What is Low Stress Training?

Low Stress Training (LST) is a method of training your plants that involves the bending of branches to allow maximum light penetration to all areas of the plant evenly. There are a few different ways to allow light to reach the inner areas of the plant. Low stress training will help create an even canopy with buds that are more uniform in shape and size, while also reducing the amount of “larf” or less desirable material. It also gives you more control over your plants size, shape, and height.

The most common method of low stress training is tying branches down laterally. You can do this by taking some wire or string and tying it directly onto your pot. If there’s nowhere to tie it down, you can use any sort of clip to clip the string to your growing medium.

Below are some photos that demonstrate the LST method of tying the branches down.

Big thanks to ,@rubysautogrow & ,@eazycannabis for letting us use their photos!

Another common method that has become more prevalent is using the LST “clips.” Low stress training with the LST clip method involves simply bending the branches in the direction you want them to go and placing the branches into these neat little clips.

These clips can take a little getting used to, sometimes the branches can kind of “snap,” and that is definitely not what we want to accomplish when using the LST clips. What we do want to accomplish with light stress training is allow light into the lower branches of the plant. This can help provide a more even canopy, allow the lower branches to stretch, and it does not negatively affect the plants ability to grow. Amazingly, the plant will grow around the LST clips, basically adopting them as a part of its branch. If you use these clips and you feel like the branch is getting too wide for the clips, you can always remove them.

Here are a few examples of low stress training with clips.

Big thanks to ,@tombstones.trichomes & ,@the.ganjaranger for letting us use their photos!

These methods of low stress training essentially help with the same issues, and can help increase your yield while also decreasing the amount of stress you would normally run into with other methods of training. The only difference in these two methods is that one connects the pot to the plant’s branches with wire or string, and the other is located only on the branches itself and does not involve attaching your branch to the pot’s exterior.

In contrast to low stress training methods, another common method of training is defoliation. Defoliation is known as high stress training. Defoliation is defined plainly as removing above ground plant material. This method of high stress training often comes with many questions like “Do I do it?” “How much do I do?” “When do I do it?” It’s completely normal to ask these questions, considering if high stress training is executed improperly – then it could cause stunted, malformed, or even dead plants.

When defoliating, you want to keep in mind that the leaves are the batteries of the plant, and they are needed to carry out the photosynthesis process. We have a rule of thumb in the multiverse when it comes to defoliation: if the leaf is causing more harm than good, it should be removed. What causes more harm than good? The determining factor is whether the leaf is covering a budsite or not. If a fan leaf is covering a main budsite that is lower down the plant and it is not getting adequate light, it will cause that budsite to be underdeveloped from the rest of the budsites.

Having too much biomass or foliage can cause humidity issues that lead to bud rot, mold, and mildew. Thinning out an abundance of leaves can improve air flow to the buds and branches, while also decreasing the chances of getting a mold or mildew issue. When thinning out your biomass, keep in mind: less is more – you can always take more off but you can never put it back.

If you’re interested in learning more about how relative humidity affects your beans, check out our blog post titled “MultiverseBeans Seed Storage Guide.”

Leave a comment below and let us know how low stress training has improved your crop!