how to low stress train cannabis plant lst

If you are a cannabis grower, then you need to learn a gardening trick that promises big yields: Low Stress Training (LST training). What is Low Stress Training? We bet you are eager to know more about this trick that can enhance yield from your weed crop. Well, in a few words, Low Stress Training is a gardening trick that helps your weed plants to thrive. It focuses on getting wide and bushy plants that translate to more buds, bigger yields, and even higher levels of THC from every plant you grow. However, for you to get the best results, you need to apply the technique carefully. So, we have written this article to guide you on how to perform it. 

What is Low Stress Training (LST)?

LST training, also known as light stress training, is a method that you can use to grow your autoflower cannabis plants to maximize their yield by focusing on optimal light usage. The approach also emphasizes reducing the vertical space needed for growing autoflowers. 

At its simplest application, Low Stress Training entails gently bending and securing down marijuana plants’ stems and branches. Normally, this is done for two reasons.

Firstly, the weed plant typically grows one big main stem with a single elongated and large cola. The stem exists alongside smaller side branches with tiny buds. In other words, the cannabis plant has the tendency to grow into the shape of a Christmas tree. This tendency is called apical dominance. Low Stress Training attempts to break the apical dominance to flatten out the canopy, so it grows at the same height. This helps all the areas of the plant to be exposed to optimal light distribution, creating more prospective buds sites and bigger harvests at the end. 

Secondly, the best part of LST is that you don’t need to change your growing setup to attain better results. You only need some basic knowledge and a few tools to benefit from the trick. 

Where can you use Low Stress Training?

You can use this technique both indoors and outdoors. Regardless of the environment you are growing your cannabis, you will enhance your harvests with LST.

Low Stress Training autoflower is better indoors because it increases your yield and maximizes horizontal space while reducing the vertical space required. You should apply Low Stress Training when you find out that your autoflower will soon outgrow the vertical space. Here, you need to act to help train the plant. If you are a new grower, this option is particularly useful because then you have challenges anticipating how high your weed plant will grow.

Outdoor growers do not have a problem with space, meaning that the main benefit they derive from LST is allowing more buds to get optimal light because of an even canopy. 

low stress training cannabis plant
An indoor grown cannabis plant being trained using LST techniques
cannabis plant trained using the LST (low stress training) method
An outdoor cannabis plant grown using LST techniques

When should you perform LST?

Weed growers have two choices when performing Low Stress Training. 

The first option is to begin Low Stress Training at the very beginning of the plants’ lifecycle when the initial one or two true leaves are fully-grown. Starting at an early age is usually deliberate and is associated with better results. 

The second option is starting the training a week before the onset of flowering or during the first weeks of flowering. During this period, the weed plant is growing most vigorously, producing most branches. With this option, the need to decrease the requirement for vertical space informs Low Stress Training. Although the results may not be as good as when the training is started earlier, it will still promote the performance of your weed plants. 

What are the benefits of performing LST?

There are several reasons why you should low stress train your autoflowers. We have tried to give some of the reasons, but the list is not exhaustive. Read on to find out why you should LST your plants.

1. To get more light to dense buds

In particular, Indica autoflowers are characterized by dense buds, meaning that a method of getting more light to these buds is needed. A low stress tress training would help get optima light to all the buds from a single source. However, if you may not like the idea of LST, you may consider adding more lighting to your setup.

2. Allow light to get to lower branches

You want to get light to all parts of your cannabis plants. However, if the leaves are dense, it is highly likely that the lower stem may not receive adequate light from your source. Low Stress Training autoflowers ensures that your overall yield increases because the light is a significant determinant in the yield you will get from your cannabis plant.

Apart from indoor grown plants, sun-grown autoflowers also require LST because they tend to look like a Christmas tree, and their lower branches do not receive optimal sunlight at midday. As a result, they look small and produce a small number of buds. 

