Author: Chris Faast
Date: 22 January 2019

How to Stop Stretch During Flower

It's a common issue for growers, plants keep growing taller and taller during flower - commonly known as "stretch". Ideally, all of the vertical growth would be during the "grow" stage, and the flower stage would just involve blooming the plant. But this is not the case.
During flower, typically plants will continue to grow (stretch) a to be 3 times taller than during the grow or veg stage, so a 30cm high plant will grow to approximately 90cm in total. Using PGRs means it is an easy way to stop the vertical stretch, but this comes at a high cost with lower resin and essential production. But there's good news, it can be replaced.
Over the years we've helped a few customers stop using PGRs when growing edible produce, and switch to mineral and organic nutrients.
It's true, the weight of the yield will not be as good, but there are a few ways to make up for this instead of potentially poisoning the end consumer.
  • Good quality nutrients - using nutrients and additives high in vitamins, silica and sea extracts will reduce the stress on a plant and prevent them from non essential growth. These extracts are also a healthy way of producing strong plants with plenty of the produce required. Check this link to learn more about additives and see the relevant silica additives from Aqua Gardening.
  • Training plants - from the first week of growth, carry out LST (low strength training), tying down limbs to close to the media, and training limbs to stay low. Then come the flowering stage, let the limbs grow towards the light, develop buds and fill out. A layer of inexpensive flower support mesh is great to assist with this.
  • Genetics - plants, or strains, which have a tendency to be long and lanky should be avoided.
  • Timing the switch to flower light timing - time it earlier in the vegetative stage. From the flower timing stage, the plant will have a tendency to bolt towards the light, so starting with a smaller plant on flower will result in a smaller final plant. This is where alot of your yield may be lost, so make sure to read the next tip to maximise your yield.
  • CO2 and lighting - growing plants in the ideal environment will stop them stretching up to reach the light and requiring more growth to satisfy their CO2 needs. Find our CO2 products online here.

Following these 5 steps will ensure you minimise the stretch of your plants, while keeping their harvest healthy and heavy! Consider a completely controlled indoor grow tent to ensure the environment is perfect without all of the hassles of outdoor gardening.