LST or low-stress training is a tried and tested way of optimising yields for autoflowers, which are known to be sensitive to stress, as well as being smaller and more compact than photoperiod varieties. However, caution should be exercised. The autos’ vulnerability to stress means that it is essential to know when and how to LST autoflowers to avoid harming your babies.
What exactly is LST?
Low-stress training techniques are gentle methods that do not involve scissors or a knife. The plant is therefore not damaged, which has the advantage that it recovers much faster from the training. Examples of high-stress training techniques are topping a plant or removing fan leaves. Many growers apply a combination of low and high-stress training; topping their cannabis plants first, for example, after which they let the newly formed branches grow in the desired direction.
How to LST autoflowers?
Low-stress training for autoflowering cannabis plants mainly involves a lot of careful bending and tying the branches so that they stay in the desired position. Tying is best done with binding wire; this wire is easy to bend and has a thick rubber coating so that it does not cut into the tender branches of your cannabis plants. Take care not to tie it too tightly for the same reason. Growers sometimes also fasten their plants to their pots or to specially placed racks, such as when scrogging.
Learn how to apply: Low stress training
The pros and cons of applying LST to autoflowers
Done correctly, LST is an effective way of maximising your autoflower yield, light usage and reducing the amount of vertical space. It is also used as a way of controlling growth or ‘stretching’ in a non-stressful way. You can look forward to better-looking plants with more even foliage, as well as bigger colas and denser buds.
However, the various methods of LST, such as the tie-down method, can be labour-intensive, time-consuming, and involve fine motor skills. Some planning is also required to avoid reduced yields as autoflowers have a limited amount of time to recover from the training before continuing with their growth.
When to perform LST on autoflowers?
You can start LST at any age as long as the plants are healthy; however, do not begin LST if the plant has entered the flowering phase as this will decrease yields by placing the plant under stress when it needs to concentrate on producing buds. As autoflowers ofen start to flower after 2 – 4 weeks already, it’s recommended to LST your autoflower in a really early stage of your grow.
Top 3 best Low Stress Training autoflower strains
The first autoflowering strains were heavily hybridised with wild hemp and largely produced small and poor-quality buds. However, the latest autoflowering strains from reputable breeders are capable of producing buds that are just as powerful and gorgeous as traditional photoperiod varieties. Here are three autos that respond particularly well to LST:
Gorilla Glue Autoflower is a feminised autoflower cannabis variety that is very popular due to its high THC content and powerful effects. The original Gorilla Glue contains genetics from Chocolate Diesel, Sour Dubb and Chem Sister. Gorilla Glue was crossed with a Ruderalis dominant cannabis strain to transform her into an autoflower. This cannabis strain contains more Indica than Sativa genetics predominantly.
After smoking this weed, you will soon experience a powerful high that will probably leave you locked to the couch; so make sure you have a relaxed environment and that you don’t have anything much on. Gorilla Glue Auto is perfect for an evening of chilling! Medicinal users benefit from using this weed to get to sleep. Growing weed from these cannabis seeds provides you with potent weed and high yields of sticky weed.
The Gorilla Glue Auto is an easy to grow cannabis plant that is very forgiving to the novice grower as it is not easy to overfeed. In addition, this cannabis strain offers high yields of weed in a short period with copious amounts of THC. Gorilla Glue Auto is also a strain that reacts exceptionally well to LST. She is one of the strongest autoflowers and a big yielder. By tying her side branches down, you will increase the number of flowering sites and enjoy bountiful yields.
More information | Gorilla Glue autoflower
Our Girl Scout Cookies Autoflower is a feminised autoflower strain created by crossing Girl Scout Cookies (OG Kush x Durban Poison) x Ruderalis
Girl Scout Cookies Auto is a cannabis plant with a high THC content, which makes this weed unsuitable for people who have no experience with cannabis yet as it is pretty potent for an auto! You can grow Girl Scout Cookies both indoors and outdoors. Medicinally, this cannabis can be used for anxiety, to relax during stressful times, to relieve pain and to improve the appetite.
GSC Auto has a sweet woody taste. The effect is euphoric and progresses to a relaxed feeling in the body. Growing cannabis from these feminised cannabis seeds provides you with an easy to grow cannabis plant with impressive medicinal properties.
More information | Girl Scout Cookies autoflower
Big Haze Autoflower has the potential to develop into a sensational weed plant when LST is applied, with an astonishing THC percentage of 22%. Big Haze Auto was created by weedseedsexpress.com using the genetics of Original Haze. A Sativa-dominant plant, this cannabis strain prefers a temperate Mediterranean climate.
Big Haze Auto is also easy to grow with a high mould resistance and an average flowering time of 11 to 12 weeks, which also makes it ideal for LST. Growing this impressive strain indoors, you can expect heights of 60 cm to 100 cm, and average yields of up to 150 gram per square metre. Growing outside, Big Haze Auto will grow slightly taller (75 cm to 150 cm), and you can expect yields of 150 to 250 gram per m2. Big Haze Auto weed has a typical Haze flavour with additional sweet and tropical notes and induces a cerebral high accompanied by boundless energy.
More information | Haze autoflower