How to Control Stretching: Reining in Cannabis Growth Spurts
As your cannabis grows, you are bound to notice that the plants will undergo a natural increase in height which is called stretching at one point or the other during the switch from vegetation to flowering. This process occurs to prepare the plants to support the buds once they show up. Though it is a natural occurrence that lasts not more than 2 weeks at the beginning of flowering, it still needs to be managed to prevent it from going out of control which might result in an overcrowded grow room and scraggy-looking, unstable plants.
Taking this into consideration, it is imperative that you plan for stretching when cultivating your cannabis plant to allow you to have some sort of control over the situation. One of the ways to do this is by researching your plant strains ahead through reviews and classifications by the seed banks, you could also give some sort of allowance for stretching in your grow space.
Why Plants Over-Stretch?
The most important reason for stretching in plants is genetics which means their strain plays a huge in deciding their eventual height. As a result, Indica strains are generally stout and stocky while Sativas can grow to as much as 6 feet or even more. In addition to this, there are few other reasons why it could occur:
The non-availability of sufficient lighting for your plants means that they have to grow and stretch their stems towards the available light source. This means that if the plants present in the grow room are many, space might become overcrowded and this will leave your plant’s growth thrown off balance.
As a result, you should try as much as possible to provide sufficient lighting in your grow area while still ensuring that the light is at a safe distance from the plants. Also, you need to make sure that the type of light being used in your grow area is not one that will encourage stretching such as HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) or inhibit their growth.
The temperature of your grow area is also another contributing factor to stretching as plants tend to grow longer stems and generally stretch when the temperature is above 27 degrees in your grow area. This could be caused by heat from the lamps and other sources which makes the grow room uncomfortable for the plants thereby resulting in stretching and eventual loss of flowers.
Furthermore, stress from transplant, insufficient nutrition, or lack of spacing might also cause the plant to go into shock and react by stretching to try taking advantage of the available resources.
Though you’ve been able to put the strain of your plants into consideration, there are a few things you could do to help control your plant’s stretching.
This is an efficient way of regulating your plant’s stretching while also contributing to an increase in yield. This process involves some cutting of the new nodes on your plant to decrease its size and force it to produce extra colas. Topping not only alters the plant’s shape but allows you to take off some of the plants to control its stretching.
If you are carrying out an indoor growth for your cannabis plant, you are sure to experience a few hindrances while addressing the issue of airflow in your grow area. This is because the fresh air available in an outdoor growth is not easily accessible and you have to improvise on air circulation within the grow area. All you need to do is monitor and ensure that the air circulation available is sufficient to allow your plant to grow and strengthen their stems for a good yield.
Manually bending your plant is a substantial way of controlling your plant’s stretching as it will ensure that the injuries your plants encounter in such an exercise take precedence over stretching. The energy and attention that would have been expended on stretching would be concentrated on the repair of its tissues and stems.
Getting appropriate lighting at each stage of your plant growth is a way to ensure that your plants don’t stretch more than necessary. Lights like HID with MH (Metal Halide) bulbs are quite suitable for your plants at the initial stage of flowering after which you can switch to HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) lights for your plants. The distance of the plants should also not be such that it will harm them or encourage stretching.
You should keep in mind that stretching is a perfectly normal occurrence and is something that could boost your plant yield especially if you have sufficient grow space. It is excessive stretching that you should keep an eye out for and try to control as soon as it starts getting out of hand.
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