabis plants grow normally, they produce a few colas. But when you cut off the tip, the colas multiply and you end up with more buds.

Basically, you’re stressing the plant to produce more, and they will comply. It’s very critical to know when to top, though. For instance, photoperiod plants are topped in their vegetative stage when the plant is still growing. Similarly, autoflowers need to be topped when they are in their growing stage.

If the plant starts producing preflowers, avoid topping because the window to train the plant has passed by already. So, try to top the plant within the first 20 days so that the plant has enough time to recuperate and produce healthy, fascinating flowers.

3) FIMming

Image source: northcountybounty.com

FIM stands for Fuck, I Missed, and this method originated when a grower who attempted to top his plants failed miserably. He failed to cut the tip of the plant entirely but was successful with FIMming. He let the plant grow as usual but was surprised when the plant developed several colas instead of two as he had originally planned.

Since then, many growers have expressed interest in FIMming and have even tried it to get exceptional results. FIMming is almost like topping, but instead of cutting off the tip of the main cola, it’s pinched in such a way that the plant still has parts of the top remaining.

Grapefruit Auto
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Grapefruit
Taste:
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From €9
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Room: Indoor | Outdoor
Gender: Feminized
Genes: Sativa/Indica
Genetics: Grapefruit autoflowering
Flowering: 8-9 weeks
Harvest: XL
Height US: up to 35 inches
Height EU: 60-90 cm
THC: High
CBD: Low
Autoflowering: Yes

With topping, the plant produces two colas, but with FIMming, it produces a lot more. This is because the tip is pinched off and it creates not two but four more shoots. Sometimes, it can produce six colas as well. Due to the way the tip is pinched off, the auxins are diverted to other parts of the plant too.

FIMming is a lot less stressful to the plant compared to topping because you still have parts of the tip remaining when you pinch it. The plant will recover faster and then grow as usual. Again, it’s important to remember to FIM or top only when the plant hasn’t produced pre-flowers yet. If you see flowers, it’s best to not FIM at all.

Compared to topping, FIMing produces more yields. However, if you do this when the plant is flowering, it will actually diminish the production of flowers rather than increasing it.

4) SCROG

ScrOG is the short term for Screen of Green. If you use a screen to grow plants, then you’re employing the ScrOG technique. Generally, ScrOG is used for photoperiod plants where they are trained to enter the screen and then spread during the vegetative stage. However, since autoflowers have a preset cycle, ScrOG is a little difficult.

To perform ScrOG, you will need a screen that has big enough holes to allow the plant to enter. You can place the screen before positioning the plants, or you can simply place a screen after the plants have started growing. The screen should be placed about 10-11 inches below the light.

Once the plant starts growing and enters the screen, grab the main cola and bend it gently below the screen. Now the cola will start growing horizontally for a while. But you’ll see that the cola will position itself quickly and start growing upwards again. At this point, put the cola below the screen again and the process continues.

You can do this with as many colas as you want. The basic idea is to make the plant grow horizontally rather than vertically. After a while, the colas will stop growing upwards and you can stop Scrogging. Be proactive and ScrOG the plants daily to get more results.

If you stick to training the plants every day as planned, you’ll see that the screen is filled with colas. And that’s why this technique is known as the Screen of Green. There are many benefits of using this, but the main reason is that it increases the yields.

It’s important to understand that ScrOG requires experience. Try and experiment with a few plants until you get it right. Once you understand how the method works, you’ll see that all parts of the plant receive a lot more light, and more light equals more buds.

No matter what technique you use, understand the methods well before trying to train the plants. Experiment and practice until you’re sure you can do it.

Strains like Cream Cookies and Gorilla Glue perform very well with all these techniques, so start growing today!

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Pine
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Room: Indoor | Outdoor
Gender: Feminized
Genes: Sativa/Indica
Genetics: Gorilla Glue autoflowering
Flowering: 8-9 weeks
Harvest: XL
Height US: up to 40 inches
Height EU: 60-100cm
THC: Very High
CBD: Low
Autoflowering: Yes