Why not let plants grow naturally? Cannabis naturally grows in a “Christmas Tree” shape that is optimized for sunlight, not grow lights. Unlike the sun, cannabis grow lights do not rise and set every day, providing light from the sides. Furthermore, indoor grow lights have almost no penetration when compared against the sun; the light from a 1000W HPS is usable for a few feet while light from the sun is usable to plants after traveling 93 million miles!
Sea of Green is a related technique to 12-12 From Seed. The idea with Sea of Green is to grow many small plants instead of a few big plants. This allows a grower to make a sea of buds without having to do any plant training and can result in big yields that take less time. The main idea is to let seedlings grow for only 4-5 weeks before immediately switching them to the flowering stage. Since each plant doesn’t have to get very big, the time needed before flowering is reduced by several weeks. Many growers will also “top” their seedlings by removing the tips of seedlings when they have about 4-6 pairs of leaves.
This is a huge part of why it’s important to understand how far away your lights need to be, depending on what type of light you have.
For indoor growers, plants tend to yield more if a lot of the plant is kept just the right distance from the grow lights. This means trying to maintain a flat cannabis canopy under the grow lights and almost always using growth training methods like topping, FIMing, main-lining, ScrOG, etc. These training methods help make sure all the buds get as much light as possible, so you get bigger yields from the same grow lights.
It doesn’t matter what type of grow light you use. Each type of grow light has a sweet spot, and whenever grow lights are positioned above the plants, there are likely benefits to training your cannabis plants to grow short and wide. By having more of your plant at the best distance from your grow light, your cannabis leaves and buds will be exposed to more light and give your plant more energy to grow.
No-Technique Plant Training – This is cannabis plant training in its most basic form. If it’s your first grow and you want to keep things simple, or if you don’t have much time and want to do the bare minimum to get results, this is for you!
The spring/summer sun is all the light an outdoor cannabis plant needs to survive (as long as it’s getting direct light for the majority of the day). It can help with stealth to keep plants shorter than nearby fences or camouflage plants, and training is effective at that, but training isn’t really that effective at increasing yields outdoors.
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As a grower, you can control a lot of the final size and shape of your plant by using proper cannabis training and growing techniques while the plant is young, such as topping, FIMing, LST, main-lining, supercropping, defoliation, SoG, ScrOG and more, as described in this page. This page explains everything else you can do to get your cannabis to grow the way you want, whether it’s small or big, so you get the best yields possible.
Get a summary of all the most common plant training techniques that growers use to increase their cannabis yields indoors!
It’s important to wait until a plant is at least 3-4 weeks old before initiating the flowering stage (putting cannabis plants on a 12/12 light schedule), even if you’re trying to get to harvest as fast as possible.
Notice how this plant can’t be moved from its location because it’s attached to a nearby wall? Don’t do this! Always attach your plant directly to the pot so you can pick it up and move it. Also, avoid using something sharp like string or chicken wire to hold down the plants, because it will slowly cut into the plant’s “skin” over time and cause damage.
Supercropping (Advanced) – If a stem feels too stiff but it must be bent, don’t force it! Use a technique called “supercropping” to soften up the inside first, so the skin doesn’t break.
Providing relatively low levels of light in a comfortable, temperate environment without any disturbance can help a stressed plant regain its strength and start growing fast again in just a day or two. Once your plant is healthy and growing again, put the lights back on at full strength!
Bend the tallest ones over until they’re all the same height as each other. Following just that one principle will produce the shape you’re looking for!
If you have a plant that’s been growing incredibly tall and lanky, with a lot of upward growth without as much side branching, consider that a plant like that may stretch up to three times its height after the switch to 12/12. A plant that tends to grow short and bushy its whole life may not stretch much at all.
For growers who always have healthy plants, it can seem like plants simply can’t get stunted. But if you take the same approach with a sick, sparse or slow-growing plant, it can dramatically slow down the plant’s growth for days or even weeks in rare cases!
3-4 Week Old Plant – Never switch to 12/12 earlier than this or plants will stay tiny, and waiting a few more weeks is probably better!
At a recent growing convention in San Diego I heard from another grower who’d noticed that lowering the light levels just a tiny bit can help a sick plant recover more quickly. The worst thing you can do for a sick plant is turn up the light, because it makes the plant work harder to keep up with all that photosynthesis!
Training your plant to grow many big buds (instead of just one) can increase your yields dramatically! Learn how to avoid the most common mistakes…