When cultivating cannabis, all growers want to achieve the highest possible yields from their plants. After spending weeks nurturing them, and investing in equipment and energy prices, you want the fruits of your labor to be plentiful. How to increase cannabis yields can be dependent on a few factors though. Firstly, depending on whether you are growing indoors or outdoors will make a difference. Outdoors gives you plenty of natural sunlight and low costs to cultivate, however, you have much less control over the overall environment that you get from growing indoors.
Also, the type of genetics you choose to grow will play a part. Whether growing Photoperiod or Autoflowering strains means different methods will be more effective when aiming to increase your plant’s yields.
Here we have some tips on how to get the best out of your cannabis plants and achieve the highest yields possible.
Plants use photosynthesis to turn light into food, trapping the light energy with their leaves and helping them grow. Therefore without a good source of light, your cannabis plants will not flourish. In the simplest form, more intense light = larger plants, and fatter buds = higher yields. However, this does not just mean that you should find the brightest light possible and have it shine down on your plant 24/7. There will always be factors to consider when it comes to choosing a light source for your grow.
Firstly, think about the area of your growing space. Having a light with a very high wattage in a small space will cause the temperature to massively increase, as well as your energy prices. This follows on to the next point. Budgets can always restrict some growers, so it’s important to look around and see the best and brightest option out there for you.
But remember, plants love light! So make sure you give it adequately, intense lighting, near enough to your plant that it doesn’t need to stretch to find it. And particularly in the vegetative stage where you will be shining the most light on the plant and looking for the biggest growth. The bigger you can get your cannabis plant during the veg stage, the better your potential for big bud production in the flowering stage.
Container Size and Pot Type
When thinking of how to increase cannabis yields, one obvious way is to scale up your pot size. Choosing a container to grow in can be the difference between good yields and great yields! Try to grow in the biggest pot size you can comfortably fit in your grow room. This doesn’t mean choosing the biggest pots you can and stuffing them into a grow tent. Remember you need to allow space between the pots, for the plants to branch out.
Having a 20L pot will allow more space for the plant to grow than an 11L pot, thus increasing the chances of higher yields.
All that sounds simple right? But you also need to think about the type of pot you’re going to use. Different growers favor different types of pots to use. But some pot types can have a really good effect on your potential yields.
Airpots and Smart Pots are two examples of containers that do this. These pots increase aeration, allowing the roots more room to breathe and grow, therefore helping the overall growth of the plant.
Plant training is usually a grower’s go-to when trying to increase cannabis yields. It is one of the most effective ways of increasing bud production, and several different techniques can be used. Remember though, that it is always best to perform plant training during the vegetative stage, as the plant is more malleable and has more time to deal with any stress that may occur. Here are a few excellent training techniques to use on your cannabis plants:
LST (Low-Stress Training)
The Tie-Down method
The tie-down method consists of tying down the branches and leveling the canopy so that all flowering sites get equal amounts of light, therefore increasing yields. This low-stress training method consists of gently bending stems and tying them in place to change the shape of the plant. By doing this you create multiple bud sites, even out the canopy, and overall help you use light more efficiently.
SCROG or Screen of Green is an LST technique that involves using a screen or net to force the plants to grow flat, restricting vertical growth. The stem and branches are weaved through the net or screen and forced to grow horizontally instead of vertically, thus maximizing light exposure to your buds’ sites during the flowering stage.
HST (High-Stress Training)
Topping is a commonly used form of HST and simply means cutting the top off of your cannabis plant. Once topped, it will grow back with two stems, which will mean two, rather than one, central colas. This process can be repeated multiple times to multiply bud sites.
Fimming is very similar to the topping technique, in which you cut away parts of your plant to get better overall results. However, instead of cutting the whole top off, you cut off around 75-80%, which will cause four new shoots to appear, rather than two.
Along with using training techniques, you should always look to defoliate your cannabis plant during the flowering stage. Defoliation is the process of removing dying or unnecessary leaves, allowing the plant to focus more of its energy on bud growth. The first area you should begin defoliating is the bottom of the plant. This is where you will first see signs of naturally dying leaves. Simply pull the leaves away and discard them. You will also notice that the plant itself will discard unnecessary leaves. Although defoliation is a good way to make sure your cannabis plant is focusing its energy on bud growth, remember that plants need leaves for photosynthesis, so don’t go crazy and start removing too many.
When searching for ways how to increase cannabis yields, you may constantly see companies advertising nutrients that will help you grow the fattest nugs around. And while some growers prefer to be more natural in their cultivation techniques, adding additional nutrients can hugely aid overall yields. Using nutrients in addition to thoroughly watering your cannabis plants can increase the plant’s growth, however, it is also something you need to be wary of. Adding too many nutrients can hurt your plants, and cause serious health damage to them. So always read the instructions when purchasing nutrients and look out for any signs of distress on the plant. Here are some things to remember when adding nutrients throughout your plant’s life cycle:
The vegetative stage requires: High Nitrogen, medium Phosphorus, and high Potassium
The flowering stage requires: Low Nitrogen, medium Phosphorus, and high Potassium
Sulfur and magnesium can also be added by using Epsom salts.
Temperature and Humidity
Although the temperature and humidity of your grow room is not the first thing you would think of when deciding on how to increase cannabis yields, it is a vital aspect. Having the correct temperature and humidity is imperative to a plant’s health and production, therefore maintaining a good balance is key. Any damage to your plants would drain their energy, energy that could be going towards producing a more plentiful harvest.
The optimal temperature within your grow space is around 70-80°F (20-30°C). Make sure you monitor the temperature using a thermometer, as factors such as your lighting and outside heat could cause increases. To assist in keeping the temperature at a steady level, using LED lights is always recommended, as they don’t generate as much heat as HPS lights. Furthermore, if you are struggling to keep the temperature inside your grow space down, using a ventilation system that extracts the warm air and replaces it with cooler air will help.
Humidity levels also need to be constantly observed, a good way to do this is by using a hygrometer. High humidity can cause mold and bud rot, which will ruin all the hard work you’ve put in. Levels of around 50-70% humidity are optimal for growing cannabis, above these levels you may start seeing issues. If you are struggling to keep humidity levels down, for example, if you live in a particularly humid climate, using a standard indoor humidifier will help lower the levels.
Genetics could seem like a pretty obvious way of ensuring you get high yields. Many cannabis strains deliver healthy yields these days. However, if you want to grow plants with the highest yields possible then choosing particular high-quality, high-yielding genetics will help. Strains such as Big Bud, Moby Dick, and DDoS #33 are three great strains that can produce epic yields.
Harvest at the Right Time
Having spent months monitoring and caring for your cannabis plants, seeing the buds fatten, and smelling the amazing aromas in your nostrils, you may be tempted to want to harvest your plant before it’s ready. But hold on! Leaving your plants to grow for an extra week or two could dramatically increase the yields you achieve. This can always be a tough decision to make though, as leaving it too late could have adverse effects on the quality and potency of your buds. Check out our harvest guide for a more in-depth look at when you should harvest your cannabis plant.
Hopefully, now you have a better idea of techniques and ideas on how to increase cannabis yields. We all want to achieve the highest yields possible with the space and equipment we’ve got. The tips in this article will definitely help you do that. Budget and grow space can restrict some aspects when growing, but overall you can always do something to make sure you get the best out of your cannabis plants.