I invited Dr. MJ from Coco For Cannabis back on the Cheap Home Grow podcast, and he was kind enough to talk about how to stress train and top your cannabis plants. His explanation of how stress training and topping is easy to understand and his advice is perfect for a new or even experienced home grower that’s looking to pick up a few helpful tricks on how to maximize yield.
We here at the Cheap Home Grow Podcast always appreciate Dr. MJ’s almost “precision like” approach to growing your own. He’s been on the show in the past and talked about germination, transplanting and how to grow in coco coir.
This podcast with Dr. MJ won’t disappoint. Please listen and tell me what you think in the comments section below. Thanks.
Training Episode Notes
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Training and Topping
1. My Background
2. Topping and Training: Recommendations
i. Effective for indoor growing
ii. Start training on your first grow
b. Why Train
i. Recommended Article: Why You Should Train Cannabis Plants
ii. A common question: “Don’t plants know how to grow into the best shape
1. Plants are evolved to grow in competition with other plants.
2. Indoors there is no competition
iii. Indoors plants need to be trained to grow out and wide rather than
invest all of their energy in one main cola
1. We spend energy on light and should think about how to help the plant
capture as much of that light as possible.
2. The best shape is broad flat canopy
c. Low-Stress vs High Stress Growing
i. Low stress training = training without cutting pinching or injuring the plant.
1. Usually just bending parts of the plant or the whole plant
ii. High Stress training = cutting (topping) or severely pinching (supercropping)
iii. For New Growers I recommend both
1. Low stress training can actually be high risk!
a. It sounds like a good beginner step, but plants can easily be
2. High stress training is often lower risk!
a. It is higher stress on the plant, but there is lower risk involved
3. Topping is considered a high stress technique, but it is the easiest
training skill to master
a. Topping is appropriate for new growers
d. Why We Top Plants: Cannabis Plants and Apical Dominance
i. Recommended article: Topping Cannabis Plants: Why When & How
ii. Topping is the best way to break apical dominance
iii. The apical (top) growth tip produces Auxins which inhibit the growth of
1. These auxins flow downward, and their effect diminishes with distance.
2. This is why lower branches grow better than higher branches
iv. Topping removes the source of the auxins
v. I Top twice which allows branching throughout the plant to explode
e. When to top and not to top
i. You want the plant to be growing well – not struggling in any way
ii. Don’t top until they have 6 true nodes – this allows roots to develop
f. Modified Mainline
i. Grow to 6 true nodes
ii. Top to the third node (just below the fourth node)
1. Leave growth tips on third node but remove lower growth tips
2. I leave the leaves when I trim the growth tips – leave as many leaves as
iii. Now two growth tips
1. After 5 or 6 days and they will get 3-4 nodes each
2. LST or Supercrop the two branches down to parallel
iv. Now you have a plant that looks like a T
1. I top each end of the T at the third node
2. I remove the tips from the second node
3. I leave the tips at the 1 st and 3 rd nodes on each side = 8 total tips
v. Now you have eight growth tips at the same height and they will grow equally
1. Can do fun things with training and spread the plant out
2. Atlas Plant Trainer
3. Other Training Practices
i. Recommended Article: When and How to Supercrop Cannabis Plants
ii. A great way to manage run-away colas
iii. Pinch “the crap” out of the plant
1. Pinch hard and fold easy
i. Once a solid canopy has formed
ii. Trim leaves that are left totally in the shade
c. I Do Not Defoliate
i. I do prune: selectively remove leave
ii. I do not indiscriminately remove leaves
iii. Leaves harvest energy and promote plant growth. They should never be
cut off just because they are leaves
iv. There is a lot of bad advice about defoliation and many new growers
end up cutting off leaves and hurting their yields
v. Removing leaves will not promote the development of flowers
1. Will discuss more in the next episode
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