Low-stress Training (LST)

Last Updated: April 19, 2017

Definition - What does Low-stress Training (LST) mean?

Low-stress training, or LST, is a method used to train plants in an indoor gardening situation to grow horizontally, rather than vertically. This enhances energy efficiency, improves yield, and results in stronger growth.

MaximumYield explains Low-stress Training (LST)

In order to maximize your yields and improve plant health within your indoor growing area, low-stress training can be used to encourage plants to grow horizontally (sideways) rather than vertically (upwards). Horizontal growth can allow for stronger overall growth, and when done correctly, allows you to maximize your growing area.

Low-stress training begins when plants are young and very flexible. Simply bend them to the side, and tie them down. Virtually anything can be used to tie the plant down, ranging from twine to plastic zip-ties, although it’s important not to damage the stem in any way, as this can lead to disease or even plant death.

As the plant begins to grow horizontally, you simply continue to tie it down. Some growers prefer to train their plants to grow directly out in a horizontal direction. However, others gently curve the main stem around the plant itself. This allows other tips to grow from the center, which can also be trained, and it also ensures better light dispersion across the entire plant for improved health. Tying down can be done to the edge of the pot, to a surrounding wall, or even to the watering system if necessary.

Low-stress training also allows you to lower the grow lights in your gardening area closer to the pots than would be possible if you allowed the plant to grow vertically, which could allow for the use of lower-wattage bulbs and improved energy savings over time while still ensuring that the entire plant is able to absorb more light than would otherwise be possible.

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