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When you have marijuana plants with stretching stems, this can be an issue both indoors and outdoors.
There are several reasons why marijuana plants may stretch. Apparently, genetics play is a major role in this. Sometimes there is nothing you can do and the plant will create tall stems regardless of your efforts to stop it. One example of a strain that grows tall both indoors and outdoors is tropical and land race pure Sativa. However, you do have options for ways to reduce stem height between the leaves.
Why is stem stretching an issue
When growing indoors, stretching may seriously lessen your yields because of the challenges with imitation lighting. This may also create very weak stems, which means the plant is at risk of falling over. It is also definitely an issue where ceiling height is a concern.
Ways to reduce stretching
Having good air circulation will allow the stems and leaves to get thicker and stronger while at the same time reducing how high it grows.
Strong air circulation can create stem and leaf movement that strengthens and widens the stem while also slowing its vertical growth. Winds will bend the stem, creating small rips in the plant’s tissue. You can also just brush the leaves to simulate the effects of air circulation.
The type of light you use also plays a role in how tall your stems will grow. Orange and red lights provoke taller, thin stems, but thick, short stems blue light is best. Using metal halide lamps while the plant is in the vegetative stage will produce short stems.
Another way to control the height of your plant is by using infrared light. You use these when the lights are off. There is a black cloth that covers the heat lamp reflector, which makes it so the infrared rays create the right results. At the same time, it catches red light to prevent contradicting what you are trying to accomplish. It is best to only use this light during the flowering stage.
Heat and Stem Growth
The temperature influences how your stems grow. The higher the temperature, the longer the stems will grow. Your plant’s stems will widen and the growth will lessen at about 60*F. When you have it around 80*F, the stems and buds will begin stretching.
If your buds get too close to the light, this causes it to become tall and thin. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is light burn because this is not the case. In fact, the heat from the lamps can make it unbearable for buds. Air-cooled lamps are great for keeping much of the heat from coming into the room.
Not having the proper amount of light will lead to stem stretching. As a result, the seedlings will grow tall, thin stems because it is trying to access more light. As a solution to this problem, give it a more intense light schedule or you can place them nearer to the light. Once you have done this, the stems will grow thicker and do much better on their own.
Lastly, try pruning as a way to reduce stem stretching. By cutting off the top of the stem, it makes the rest of the branch grow.
Spacing In-between Plants
Growing your plants in bulk leads stretching. As your plant grows, the leaves may easily start coinciding with the plant next to it. Over time, this causes the bottom of the plant to be discolored and the sub-canopy will get darker.
Stem stretching is the result of many factors, which include high/low temperatures, transplant shock, light spectrums and humidity. Keep your plant happy by making sure the environment is the best for your plant.
Tips for stem stretching
There are times when some growers like a bit of stretch since this is good for avoiding bud rot in certain strains. But in most cases stem stretching is not desirable.
During the vegetative state and the first two weeks of the flowering stage use blue lights to reduce stretching. If your plant is stretching, refrain from giving it too much nitrogen. Instead use a fertilizer ratio of (2-2-2) at the beginning of the flowering stage to keep the nitrogen levels average. Making an instant shift to the normal flowering ration right after the vegetative stage causes yellowing. Lastly, remember to use oscillating fans to help make your stems healthier.
Remember that plants with strong genetics have less change of getting sick and are less vulnerable for diseases, deficiency’s, pest and environmental stresses. So make sure to buy marijuana seeds from a trusted seed bank.
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible