How to manifold cannabis

Manifolding done right is a great technique to increase the yield of your cannabis plants. Used alongside LST techniques some growers have been able to double the amount of bud that a single cannabis plant can produce.

In this article, we’ll break down what manifolding is, walk you through the steps, and even let you in on the strains that respond best to this approach. We’ll also touch on the critical dos and don’ts so you can avoid rookie mistakes. Trust us, by the end of this read, you’ll be itching to try manifolding on your next grow. Stick around; you won’t want to miss this.

What is manifolding cannabis?

Manifolding cannabis is a high stress training (HST) technique where you top the plant twice with the aim to create a more even canopy and increase your plant’s yield. Essentially, this approach focuses on manipulating the plant’s growth pattern so that instead of growing one main stem with a single fat cola, you to create multiple branches that will turn into large bud sites. Unlike traditional growing methods where the plant takes on a Christmas tree shape, manifolding results in a flatter, bushier plant. So this not only creates more bud sites but also maximizes light penetration resulting in bigger yields.

Step by step how to manifold cannabis plants

To successfully manifold your cannabis plants, you’ll want to follow a structured sequence of steps.

2. Sanitize Your Tools: Use isopropyl alcohol or a similar disinfectant to sanitize your scissors or pruning shears. This helps to prevent the spread of diseases.

3. Choose the Third Node: Locate the third node from the base of the plant. Nodes are the points on the stem where leaves and branches grow.

4. Top the Plant: Using your sanitized shears, cut the main stem just above the third node. This will leave you with two main branches and will remove the growth tip and any nodes/branches above the cut.

5. Remove Lower Growth: Trim off the first and second nodes from the base of the plant, leaving only the third node (which is now your main bifurcation point). This concentrates the plant’s energy on the two primary branches.

6. Allow Recovery: Give the plant some time (a week or so) to recover and grow. Ensure proper watering, lighting, and nutrition during this period.

7. Prepare for the Second Topping: Once the two primary branches have grown out and produced at least 3-4 nodes each, you’ll be preparing for the next round of topping.

8. Second Topping: Top each of the two primary branches just above their third node, just as you did with the main stem. This will give you a total of four primary branches.

9. Remove Unwanted Growth Again: Trim off any additional growth or small branches on these four main branches, leaving only their top growth. This ensures the plant’s energy is focused on the main colas.

10. Train the Branches: Gently bend and secure the branches so they grow horizontally. This can be done using soft ties and stakes or a net. The idea is to encourage an even, flat canopy.

11. Allow for Further Growth: Let the plant grow, maintaining its shape by training and pruning as necessary. The plant will develop multiple main colas instead of just one, optimizing light exposure and yield.

12. Continue with normal growth: Water, feed, and protect your plants from pests and diseases as usual. As the plant enters the flowering stage, ensure that the main colas are evenly spaced and getting adequate light.

13. Harvest: Once the plants reach maturity and are ready, harvest the main colas.

When to start and stop manifolding your cannabis plants

Timing is important when it comes to manifolding cannabis plants. Start the process when your plant has at least five to six nodes. This ensures that the plant is robust enough to handle the stress of cutting.

On the other end, stop manifolding at least two to three weeks before switching your photoperiod plants to the flowering stage. This time allows the plant to recover and focus its energy on bud production.

Basically you need to begin manifolding when your plant is mature enough but not too close to flowering. This way, you maximize both plant health and yield.

Manifolding vs mainlining: Whats the difference?

Manifolding and mainlining are both high stress training techniques used to increase yield by forcing the plant to grow more than one main branch, they are very similar, but they’re not the same. Manifolding involves creating multiple “manifolds” or branches, typically by topping the plant twice. This creates eight main colas that grow at the same height, promoting even light distribution and maximizing yield.

On the other hand, mainlining aims for the same goal of even canopy but uses a different approach. In this method, you remove all growth below the first manifold and train the plant to grow horizontally. Consequently, mainlining focuses more on horizontal growth and tends to use fewer manifolds, usually just one or two.

Does manifolding increase yield?

Absolutely, manifolding can significantly increase the yield of your cannabis plants. In some cases it can increase yields by up to 200% when used alongside LST techniques such as ScrOG. However, its important to bear in mind that this is a high stress training technique and when it isn’t done properly it can have a negative impact on yield. Manifolding also adds some time to the vegetative phase, so patience is key. In the end, if done correctly, the investment in time and effort can result in higher yields.

Can you manifold autoflowering plants? 

Manifolding autoflowering plants is generally not recommended, and here’s why: Autoflowers have a short life cycle, typically entering the flowering stage after just a few weeks of growth. This leaves little time for recovery if any training techniques go awry.

Manifolding involves significant stress and therefore your plants need recovery time, which is something autoflowers can’t afford without impacting their yield. With photoperiod plants, you control when the flowering stage begins, and so if your plants need more recovery time you can simply extend the vegetative stage a little longer. But in autoflowers, the clock is ticking from day one. If you’re interested in increasing yield in autoflowering plants, less stressful techniques like Low Stress Training (LST) may be more suitable. So, stick to photoperiod plants for manifolding.

What are the best cannabis strains to manifold?

When it comes to manifolding, you can use this technique on any photoperiod strain, however not all cannabis strains are as well suited to this method.

Indica dominant strains are often the best candidates due to their bushy growth and shorter flowering times. Specifically, strains like Northern Lights, Blue Cheese, and White Widow have shown great results.

Sativa strains can also be manifolded but require a bit more attention and time. Strains like Amnesia Haze and Sour Diesel are suitable but expect a longer flowering period and make sure to monitor them closely.

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The key is to choose a strain with a stable genetic background, resilience to stress, and one that fits your growing environment. By doing so, you’re setting the stage for a successful manifold and potentially greater yields.

There you have it – a beginner’s guide to manifolding cannabis plants! From choosing the right strain to maximizing yields, we’ve covered all you need to know. Now, you’re equipped to apply these tips to your next grow and increase your yields. So, why not give it a try? And hey, if you found this guide useful, don’t forget to like and share this article! Happy growing!

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