The training methods on autoflowering seeds is a difficult subject to tackle among breeders. If done properly, your plants can create multiple colas where more than one buds can grow. However, the fast growth cycle of the auto plant makes it hard to achieve positive results when using any training methods.
Why should you train regular or feminized auto flower seeds and how can you train the plants? We answer that question by knowing how you can benefit from training your plants. Let us also show you the different methods in doing so.
Reason for training methods on autoflowering seeds
Nearly every marijuana plant grows vertically to form a pine or Christmas tree shape when they are left to develop naturally. The Christmas tree shape is a problem for the bottom part of the plant when it comes to indoor cultivation. The bottom branches may not receive the same amount of light as other parts of the plant due to the top leaves covering them.
Untrained auto plants will have one large cola where most of the auxin gather while leaving other small colas with little to no growth hormone. This results in an incredibly large bud at the top and several weak buds at the bottom.
The problem with untrained plants is how you are missing on the yield potential from undeveloped colas at the bottom. You cannot maximize the bud production amount by relying on a single cola, despite the size of its produced bud.
By training your marijuana plants, you encourage the side branches to grow laterally instead of the top part of the plant. This results in a blush shape with a green canopy at the top.
Bushy marijuana plants can create multiple colas since its side branches can receive the same amount of light as the top branches. With multiple colas, you can achieve the best possible yield rate of the strain. This also applies to autoflower plants that can have two main colas instead of just one.
Topping a marijuana plant calls for removing the top stalk. This is often the part right above the uppermost branch of your plant. By removing the top part, you stop the plant’s development from continuing upwards. Instead, it will put more of its energy in growing the side branches.
Many cultivators tend to avoid this training method since it involves cutting a significant piece of your marijuana plant. While this is not a problem when growing photoperiod cannabis seeds, it is a different story when it comes to regular or feminized auto flower seeds.
Auto plants’ fast growth cycle barely gives them enough time to recover from the damage. If not done properly, the damaged cannabis plant will barely produce any yield at the end of its flowering period. This method gives you a small window of opportunity to train your plant.
Despite the difficulty, topping helps you ensure that the plant will put more attention to its side branches. Other training methods may not guarantee that all side branches will grow as equally as the side branch.
FIMming is similar to topping where you are cutting the upper portion of the plant. The difference with this method is that you are cutting the developing growth at the top, but not the stem itself.
This results in making the plant grow to top stalks throughout the vegetative period. These stalks provide two or more main colas instead of a single one.
Unlike topping, FIMming does not stress your plant too much. The training method allows your auto cannabis plants to recover quickly, which gives them more time to develop multiple top stalks.
Unfortunately, the lack of stress may only make your plant keep growing its main stem. FIMming also results in uneven stalk growth, which results in multiple undesirable bud growth.
Low-Stress Training (LST) calls for bending the main stalk and securing it down with a cable tie. You also need to bend and tie-down other stalks that are higher than the main stalk.
If done right, the plant will react to the training by growing its lower branches upwards. These branches create multiple colas where the buds will grow.
LST is barely stressful on the plant since you are not cutting its main stalk or any part of it. This gives the plant more time to develop its lower branches.
The catch with LST is the unpredictable divergence of energy. Your auto plants may continue growing the main stalk and none of the branches. You might also see some undeveloped colas as the plant finishes its vegetative phase.
Screen of Green
The screen of Green (SCROG) utilizes a screen at the top of your plants. Much like LST, you will be bending the top stalk beneath the screen if it grows past the hole. As the stalk keeps growing to pass the hole, you just need to bend it down again under the screen.
SCROG aims at encouraging your plants to grow its branches horizontally. This will result in multiple colas appearing on the screen since the majority of the plant’s branches are getting plenty of light. Since you are only bending the stalks, you are not stressing the plant as much as topping it.
The issue with SCROG is its unpredictability. Much like LST, you barely have control over the growth of your branches. You might get an uneven growth on the branches, which can lead to multiple undeveloped buds.
Training your auto flower plants can result in the best possible yields from the strain. Make sure to read up on how to execute the methods on your plant to lessen the risk of your bud production.
Using the training methods on autoflowering seeds is a good way to gain experience in the proper execution of training your plants. This will make it easy for you to apply the methods on strains that are hard to cultivate. Marijuana requires guidance to give you those amazing buds. As Doug Larson once said, “Cannabis knows how to survive, but not how to produce quality buds”