3. To reduce vertical space

If vertical space is your problem, then lower stress training is the best solution. With this method, you can increase the plant’s horizontal growth, thereby reducing the need for a huge amount of vertical space. LST could be particularly useful if you overestimated the strain you bought. To avoid the requirement of Low Stress Training as a method of minimizing vertical space, you can buy short autoflower weed seeds. 

4. To curb stretching

When weed plants stretch, it is a bad sign for weed growers who have limited space and those who want dense buds. When autoflowers don’t get adequate light, they tend to stretch. Avoiding this tendency can be achieved by providing more light.

However, if you are not able to provide more light to your plants, Low Stress Training is the best option. It is even better than providing more light because enhancing lighting to your auto will increase the number of branches, and the plants will still be stretched, leading to a less dense canopy. 

5. To get better yield

The ultimate goal of every grower is to get a high yield from their crop. As seen from the benefits given above, there is some link to a better yield. As such, LST training can increase the overall yield of your weed plant because more of your plants’ leaves will receive light to produce more food for the autoflowering plant, making it grow faster. In the end, you will get more and denser buds, with the end yield becoming considerably bigger.

How to LST your plants?

While Low Stress Training is significant in enhancing your yield, getting it wrong can mess up your plants. Therefore, it is important that you learn how to perform it correctly to avoid problems. Read on to find out how you can LST to your plants correctly.

What do you need to LST cannabis plants?

Getting the correct tools and materials is the first step to getting the job done right. These are:
– A sharp pair of scissors
– Several soft wire ties
– Several twisty ties
Once you have these, it is time to perform Low Stress Training on your autoflowers. 

How to LST cannabis plants step by step

When you are Low Stress Training weed, there are three major steps: 1 – topping the weed plant, 2 – stooping and 3 – tying the stems, and forcing flowering. We will explain what exactly you will be doing in each step.

1 – Topping your cannabis plants

Topping your cannabis plants should never be ignored because it can help enhance your results. The topped plant can grow wider, giving you better and more yield, given that it possesses more buds.

To correctly do this, cut your weed plant down to its third node using a sharp and clean pair of scissors. Cutting it as such helps keep your plant symmetrical. Two tips will remain on the stems, and they will create more nodes. Top them again to have more branches. However, some growers may skip this step, fearing that topping could destroy their plants.

2 – Bending and tying the plants’ stems

Whether you top your plant or not, the next step in Low Stress Training weed for better yield is bending the steps in whichever direction you deem suitable. Whatever direction you choose, make sure it results in the plants’ stems being of the same distance from the light.

Be aware that the bending will not occur just once. You will need to perform the bending repeatedly because your plants will continue to grow. After bending them, you should then tie them using one tie for each plant. To attain this, put sticks in the ground and utilize them to anchor the ties.

3 – Force the flowering

After some time, the plant will be horizontal because of following the above steps. The horizontal position is a clear sign that the plants are ready for flowering. Although the plants may not be as high as you may desire, you don’t need to worry because they can still increase in size across in the coming weeks at it forms buds. 

Even after your plants begin to flower, you shouldn’t discontinue Low Stress Training. Continuing with LST ensures that the plant’s canopy is controlled. Continue with LST for about one month before stopping. However, you can extend it beyond one month if there are problems with light distribution on your plants’ leaves. 

Top 3 strains to LST


You see! You can boost your weed plants’ yield by applying Low Stress Training. Applying this approach during your cannabis plants’ vegetative stage typically forces them to produce better and bigger yields without you changing the setup. 

While it takes dedication and concentration, practicing Low Stress Training consistently will lead to greatly satisfying yields.  

Take your time, learn the process, and apply it to your work. Don’t worry about failing because LST is one of the easiest gardening tricks you can apply to your weed-growing venture. Focus on the ultimate goal because Low Stress Training weed promises to give you more buds than you would normally get.

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Joe Musgrave

An avid 420 enthusiast, grower, smoker and writer. Joe writes non stop, sharing his extensive knowledge in the field of cannabis with the wider online 420 community through blogs like ours at High Yield Strains.

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