Published: November 2nd, 2016
Categories: Cannabis Cultivation
There are many variables involved when attempting to keep a Cannabis plant small and squat. Below are a list of the potential factors that can reduce unwanted plant height and allow the plant to better focus its energy.
A very important factor when considering how big you want your plants is of course genetics. So choose wisely if space is an issue. Cannabis is made up of Indica and Sativa and understanding the difference between these two is a great advantage. For small to medium sized varieties, Indica strains are recommended as when these varieties are flowered, there is a short space between internodal growth and especially during blooming.
The internodes of the plant determine what difference in size there is, between each new primary shoot. A great way to keep internodal space to a minimum is to keep the lights close so the plants do not need to stretch and reach for the light. Many growers have excellent results during veg by using CFL lighting. This soft form of fluorescent lighting is what plants require during the growing period. LED is also great for short internodes.
Also known as the growing phase (18 hours light/6 hours dark), the length of time you veg a plant for will determine its overall size and yield. A great tip is to only veg the plant for a shorter time. If you are growing in a Sea Of Green scenario, then the plants will stay around 60cm on the basis that during flowering the lighting is not too distant and should remain closer to the canopy.
This is really the most hands on way the grower can ensure a low profile canopy. The first form of plant training is ‘Low Stress Training‘ (L.S.T) which involves taking the main dominant shoot that has an auxin to grow vertically, then tying down this shoot so it is no longer the highest point in the canopy. By doing this only once, the rest of the shoots around the plant will begin to grow more laterally and many more potential bud sites grow. Once this stage is done then you can pinch out the top shoots of the new growth. The principal behind this is to create two new shoots where once there was one. Choose how many shoots you want to finish with and now is a great time to incorporate a net to feed the new growth through. By doing this method known as ‘ Scrog ‘ you can ensure that everything through the top of the screen has light to grow up to, and that anything under the net will be cleared away.
The rule of thumb for plant size is the bigger the pot then the bigger the plant. As long as you have a vibrant healthy root system, then growing in huge pots can lead to huge plants and vice versa. A good tip here is to grow in plant pots that are wider than taller. The reason being that when roots fill out wider pots, as an anchor effect, the plant from the soil up, will grow bushy and wide. These plants are then even easier to train to stay small.
One major factor that causes a plant to stretch despite its generic tendency to want to stay small, is heat. Hot grow rooms with poor airflow and a lack of fresh air, can lead to plants that stretch as a result of stress. Considering the grower wants the plant to focus its energy on growing short internodal budding sites and bud development. Aim to keep your temps around 24-27 degrees celsius and never exceed 35 degrees celsius .