Internodal Spacing

Definition - What does Internodal Spacing mean?

The stem of a plant is made up of nodes. The nodes connect the leaves of the plant to the stems. Internodes are the spaces between the plant’s nodes. The internodal space dictates how tall the plant’s stems will ultimately grow.

Excessive internodal spacing frequently causes weak stems that are unable to hold up large buds or flowers. Certain plants and strains have a reputation for growing long and lanky. Such plants have excessive internodal spacing.

Plants that are known for having abundant internode spacing will have longer, taller stems but may require staking during the bud and flower stage of growth. Excessive internodal spacing, also known as stretching or leggy plants, makes branches more prone to bending and breaking.

MaximumYield explains Internodal Spacing

Knowing about plant nodes and internodal spacing is beneficial to the grower because they can be a strong indicator of when and where it is time to prune. This knowledge also plays a role when it is time to clone plants. For example, pruning at specific nodes and internodal spaces helps growers develop more desirable branching, which can increase the overall crop produced by the plant.

Internodal spacing can be controlled, to an extent, by growers if they lessen the difference in the daytime temperature versus the nighttime temperature in the greenhouse or growroom. Poor lighting also increases internodal spacing. It is believed that the internodal spacing increases as the plant stretches its stem in an attempt to attain greater lighting. This is just one reason why plants should always receive abundant light, as abundant light will tighten up a plant's internodal spacing. (The plant will become more compact, taking up less space.)

Several other factors, such as air circulation, influence internodal spacing. If a plant receives adequate air circulation around its stems, it is more likely to develop wider nodes instead of more spaced out, elongated nodes. In addition, some types of lighting, such as blue light, discourages excessive internodal spacing.

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