Low Stress vs High Stress Training

Which techniques you can or cannot apply on autoflowers, and their basic differences.
13 May 2020
5 min read
Low Stress vs High Stress Training

  • 1. Low stress training techniques (lst)
  • 1. a. The tie-down method
  • 1. b. Screen of green (scrog)
  • 2. High stress training techniques (hst)
  • 2. a. Topping
  • 2. b. Fim
  • 2. c. Super cropping
  • 3. Training autoflowering plants
  • 4. In conclusion

As you may know, there are ways to train your plant, these methods may greatly increase your final harvest, by allowing more light to reach the buds you can expect bigger yields and overall better flower quality. Training techniques are divided into two categories: Low Stress Training (LST) and High Stress Training (HST). 

1. Low Stress Training Techniques (LST)

LST does not involve damaging your plant directly, they won’t have a big impact on your plant but you’ll have to perform training several times a week until reaching the desired result.

L.S.T is the art of lowering certain points of the canopy, in order to create a uniform, multi tipped canopy and to expose light to the inner parts of the plants.

The Tie-Down Method

This method consists of using a string or fishing line to tie down your plant’s branches. Growers use this method to be able to control stretching and at the same time level canopy, allowing light to reach all bud sites equally.

By performing it correctly, you won’t only adapt your plant to your grow space but also allow light to reach the lower buds, resulting in a bigger yield, denser buds, and overall better harvest.

Screen of Green (SCROG)

This method has the same results as the tie down method, the difference is it uses a net or screen (similar to a volleyball net) to hold down branches. Just like the tie down method, growers use this method to level canopy allowing light to reach all bud sites and at the same time control stretching.



SCROG refers to when a screen is applied to a grow room, to multiple or one huge plant, to be trained and manipulated through the screen.

Even though you save time by not having to tie down each branch individually,  the net is fixed to your grow tent thus making it impossible to move plants around.

Tip: You can use smaller nets on top of each plant individually, it’ll be easier to move plants around when scrogging. The disadvantage is it takes a bit more space and you’ll have to buy a new net for each plant before starting your next cycle.

2. High Stress Training Techniques (HST)

HST consists of directly damaging your plant by breaking or removing parts of the plant. This will have an impact on your plant and probably stunt growth but at the same time saving you from having to perform training several times a week.   


Topping is a simple method that consists of removing the top of the plant using a scissor or even with your fingernails. The topped part of your plant will then divide into two branches while also promoting growth in the lower branches. This process can be repeated multiple times as the plant grows in its vegetative state.


Topping encourages two main shoots to grow in replacement of the one that was cut away.

It will produce a plant with several colas, allowing light to reach all bud sites. Remember your plant will need a couple of days to recover after being topped, this will result in a longer vegetative stage.

Tip: We recommend sterilizing your scissors or hand with alcohol before topping, this way you may prevent infections.


Fimming is a more complicated version of Topping. Unlike topping where you remove the whole region of new growth, fimming consists of removing around 75% of the new growth, the goal is to produce four new branches instead of two, achieving the same result as topping without having to perform as much training.


Fimming means purposely leaving 25% of the top, this will make your plant grow with a much more stocky growth structure.

Tip: You can perform fimming or topping on side branches if you want to grow a bushier plant while performing either of them on the top will result in a taller plant.

Super Cropping

Super Cropping (aka Stem Mutilation) is a more aggressive version of LST, instead of tying down the top of the plant, you’re bending the branch until the fibers break. The goal is to not break the whole branch or even tear the skin of the stalk, you simply want it to bend over.


Super cropping is a high-stress technique that will cause the inner cell walls to break and repair.

To do this you have to gently roll and squeeze the desired branch, you will feel when it starts to weaken and will eventually bend. Like all other training techniques, the goal is to level the canopy to allow light to reach all bud sites.

3. Training Autoflowering Plants

We recommend performing only LST techniques on your autoflowers. While it can shock your plant if done aggressively, performing low stress techniques slowly and steady every couple of days you will achieve the desired results without affecting your plants growth.

At Fast Buds we offer strains that react exceptionally well to LST like the Gorilla Glue Auto. She is a very resistant autoflower and a big yielder. By tying her side branches down you will increase the number of flowering sites and increase yields.

Gorilla Glue Auto
Gorilla Glue Auto
Sativa 65%/Indica 35%
Gorilla Glue Auto
9 – 10 weeks
450 – 600 gr/m2
60 – 130 cm
Up to 24%
< 1%
Buy seeds from 13,00 €
1 fem
13,00 €
2 fem
24,00 €
3 fem
36,00 €
5 fem
55,00 €
10 fem
99,00 €
25 fem
215,00 €
50 fem
365,00 €
100 fem
590,00 €
500 fem
1 950,00 €
1000 fem
3 400,00 €
3 fem
Add to Cart
36,00 €

Although you can grow them without training, performing LST will result in more colas, denser buds, and increased yield.

Even though you can use high stress training techniques on autoflowers it is NOT recommended. Typically autoflowers need around 4 weeks to start flowering, performing HST will stunt growth for a couple of days. High Stress Training your auto as little as two times during her entire vegetative stage can add up into a week of recovery. This will seriously affect your plant’s height and decrease yield significantly.

If you want to experiment with HST and autoflowering plants, look for plants that take a bit longer to start flowering, like our Six Shooter Auto. The extra couple of weeks she needs to fully mature and  it can compensate for the recovery time after performing any HST technique.

4. In Conclusion

A combination of both High and Low Stress training can be done to increase yields with photoperiodic plants. We recommend beginners to start training autoflowers with LST techniques, as you get the hang of it you can evolve to experimenting with HST on autos.

Try not to overdo it, you can always train more but you can’t take after the damage’s been done. Remember the goal is to have a better harvest than the last one while improving your growing skills and keeping your plants happy and healthy.

13 May 2020